Bottle of white, Bottle of red

Sorry the pictures have now gotten a bit skewed in order, this should be half way down the page, Amanda Simmons and myself enjoying a glass of bubbly at the gala evening of the Origin show.

This is going to be a bit of a whirlwind tour of a post I’m afraid so hold on to your hats! I’ve been away for ten days and then I came home and the computer blew up so I’ve been blog and scrabble-less for a while. I’m going to try and give you everything today and catch up with what’s been happening.

While in London for the Ceramics in the City show I couldn’t not visit the V&A to see what they’d done in “Stage 2” of the ceramics department. Blimey! How many pots? It’s crazy. I couldn’t handle it, I wandered through for an hour or so with my jaw on the floor and probably muttering to myself and maybe even dribbling before I could take it no more and had to leave. I wasn’t prepared for the sheer number of pots in there. I think when I go again I will have to pick one case and look properly, otherwise your head explodes.

The Geffrye Museum show is such a lovely show to do, I do so enjoy it. It’s in a great museum and it’s quite small, there’s only about 45 exhibitors and so you don’t feel overwhelmed there. This year I was with lots of lovely friends including Michelle Freemantle and Katrin Moye and Linda Bloomfield and also Dylan Bowen and Matthew Blakely and Prue Cooper and James Hake and well pretty much all of them were just great to spend time with really, maybe I should just list every exhibitor there. I got to meet a couple of people who have bought from me over the last year but who I’ve only ever emailed or spoken to on the phone before so that’s always good to put a face to a name.

I tried to be much less cluttered with my stand this year, I did manage it to some extent I think.
Sales were ok, not exceptional but they were ok. It seems that people are still tightening their belts to some extent listening to the stories from other potters about their years events. For me so things have been really quite good but I am all to aware that there is not much happy jolly economic news around at the moment in the press.

Hear are the lovely ladies Katrin and Linda having a good gossip probably. Linda has just written a book, Advanced Pottery, which will be out in January. It’s got some of my work in there.

By the way maybe a tiny prize for the first person to comment with the correct link of the title to this post, maybe it’s just the way my head works that saw the link though.

After the Geffrye and before I helped Amanda set up at Origin I had a very swift trip out west on the train to spend the night in Devon and go to visit Mr Fitch. I haven’t seen him for a while, too flipping far away he is. We are both going out to America next year, pretty much for the whole of April I think. We’re doing an American tour! It’s really exciting, Dan, Hollis and Ron have been setting up a scheme for us to visit and demonstrate our way around their three spots in the US. I know there are people that do this sort of thing on a regular basis but me! Blimey! Scary, very very scary but very exciting indeed. I’m looking forward to it and to meeting a whole new bunch of the bloggers who I read about and share comments with but have so far not met. Plans plans, I need to make plans. I hope we’re going to be what you think we are folks, you do realise we’re a couple of slightly obsessive people who sit in sheds talking to ourselves all day don’t you?

Oh and speaking of Bloggers the Clay and Blogs: Telling A Story show is now open in Southern Pines, North Carolina USA. I won’t be there to see it unfortunately but I hope that many people visit and enjoy it, it’s on until October 29th.

So after a short but sweet bit of country respite I pootled back into the big city to Spittalfields to meet Amanda Simmons who was exhibiting at Origin again this year. It was all change for the show this year, new venue, new time of year, this time as part of London’s Design Festival and organised by Tent London instead of the Crafts Council. I believe there were some teething problems shall we say with the whole thing. I thought the general standard of work there was higher than last years show but there was a more “design” feel to it and less of a high quality “craft” feel I thought.

Amanda’s stand was lovely and simple too. She had this year concentrated on the vessels that she makes, working three series of them along different themes. The Labyrinth series above is engraved before she slumps the sheets of fused glass, the stretching in the kiln the causes the etched lines to elongate and in some cases expand. They are stunning pieces.

Tower Bridge at night, beautiful. We stayed in the same hotel that we had used last year and had the same light trauma but this year we were prepared for the insanity of the electrician that wired the place up. It didn’t make any more sense but at least we knew it was going to be crazy.

I came home in time to visit the preview of Bea Last’s exhibition at Gracefield unfortunately I got no pictures there but the Spring Fling Blog has more details. Then on sunday my friend Andy Priestman up at Glentrool had the opening of an exhibition of his pots and paintings. I’ve mentioned Andy before on this blog. A great chap, highly talented and very knowledgeable and a genuinely good bloke. There was a great turn out for his exhibition, lots of other artists and crafts people there and some beauties of pots out of his most recent firing. Really beautifully displayed, everything is just so and it’s a treat for the eyes. A massive contrast to how my open studio looks but so very much more appropriate to Andy’s aesthetic and style of work.

My kiln has been on hold again for the summer, I haven’t really been in a fit state for hefting bricks about. I am feeling tons better now though, I’m still having to remember to be a bit careful but this week I have been pugging clay again and getting on with the huge list of pots that need making. It feels good to be making again properly though if a bit frantically. If I owe you pots then they are on their way I promise, please bear with me. The Christmas exhibitions are bearing down quickly too, how on earth is it suddenly October? The weather outside is definitely October weather though and no doubt about that.

Here are just a few of the pots I have been working on this week. The oval dishes are going to be heading down to Devon to the Cider Press Centre by the end of the month.
The plans for the workshop move are coming along, I’m not going to be in though until the joiner has been and done a bit of work for us. So that’s good as it gives me the chance to get back on top of my making before the upheaval and big migration next door.

Some tiny little dishes ordered by an Italian restaurant down in Chorley. They are small and like tiny little pancheons, very simple just a white slipped inside, no decoration on these wee ones. There are also twenty lasagne dishes which are of the same style but with a small trailed decoration in the centre. This isn’t something I have ever done before, the restaurant new exactly what they wanted in terms of an exact size to fit a certain amount of food into and not look too big or too small and in terms of knowing that they wanted them to be exactly just red clay with a honey inside. I don’t often work within such narrow boundaries but it’s great for practising the throwing skills.

A couple of new pieces fresh from the kiln. I took quite a few new pots down to the Geffrye with me and I had taken photos of them but then they were on the other computer which then blew up at the weekend taking with it all my random bits and pieces. Most of my things I do have copied onto this computer but there is some that I don’t which is annoying and frustrating and makes me realise why Paul is forever telling me to back things up.
Tomorrow I will be spending the day down at the Scout campsite where the Scout Fellowship – oops sorry name change recently we are now the very catchy titled Scout Active Support, hmmmm, anyway where we are hosting a Charity Challenge day. We have invited teams of none Scout members to bring a team along to take part in numerous challenges and possibly win the prize of £200 for their chosen charity and this plate too. I’m hoping that the weather will be somewhat kinder to us tomorrow. Paul is cycling in the Hardrock Challenge tomorrow too along with some friends of his and so for them I hope the weather is kinder too. Good luck to all in both events.

The second of the dragon jugs, this one I think will be off to join it’s sister jug over in the States next week.
Right I believe that for the time being that is all I have to report. No doubt I have forgotten something or someone though. OK out into the wilds we go for a bracing walk.
This entry was posted in Ceramics in the City, Devon, dragon, Dylan Bowen, Geffrye Museum, James Hake, lasagne, Linda Bloomfield, Matthew Blakely, pancheons, Prue Cooper. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Bottle of white, Bottle of red

  1. ang says:

    wow …epic!!!! or just a bottle of rose instead…does billy joel come into it somewhere?? that's the only thing i could think of and thanks now its in my head and it's sleepies time:)) hehehe, glad you have a mo before shifting H and no scrabble:(

  2. Welcome home, Hannah! You've been missed. Sounds like a great trip! Thanks for sharing it.Gay

  3. Yes, epic, indeed, I'll put my bookmark here and be back this evening after I get home from the pottery! Rock on Hannah!

  4. Anna says:

    Wow you have been busy! I felt a need to take a breath at the end! Glad you have some time before the move to the new digs…glad you are feeling so much better….and glad you are heading to the States next April! It promises to be a blast!

  5. Murgatroyd says:

    Wow indeed! Looks like a fabulous trip… would like to have stowed away in your pocket to see all of those sights! Work work is mighty fine as ever!

  6. Murgatroyd says:

    oops, your work is mighty fine is what I was trying to say….

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am enjoying your mug, the expresso pot just about right for it. Your first picture looks like you have been given sainthood with a halo.Tim

  8. Nu Kua says:

    I was thinking of Billy Joel as well, 'Scenes from an Italian restaurant', as you were making pots for one.Good to read you are feeling better and making pots again! Love the Dragon… 🙂

  9. ajsimmons says:

    Hannah deserves the halo in the top pic….shes an angel. Cheers Hannah for all your help in London….very quiet without you in that mad hotel (but i did mange to turn all the lights off,took a while though and just randonly pressing buttons….think it would make an amazing brain trainer game!!).Glad you're back in blogging land and lovely stand at Geffrye.Amanda x

  10. The Hollyford Pottery door is at Doug Fitch's studio, isn't it? I like the pictures of the new construction work at his place!

  11. Linda B says:

    Thanks for mentioning the book

  12. Peter says:

    Love the halo in the photo, it suits you!!Glad that so much is working out for you. The people that I am staying with actually have met your NZ Auckland relatives, and I may get to see them. There is a card here with a very impressive painting on of Nikau palms byEdith.Best wishes, P.

  13. Anonymous says:

    A Tolstoy of a post!!

  14. Hannah says:

    Hi all, thanks, Ang you get half the right answer, Nu Kua you are completly correct!Tim I'm glad it's a good fit.None of you noticed that the picture of Tower Bridge is round the wrong way!

  15. Nu Kua says:

    Whee, I won a Hannah Mcandrew price!Thank you Hannah! I'll be watching the mailbox! :-Dgrtz,Monique

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