Category Archives: Throwing



I’m potting in the rain
Just potting in the rain
What a glorious feelin’……

Yes, it is August and it is raining…! But I have been in the potting shed today for a mammoth throwing session….and it is good to be back on the wheel.

Full of ‘mountain inspiration’, I now have a selection of bowls, pots and mugs that are crying out for some creative glazing.  Newly invigorated with a 1970’s glaze book, I am determined to mix up some delights…..well, that’s the plan!

Also threw an absolute whopper of a bowl….assisted by my new friend…the hot air gun (liberated from the bottom of a box in the garage).  This enables you to dry the clay sufficiently, as you are going, so you can add new sections there and then without it collapsing, rather that waiting for a day for it to go cheese hard.  It was going so well, but then maybe I got a little ambitious and it flew off the wheel like Gene Kelly round a lampost.  I re-wedged the clay pronto so not to dwell on the demise of ‘bowl deluxe’ and turned it into something else…still made in sections….but not quite as large.  Know your limits!!!

Pots in the biscuit kiln too….interested to see what happens as I have made slips from the Maryport Slag and from clay collected from Stonycroft Ghyll.

Throwing the 'bowl deluxe'...just before it swung off the wheel and into my lap! It doesn't look that big in the picture....but you will have to believe was massive.....

The reincarnation.....

The drying shelves were looking bare...not anymore....


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Filed under Pots, Potting Shed, Throwing, Work in progress

Blimey….and the lid fits….

I thought I would try and reproduce the principles of a storage jar by Michael Cardew featured on the front cover of Ceramic Review in 1982.

It is thrown in three parts: 1. the main body (allow to dry for a while….or use blow torch!), 2. throw the neck as a separate component. Put the main body back on the wheel and attach the neck. 3. the lid.

I surprised myself by how relatively simple it was to do….and more amazingly the lid fits.  I just need to attach some handles now.  Admitedly the shape isn’t quite the same, his has a more rounded body, but the elements are there.

This is a definite throwing breakthrough.  Some of these pots might even be useful!

Michael Cardew Pot

Rachel Dance Pot!

Lid.....fits like a glove!

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Tagine (1st attempt)

One of the butchers at the farm shop asked me if I would make him a tagine.  Then there was Jamie Oliver’s TV programme from Marrakesh that focused heavily on cooking with Tagines (although not the ones with fluted lids)….so have been meaning to have a go at making one for a while.  Now I seem to be getting somewhere with the throwing, there is no time like the present.

On the design front, the cone shaped cover is supposed to act like an oven and the entire lid is totally sealed to retain heat and moisture.  The aim is not only to prevent it from drying out during the long cooking process, but also allows the slow infusion of flavours throughout the dish. The lid has an extended knob at the top which is designed to remain cooler and thereby act as a handle.

Originally it would have been made from earthenware, but I used grogged stoneware….because that is what I had to hand.

I think the rim of the cooking pot could have been thicker and maybe the whole think could have been wider or maybe the lid should be shallower with a smaller knob.  Not bad for first attempt though, at least the lid fits on.  Am getting some mileage out of my new galleried rim technique….how did I manage without it?!

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Progress on the wheel

Made some real progress on the wheel today.  Two reasons: 1. The lovely Cornish Clay is very soft and easy to centre (not like trying to manoeuver a hippo) 2. Learnt yesterday how to make a gallery on the rim to support a lid (easy when you know how).

Biggest bowl this kick wheel has seen (by me anyway) Probably the messiest wheel too!

Casserole Dish....with appendages (of course)

Handles and galleried rim

Gallery to support lid. Don't want to blow own trumpet, but am impressed by this...especially since the only tool you need is a plastic garden plant label.


Filed under Pots, Throwing

Throwing Weekend

Enjoyed an invigorating two days at Gareth Mason‘s throwing workshop last weekend.  Having been disenchanted and frustrated with throwing attempts in the past, expert guidance and some ‘potters tips’  on technique, meant my pots had come on leaps and bounds by the end of Sunday.  Found out I was centring with the wrong hand for a start….doh!

The idea of throwing pots in components is also interesting.  Ever wondered how those round pots with tall fluted necks are thrown…easy in 2 or more parts. Throw the first part….dry with gas flame, add next section…carry on throwing….. All sounds so simple.  Now have seen how it is done, will have to get on with putting it into practice.

Not sure how my leg is going to feel about moving vast lumps of clay on the kick wheel….Although I am a big fan of my kick wheel, electric wheels make so much sense.

Gareth demos throwing tall pot

...even taller pot

Boot full of Booty!

I was asked if the bowls are going to have feathers and ducks feet added to make Duck Bum Bowls……unfortunatley for the largest one, no.  I broke it trying to turn the base whilst resting on a bucket (another tip)….which I also need to get the hang of.  Duck Bummer!

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Filed under Events, Pots, Throwing

My Biggest Bowl Ever….

This beauty puts last weeks efforts in the shaddows.  Amazing what a bit of expert tuition can do.  After 2 full days of throwing, I think I’m suffering from land sickness (wheel sickness), my head is spinning, literally!


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Getting into it….

The day in the potting shed didn’t get off to the speediest of starts.  I have a long list of things to make, but the old faithful distraction tactics began creeping in.  I kept finding more interesting things to make than the things I should have been making.

I now have a whole family of duck bums, no idea if this is what people at craft markets are interested in, but I have really enjoyed making them.

Got on to the wheel eventually, I have found the key is to use big balls of clay, it will all get recycled in the pug mill, so it’s not being wasted.  Technique is much improved when you have more to work with.  Thinking though that the clay needs to be softer, I had to wrestle with it to get it centred, wet clay up to my arm pits….nice, good job only Flo watching. I am really looking forward to the throwing workshop this weekend and hoping that 2 full days of throwing will really improve my skills and make throwing pots on the wheel much less of an ordeal.

Biscuit kiln packed and ready for firing tomorrow…..there is a possibility that I may be ahead of schedule…..more by luck than judgement though.

Small Jar - Very chuffed at throwing the beveled rim

Salt Pig

The clue is in the name....'Salt Pig'....why not ears...and tail?

Duck Bum Family

Small...oh, only needs 2 feet!



Duck bum Colander....a step to far??!!


Filed under Pots, Throwing, Work in progress