The last year has been quite a whirlwind of wonder. It has included many fabulous moments, many amazing people, many makings and firings of pots and many new and incredible delights. I’ll not go through them all but here are just a few highlights, thank you all who have been a part of our year and here’s to many more wonders and delights during 2016, not least the arrival of a new Fitch, maybe the next in the pottery line.
Chilly times in Devon.
Big pancheon on a bus.
Our delightful and magical wedding day.
Comparing bellies with pots and people (mine is a lot bigger now!)
My wonderful husband.
Many pots being made and sold and enjoyed.
My blurred new stepsons and our nephew.
Our new niece Isla.
‘A Love Affair With Clay’ at The Leach Pottery, St. Ives.
Ahhh where does the time go? All good intentions of reporting the happenings and the plannings go to whizzing out of the window as the chaos of work and life takes over again.
The exhibition opening at The Leach Pottery at the end of November was brilliant. It was really busy, so much so that I don’t think I managed top speak to everyone that came so if I didn’t get chance to talk to you then I am very sorry but thank you for coming out on such a wild crazy night as it was.
The exhibition, ‘A Love Affair With Clay’ runs on until January 16th at the lovely Leach Pottery in St. Ives and though lots of things have sold and gone off to new homes we sent enough work that there are still new pots to be put out on display so don’t feel you have missed out if you haven’t gotten there till now. Let us know what you think about the show if you get the chance. Many thanks.
Tonight is the opening of our new exhibition at The Leach Pottery in St Ives. We have travelled down to Cornwall to be here for it. We haven’t seen the show yet, but trust that Matthew Tyas and team will do a great job at the display of it judging by the photographs we have seen of previous exhibitions there.
We’ll be there from 6 till 8 tonight and if you can make it it would be lovely to see you.
Would you look at that. A big thank you to Ceramics Monthly for using an image of one of my slip trail press moulded dishes in this month’s edition. It is featured on page one of the Exposure section. The images were sent by the lovely people at the Craft Centre and Design Gallery in Leeds who are showing my work in the run up to Christmas.
“Originally published in December 2015 issue of Ceramics Monthly, pages (insert page #s). http://www.ceramicsmonthly.org . Copyright, The American Ceramic Society. Reprinted with permission.”
I hate to use the C word so early in the year still but for a potter the making process takes a good amount of time and so being able to start early on making any Christmas orders is a necessity. This year my Birdie mugs are back! They come in two sizes, a warm honey and a rich black with the Birdie design running around the top, they hold a half pint or a pint and are £25 or £30 respectively plus postage which in the UK is £7 for one mug.
Mugs are a truly intimate object, it is cupped in the hands and held to the lips, giving a mug can be like giving a kiss.
This year I am also offering the Birdie mugs with an option for them to be personalised. So you could have your name or that of a friend or family member slip trailed onto the belly of the mug, no more arguments about whose mug it is! For the half pint mugs these personalised versions will be £30 and the big brother pint versions are £35, postage at the same cost within the UK. For postage elsewhere in the world drop me a line and I can give you an estimate.
I would need to receive your order by the end of November really to make sure that we can get it made and fired and out to you in time for the festivities. I would just need to know your colour preference, size required and the correct lettering that you need, and where to send it to, drop me an email via the contact page on the website if you are interested. We can take UK payment by cheque, Paypal or BACS and international payment through Paypal. Thank you.
Last weekend we were at the Oxford Ceramics Fair, it is a CPA event (the first installment of the new CPA website is up and running now by the way) and so is only open to members of the organisation. It’s also a fairly small show so competition for places is pretty hot. This is the second time I have been accepted to show there and it really is a treat to be a part of it. The team that organise it, mainly the potters John and Jude Jelfs do a great job, ably assisted by a team of hard working volunteers who keep the weekend running smoothly. I had a great show, my pots seemed to be jumping from the table and running off to be with new owners right left and centre!
The week preceding Oxford we had a photo shoot here in the workshop with Shannon Tofts, he’s a great photographer who I have been using for years. This time he did lots of product shots for us but we had time for some images to be taken out and about too of us and of pots out in the world around the workshop. They are a fabulous batch of images and they will certainly be being used far and wide over the next year.
So now we are back in the workshop making again for our next show, it’s the last big fling of the year and it’s to be our joint exhibition at The Leach Pottery in St. Ives. It’s called ‘A Love Affair With Clay’ and will open with a private view on 27th November at 6pm. I’ll put more details up soon. We had been planning to spend the month of November on a residency at the Leach Pottery but what with the baby coming and sadly a fire at a group studio in St. Ives leaving a lot of potters without workshops we offered the space we would have used to them and so we will make the exhibition up here in Galloway and then take it down to Cornwall. We have one wood firing before the show opens, and hopefully if we manage the pots for it we will make that two just so that we get to select from a large enough range, we have about 70% of the work finished and ready but of course there’s always more waiting to burst out.
This week has been all about making the stock that I need to send to The New Craftsmen Gallery in Mayfair. They are a great place who celebrate and take pride in British craftsmanship. These are a dozen and half fat bellied jugs which have now all been decorated with the cheery Birdie design.
A group of Birdie mugs to join them too.
They are also having a bunch of these slip decorate bird and owl press molded dishes. Luckily we have a number of these awaiting decoration because they were made by Luke for us in his summer holidays when I very poorly and couldn’t move much clay around. He was a great help and they have been waiting for the right time to be decorated, that time is now.
Doug has been making fat bellied jugs, here I am comparing the swell of bellies with some of them.
There are shows happening all about the place at the moment. Currently my work is featured as part of the Winter Craft Shows at The Craft Centre and Design Gallery in Leeds. During October I am one of their featured makers and I have already heard that a number of pieces have sold and that Ceramics Monthly have requested my details because of seeing that my work was on display there. Not a bad start is it.
On the other side of the globe is an exhibition of “Fascinating British Studio Pottery” which lasts until the 13th October on the 9th floor at Hankyu Department Store in Osaka, Japan. My work is shown alongside that by Jennifer Hall, Penny Simpson, Philip Wood, John Leach Pottery, Leach Pottery, Tim Andrews, Tony Laverick, Douglas Fitch etc and we are all being represented by Gallery St. Ives of Tokyo. The photo of me with Biscuit the cat was taken a couple of years ago when Koichiro Isaka who runs the gallery visited my workshop to take images for his book. I look about 12!
Until the 6th November those of you in the Oxfordshire area will be able to see my work in the Junction Art Gallery in Woodstock. Their ‘Autumn Collection’ has a particular emphasis on craft, and features some unusual pieces for the wall with ceramic wall pieces by Clare Crouchman. They are also showing a collection of my ceramics for the first time, along with sculptures by Lilia Umana-Clarke, Michael Lythgoe, and David Mayne.
We are working now to make pots towards two events, myself for the CPA’s Oxford Ceramics Fair at the end of October and the both of us for our exhibition at The Leach Pottery in St. Ives, ‘A Love Affair With Clay’.
Alex McErlain came to help us with this firing as we had a photographer there too to document our work for Landscape Magazine. As we needed to be demonstrating our making processes and firing the kiln we needed extra hands. As you can see though it was still too much for some of us.
Hopefully there will be some finished pot pictures coming soon, the kiln is cooling now.