Quick, build an ark.

Well it has rained pretty much solidly all day here in south-west Scotland, and even for us, for it to be this heavy and this prolonged is unusual. I am looking at Alan’s wood pile in the barn across from my workshop and working on plans for an ark.
Finally got around to decorating my harvest jugs today, well two of them, the third is on one side drying and it is going to be sgraffitoed. I went for a re-run of the original one with the oak tree. The second one, the one below I wasn’t as pleased with the shape of (Alan-Argyll Alan this time) and so the intention was to not spend much time on it and do something quick. Well for me it was pretty quick and simple decoration but I really like it. I don’t have plans for the sgraffito one yet, that’ll hopefully be done tomorrow. I slipped them all before lunch and they were all still standing when I left at half five this evening so hopefully these are made of stronger stuff than the last bunch.

One of my slip trailers has developed an intermittent wonk somehow and every now and again it sends a stream of slip flying out in a random direction. Thinking about it maybe that’s Alan tampering with my trailers in order to make me loosen up a bit. It’d certainly do the trick.
The private view for “Exhibition Four 08” is this coming friday at the Red Barn Gallery in Melkinthorpe, near Penrith. I won’t be able to make it which is a shame but I hope it goes well and I am planning to visit it at some point as I can tie it in with a visit to Blackwell House and their current exhibition “Fantasies in Clay: Martin Brothers Art Pottery.”

I’ve just been re-reading Lisa Hammond’s article in Ceramic Review, in fact she has two, both of which I found very interesting but for different reasons. The first is about the Adopt a Potter scheme that she is launching which I think is a fantastic idea. I worked as an apprentice for almost eighteen months with Jason Shackleton and if we had been able to secure any further funding of whatever sort I would have loved to have stayed longer. As it was there was a lot of bread and apples payment happening and Jason paid me what he could. I wasn’t intending to make pots of money (ha ha) so not getting a proper wage wasn’t an issue as long as I could survive and get to and from his place every day. I went to learn and nothing else mattered. However I was lucky in that my parents had recently moved away from Bolton to a small village only about 20 miles from Jason’s pottery and as a result I was able to move into their house, which was not at all the plan for either of us when they left Bolton but it meant I could follow my dream. They were and still are hugely supportive and it is probably only for that reason that I was able to work full time as an apprentice and still not starve. Lisa is trying to start a scheme where by she will gather a number of patrons to donate to a charitable trust which will go towards the basic wage of an apprentice. This is great I think. I would love at some point to take on an apprentice, it is fully my intention to do so and I have said this from the beginning. At the moment it isn’t feasible for a couple of reasons, one is the size of my workshop, it’s tiny and practically it would be impossible for two people to operate and produce work within the space. Secondly I’m not yet convinced that I know enough to be able to do justice to anyone that wanted to learn. That will come with time I think and I hope. I thought the Adopt a Potter scheme might be of interest to others of you that read this blog either in terms of becoming a patron or of becoming an apprentice.
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One Response to Quick, build an ark.

  1. I have read a bit in ceramic review about this adopt a potter thing and it sound brilliant to me! About time we had something like it as I know we wouldn’t be here without apprenticeships. (probably teaching art in some school some where not that there’s anything wrong with that it’s just not me).

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