Monthly Archives: August 2010

Maryport Docks Turquoise

Loved the colour of this boat moored at Maryport docks.  Mixed a turquoise, barium based glaze, which is opaque.  It worked particularly well over the iron rich slip, which emulated the rust leaching through on the hull.

Turquoise Barium Glaze with the iron rich Maryport slag slip underneath

Turquoise is good, but vessels is too plain and needs more work (a second firing I think at least)


Leave a comment

Filed under Experiments, Glazes, Inspiration

Crater Glaze

I’ve been interested in and trying to make a successful volcanic glaze for a while.  I found this fabulous crater glaze recipe in an old copy of Ceramic Review 141 May/June 1993.  It was described in a feature on James Lovera – ‘About the Individual’.

Lovera was an American Potter, best know for his bowls.  His glazes interpret nature, ‘lichen series’, ‘sky series’, ‘willow bark series’ or ‘molten lava and crater series’.  He was also fascinated by Japanese people and culture.  In the CR  article, he described the followed philosophy……

“I am trying to make a complete a statement as I can, as simply as I can.  Form, line, space, surface.  When you stop and think about it, it’s all there.  I feel that when an object is broken down into its basic elements and still leave its observer in awe, the underlying principles are at one with the universe.  The unknown is the element of the individual, the mystery”

Crater Glaze – Cone 10 (I fired to cone 9 oxidation)

China Clay     42 parts

Silica     43 parts

Potash Feldspar     159 parts

Calcium Carbonate (Lime)     78 parts

Titanium Dioxide     36 grams

Silicon Carbide     21 grams

Leave a comment

Filed under Glazes

Errmm….Hi Al, have you got an angle grinder?

Luckily he did, since all but two pots in yesterdays firing had welded themselves to the kiln shelves.  For some reason (this is a glaze I have used before and it didn’t happen last time!) the glaze ran off the pots during the firing and when I opened the kiln this morning, they were certainly not for budging.  After a severe beating with a wooden stick, some came free willingly, others came free leaving large chunks of the foot-ring still stuck to the shelf and one poor soul is not going anywhere…he is now part of the shelf…no amount of beating or grinding is going to set him free.

By some twist of fate, the only pot in the kiln that mattered came out unstuck and unscathed. A lily bowl commission for a friend’s wedding gift, I don’t actually know the bride Janet…..but I feel like I do… I very much hope she likes it…when she finally get’s it.

Am pleased with the results of some of the slips, especially the Maryport slag.  This may need a second firing, but the iron in the slag has done magical things with the turquoise glaze.

The crater glaze is amazing… it….will be brilliant over black slip.  I have been carrying the bowl around with me all day….I can’t believe it, something that came out of the kiln like it was supposed to…in fact much better than I had thought….may even tuck it under my pillow tonight…or is that taking things a bit too far?

"Help....I'm Stuck!!"......" ain't going nowhere!"

ha ha...I'm free, but oh no...I have shelf stuck to my bottom....

That's it....get to work on my bottom with the angle grinder...gently now!

Lunar Bowl. Love this crater glaze (more on this later)

Maryport Slag pot

Lily Bowl commission for Janet's wedding pressie

Vase with Stoneycroft Ghyll Slip

Leave a comment

Filed under Glazes, Kiln Firings, Pots

Green Fingers

Everything is busting into life in the greenhouse.  The chillies look amazing and I am really pleased with the butternut squash as these started as dried seeds from a shop bought squash.

Just need a bit more sunshine now so that everything ripens…..forecast not looking good for tomorrow.

Chilli Peppers

Sweet Peppers

Birds Eye Chillies

Butternut Squash



Leave a comment

Filed under Garden

Food For Free

Food for free always tastes better. Apple and Blackberry Pie for tea – Yum!

Ok had to pay for pastry, but got recipe for the shortcrust from new Be-Ro cookery book that arrived free from Grandma in the post yesterday…..So that counts!

In fact, I learnt to bake using the Be-Ro Cook Book, so I think it deserves a link.  Thanks Be-Ro for some great, timeless and faithful cake recipes.

Blackberries from Ellisfield

Apples from garden

Yummy Apple and Blackberry Pie

Leave a comment

Filed under Cooking

Bedlam Bottom

Walk from Ellisfield via the delightfully named Bedlam Bottom, near (would you believe) Farleigh Wallop.  An 8 mile varied walk with plenty of interest, including dung beetles, short-tailed voles and a run away straw bail.

Didn’t meet, see or hear a single person all day….at one point we thought there must be something going on that we didn’t know about.  Doesn’t matter that everyone else wasn’t out enjoying the sunshine and fresh air….all the more for us.  Picked over 1kg of blackberries on the way back which will soon disappear.

First crop of runner beans for dinner….yum!  and more courgettes (and I have already seen another 3 on there which will need eating tomorrow…not complaining, but if I turn into a courgette!!)

Farmer Palmer...

Anything hiding in the wood pile?

Phew...think I'll just have a quick sit down in the shade...

Glorious rolling fields that have just been harvested

The one that got away....."humm....where did you come from"?

Great texture on this water trough

'Preston Oak Hills' Large old copse full of twisted oak trees.

Dung Beetle, scuttling away with a large lump of fresh dung to roll.

Short Tailed Vole (my my...what big fingers you have!!)

A blackberry bonanza. Most blackberry are not quite ripe, but these were on the edge of a large south facing field.

Enchanted pond in Ellisfield

Leave a comment

Filed under Out and About

Not a contour for miles….

Walk on the beach at Bracklesham Bay, West Sussex.   The cloud seemed to forming above our heads, although we didn’t get wet luckily.  1/2 mile out to sea and we would have been basking in sunshine.  The Isle of Wight was certainly soaking up some rays.

Walk made all the better by some home-made egg custard tart (another first), nice one Delia, but think the pastry needs some attention.

I’m sure one of the houses directly on the beach was featured in C4 Grand Designs.  The one with 2 arty blokes who lived together and had a house full of amazing collectable contemporary artwork.  Should have taken a picture but at the time it seemed a bit weird to be photographing someone elses house.  I’m sure if I watch More4 for a few weeks, it will be repeated…….

Mountain dog didn’t need her hill climbing legs today.  There wasn’t  a contour to be seen in any direction for miles and not one marked on the side of the map at all.  The fields of corn, wheat, potatoes are vast, as were the courgettes…and I thought we were being kept busy harvesting courgettes off only 5 plants…..blimey, these fields had a troupe of EU ravers collecting the booty.

Now they are putting the growers name/farm and location on the packaging of vegetables in supermarkets I will have to look out for them.

Brought home some strand line treasure which I thought I could use to incorporate some texture into my pots.  Bit of wood with holes in it, remenants of a battered plastic bread crate, and a rusty bit of steel.  Will these objects look so appealing when sitting in the Potting Shed rather than poking out of the pebbles and seaweed?  Julian just raises eyebrows…junk indeed….but when his back is turned, I tuck it in the side of the rucksack….ha!

Egg Custard Tart....oh Yes!

Not a contour for miles!

Not in this direction either. You can just see Selsey Bill on the right hand side, in the distance. (Thought I had cut it off....but it sneaked in there)

Courgettes Galore!

Leave a comment

Filed under Out and About