|One bowl out of a recent firing was a treasure. Same glaze as others in the kiln, but this one was beautifully spotted.|
|Here is the inside of the same bowl.|
I like to do 3 kilometres on my morning walk. It is not very far, but I find it sufficient to make a difference, and I can do it in about half an hour if I walk reasonably quickly, or a little longer if I look around me more.
About half way around my walk, I saw a tiny grey bump on the road, about the size of a stone. As I neared it, I saw that the bump was in fact a small bird. The bird was sitting in a puddle of stuff that it had excreted, and it sat at an odd angle. I suspected that the poor thing had been killed by a car and was dead... However, it moved its head as I came near. Knowing that it was only a matter of time before it was in fact hit by a car, I bent down and carefully surrounded it with my hands. It was a juvenile sparrow, and very, very small as I lifted it to inspect it. The sparrow gripped my finger with one of its tiny skeletal feet, and I felt its warmth. And life.
I examined it. Both wings seemed OK, and there was some strength in its legs, but it was extremely messy around its vent and the bird had a disturbing tendency to lull sideways. I looked around for a suitable place to put it so that its parents would find it, but as I looked I realised that the bird was simply not strong enough to be able to sit in a bush without falling out. There was something definitely wrong with it.
What to do? Well, there were three options:
(1) put it in the long grass at the side of the road and "let nature take its course",
(2) kill it cleanly and quickly (somehow!), or
... I carried it home in my hand and rather suspected that it would quietly die as I walked. The bird seemed content with this odd form of transport, and snuggled into the warmth of my palm like it was in a centrally heated nest.
This moment of caring for a little warm bundle of feathers. The grip of its tiny feet. My large hands making a gentle nest for this life.
I kept the bird at home for a few hours. After giving it peace and quiet I tried feeding it, on several occasions, but it showed no interest at all in taking food. Carefully observing the little fellow over time, I could see that there was something badly wrong. In the early afternoon I took the bird to the local vet to have its life ended humanely.
I think that it is good to care about something or someone. It is also good to care about what we make with our hands. It makes life richer.
I am really behind again with this blog. I have been very busy since I wrote last. We took Christmas Day as a holiday, but I was working again the next day, Boxing Day, making mugs and cups. I have a lot of stock to make as, on January 26 and 27 I will be demonstrating potting at the Lawrence Summer Arts Festival. I will be working at my potter's wheel, and Laura will be looking after sales. Laura will have some of her paintings there.
A few days after Christmas, we received a parcel from Belle-Île-en-Mer, which is an island off the coast of Brittany, France.
|Nigella Stopit loves parcels!|
|All the way from France, pottery by Armelle.|
At the same time as making new work and completing a couple of commissions, I have been doing a lot of glaze testing, and refining of glazes. I must say that I do like cone 10 glazes. Many potters have abandoned this high temperature of around 1280 Centigrade or 2336 Fahrenheit, in favour of cone 6 glazes that mature at a significantly cooler temperature that causes less wear and tear on kilns and lower power bills. Very Sensible of them.... But..... there is something about cone 10! I have made particular progress with firing iron reds at this temperature, and I have some interesting blue and green glazes coming on, and an elusive pink!
|Yarn organizer with a new blue glaze.|
As I make progress I will continue to add things to my High Fire Glaze page that you will find a tab for just under the header of this blog.
Well, I must go and pull some more pots out of the kiln. Still lots and lots to talk about... but work is calling!!
|And here is a peep into the kiln that I am about to unload!|
|First pot from the kiln!|
Best Wishes for the New Year,
Peter & Laura