First Slip Encounters of 2012
For those of you outwith the tiny islands that make up the British Isles you may not know that we appear to have been living through constant gale force crazy winds for the last couple of days. It’s pretty crazy, I mean where I am it’s never what you would call still but this is wild. Definite “wind in your ears” weather, and in everything else for that matter.
I have been back in work for two whole days now and hadn’t realised before I stopped for Christmas just how shattered I was. I’ve been sleeping 12 and 14 hour nights and we’ve been walking and visiting my family and then on our wee trip to a shed in Northumberland and not much more. It’s been great, I came back to work feeling substantially refreshed and with a fresher head than I’ve had for the last month or so, I was getting a bit lost and confused and befuddled so hopefully armed with my new plan I am ready for 2012 and all it’s surprises and challenges.
We spent three days over new year in a “wigwam” in Northumberland on Herding Hill Farm. Owned by a lovely man, Steve and his family it’s a fairly new enterprise for them and the wigwams with their own hot tubs haven’t arrived yet so we were in the basic ones but heck it was good. Wooden structures, benches and a wee table and then the benches form the beds (Paul was having a disco kip one day on the bench there) and they are cosy and warm and pleasantly different. We do camp generally for our holidays but over January and in the wind and rain that we have been having that would have been very hard work. These wigwams are cropping up all over the UK, I would recommend them.
So I have buckets full of slip at work that I sieved before the holidays and it was crying out to be used so today I plunged in and got some pots decorated. That’s good to be back at I can tell you. I have a large bucket of thin black and a bucket of trailing black still to sieve if there are any volunteers for that job just come around.
These dishes are about 12 or 14″ diameter I think, they look considerably
smaller than when I threw them, I think the walls have straightened themselves up quite a bit. (That reminds me that’s one of my new year’s resolutions actually, posture posture watch my posture.)
The guardian sheep of Haltwhistle
There’s an old tile / brick / pipe works that we walked past one day, someone who shall remain nameless though you’ll probably guess that it wasn’t Paul was picking up shards of pots all along the footpath for a while and then we came across this. Even with much polite enquiry and cajoling and then almost begging the guys here could not be persuaded to part with any of their few dozen tons of fire bricks that were stacked around the yard quite obviously doing nothing of any use what so ever. “Oh no dear they’re not what you’d be needing”. Humph!
White slip background, black and Hollyford
We were staying right on the edge of the National Park and very close, maybe a half mile or so to Hadrian’s Wall. Of course we walked a chunk of it one day. This great geological structure is a part of the Whin
Sill, it’s a dolerite from the Carboniferous period that covers vast stretches of north-eastern England.
And here’s a bit of the wall for you. This is one of the best preserved parts of Hadrian’s Wall. Unfortunately
I didn’t see any fine Roman shards around, not even sticking out of the myriad of molehills that were around. Plenty of clay though trying to suck my boots off my feet.
It’s going to be a funny old year I think. I have no idea what to expect, it sounds if you listen to the news it’s going to be hard hard hard for those of us who make things that are not absolutely
essential to most people’s lives. I like to think though that the doom and gloom merchants are just that as they do struggle so hard to report good things. I didn’t get into Earth and Fire at Rufford
this year, really hoped I might just manage it. After having done it last year and getting on OK I was really hoping to try to get some sort of continuity, ho hum, never mind
, maybe 2013. And I get really frustrated
because I have so little opportunity to see some of my potting friends and that’s another that I won’t see them at. I did get a place at Potfest
in the Park again which is great and I am looking forward to that already. Nice weather please be here by then. The list for Potfest
in the Park is up on the website now if you want to whet your appetite for the end of July’s potting festival.
In the mean time I have some big plates to make for a National Trust property, some pots for a trip across the seas to the Tokyo Art Fair and also at Gallery St Ives there in Tokyo. I shall not sadly be accompanying them though mores the pity. Possibly some big plates and big fat jugs for a project in Dumfries
just waiting for confirmation on that. A shop to stock in February and Spring Fling
of course which this year is the first weekend in June rather than the last weekend in May.
Book your trip for that now, it’s the ten year anniversary Fling.
Phew! I’ve maybe missed something but that is quite plenty to be going on with for the now I think, even a bit daunting as I sit and type it out. well it is getting late now and I think I should be in my bed listening to the wind making some un-discoverable thing whistle like a telephone outside the bedroom window.
Welcome to 2012 everyone and lets all have a good un. I’ll see you again soon.
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