Pots in their new homes
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9th to 11th September sees the second coming of this lovely new show, Ceramic Art York, held in the museum gardens in conjunction with York Art Gallery. The show has a great series of demonstrations and lectures during the event and tickets also include entry to the amazing CoCA, the Centre of Ceramic Art in the newly refurbished gallery there.
We were thrilled to be selected to exhibit again and are excited about the selection of pots that we have to bring with us. Lots of new wood fired pots, fresh from the kiln. We hope that you will enjoy them and look forward to seeing some of you there.
It’s been busy, so I am sorry for not having been a very active blogger of late. These things tend to go in phases I think and at the moment my phase is very much revolving around Pippin. It is of course as it should be, at some point I will have to get back to work properly but for the time being we are enjoying each other so much it is hard to think properly about pots.
I have been making some work however so do not despair that there will be a dirth of pottery in the world. It’s been interesting actually to have to be very focused when I do get into the pottery and have to have my plans in place before I step through the door. As a result I have tended to be focussing on making some one off pieces and trying to keep up with commissions for customers. If you have been waiting a while for your order then please bear with me, I am getting there, and I haven’t forgotten you.
In the run up to Spring Fling we did two wood firings and then a third in ten days which took place over the weekend of the event. It was busy busy but we had some wonderful pots from the firings, the last of the three was the best firing we have had to date. We were thrilled with the pots.
Doug has been working hard, he hates to leave us while he goes to work in the caravan, I don’t blame him, Pippin is too much of a delight to leave easily. She is a wonderful distraction. The photo above is of some of Doug’s pots from our stand at Rufford in June, the photo was by James Hazlewood, thanks James.
This was the three of us at Rufford, what a bit of luck we had with the weather, it was a glorious weekend, only really raining about an hour after the show finished when we were packing the last of the things into the car. We had a great show, thank you to everyone who came and said hello and who made purchases to start or add to their Fitch and McAndrew collections. I can’t think who took this photo, could have been Ben Boswell, or James Hazlewood or John Melhuish, I’m sure someone will let me know.
So tomorrow this is where we are off to, a little-ish journey (all things are relative bearing in mind we traveled south to Bath last week) to Penrith in Cumbria. This Friday is the start of Potfest in the Park 2016. We’ll be there till Sunday, selling our wares in the grounds of the beautiful Hutton in the Forest. So if you would like to have a trip out to come and find us and the other 99 or so potters who will be exhibiting alongside us then it is highly recommended. We hope you will say hello.
For now, Pippin is sleeping so I shall finish up this blog post and sort a bit more of the accounts while all is quiet and then see if we can’t get the bags packed for the weekend. Doug is busy at the wheel throwing bowls in preparation for the next two events which are going to be Ceramic Art York and an online exhibition of our own.
It’s nearly time for the annual extravaganza of art and craft that is Dumfries and Galloway’s Spring Fling Open Studios weekend. Each year for the past 14 years during the bank holiday weekend at the end of May the region’s artists and craftspeople have spruced up their workshops and opened their doors to the hundreds of visitors that make the pilgrimage to this glorious corner in south west Scotland.
It is an amazing event, craft work of every discipline is made across the region and the best makers are selected to participate. The diversity on display is phenomenal. We are as always really pleased to have been selected and look forward to welcoming visitors next weekend.
We have fired the wood kiln this last week and tomorrow will unpack it to see what goodies are inside before repacking it and firing it again on Tuesday to get another group of pots out in time for Spring Fling. Then we’ll pack it again on Friday and with the help of our buddy Alex McErlain and a new friend and helper Ashleigh, we will be firing the wood kiln again on the Saturday of the spring Fling weekend. This means that visitors to the workshop on Saturday will be able to see the firing happening and hopefully get a bit of an insight into how and why we chose to fire in this crazy way.
If you don’t have a copy of the lovely brochure there is still time to get one, or have a look at the website and the online version of the brochure here to whet your appetite. If you are planning to come along, do pop in to see us at Lochdougan House and say hello, we’d be pleased to see you.
9th April – 21st May
Preview 6-8pm Friday 8th April
Gracefield Arts Centre, 28 Edinburgh Road, Dumfries, DG1 1JQ
This years flagship exhibition is at Gracefield Arts Centre. Many of the artists and makers taking part in the 2016 open studios event are exhibiting in the lead up to Spring Fling.
This exhibition showcases a selection of paintings, drawings, prints and craft. Focusing on Process, this exhibition looks at not only the final article but explores how these finished art works come to be. In this exhibition you’ll find an exclusive behind the scenes approach. Artists and makers reveal methods of making their craft; from breaking down the physical act of making, preparatory sketches, photography and sketchbooks to the manifestation of their emotional engagement and further education, offering a unique insight in to the intimate process of making.
So, no pots are being made at the moment but our newest creation is utterly beautiful and we are besotted. Pippin Kate Fitch arrived at home in rather a rush on Saturday 13th February and weighed in at 6lb 14oz.
Back in August last year we got a phone call to ask if we might like to be the featured potters in a forthcoming issue of Ceramic Review. We were thrilled and readily agreed. A photographer and film maker by the name of Layton Thompson duly traveled north of Watford Gap to come and photograph, film and interview us in our Galloway workshop.
It was an intense day, pretty tough on a girl suffering from vile morning sickness and being able to eat only dry biscuits and drink sips of water! Layton was lovely to work with though, he put us both at ease and we are both thrilled by both the feature that has come from it which is in the current issue of Ceramic Review, 278, and the lovely film that he edited from what I felt was my garbled interview, which is on the Ceramic Review website.
If you don’t subscribe to Ceramic Review, and personally I think it is worth every penny with changes that have been made under the current editor, you can buy a copy of this issue or subscribe from the Ceramic Review website. I hope you enjoy the piece if you do get the opportunity to see it.
This film, made in the 70’s by a relative of mine, Lynton Diggle, who lives in New Zealand, is about the New Zealand potter Barry Brickell. I discover that Barry died this weekend at the age of 80. I visited Driving Creek Pottery in 2007 but didn’t get to meet the gentleman. It seems he was a potter, artist, conservationist and railway fanatic which lead him to building a narrow gauge railway on his property in order to bring clay and other raw materials to the pottery site.
It’s a lovely film, very much of it’s time and of a man with a passion for pots and clay.
Gently does it, slow and steady is the only way to be at the moment. I can’t do very much without needing a break so I am slowly working my way through orders. I need to be doing something while we wait to meet our new son or daughter or else my brain will lose the plot. These slip trail owl dishes are mainly for an order but a couple for stock too.
The other two plates are both slip trail commemorative ones hence there is only a snippet of the surface so as not to give away the inscriptions in case any of the recipients are reading this. The first is loosely based on a Toft dish and the second a big fat birdie.
So this is the first proper week back at work, I know it’s the 11th January but be gentle with me, I needed a rest and actually it’s a very gentle start for me even so. My belly is getting somewhat in the way now when trying to throw so I think the making for me while now be sporadic. I have some orders to finish which I would like to get done in the next week or so but mainly I will be doing much gentler, slower activities that involve a lot less movement until the new world arrives. I have plans for a bit of knitting and maybe a little quilt, nothing more energetic nor demanding that that, lots of feet up and lots of being looked after by my wonderful husband.
In the mean time, this is the last week of our exhibition ‘A Love Affair With Clay’ at The Leach Pottery in St. Ives. It’s been showing there for almost six weeks and we are thrilled to report that it has been very well received.
Thank you to everyone who has visited the show over the period and to those who decided that our pots should travel home with them. Also of course to those of you who couldn’t get to the exhibition but who managed to buy pots over the phone and by email. The internet is really important to the way that we run our business and it allows us to do things that we would really struggle to do otherwise.
If you are in the St. Ives area of Cornwall, or if you fancy a jaunt down there on or before the 16th January then there are still a lot of pots to be seen (including the ones in these images) and if you are that way inclined to be bought. Have a look, tell us what you think and enjoy the Leach Pottery Museum while you are there.
It’s a great place and has wonderful staff who were so welcoming and genuinely pleased to be showing our work and who have been helpful throughout the planning and set up and opening times of the show. A huge thank you to all of them there, it was great to meet you all and to spend some time with you.