Winter art markets and roast chickens

 My son James has been staying with me for the past month. He has come over from New Zealand for Christmas plus New Year and has unfortunately gone down with  a rather bad cold, so I thought I should at least dose him up with a cold and flu remedy before I did the Salisbury Artisan Market on Sunday (4th Jan). 

Having fed him a June 2011 dated Lemsip and very hard cough lozenges - also miles out of date - I drove to the market and set up.

I usually throw pots at these markets. It means I don't look at the passing public to pleadingly and can be a cause of amusement or conversation depending on there point of view and at least I'm making more work. However Sunday was bloody freezing. The clay I brought with me and water from the onsite tap were very cold and having been on site from about 8.00 my hands had lost all feeling by about 10.30. 

At this point I thought a visit to the local supermarket to buy more Lemsip and try an thaw out would be a good move. I found the Lemsip OK and was on my way to pay when I saw the fresh cooked hot food counter and thought maybe a hot spicy sausage or chicken wing would warm me up.

At this point I should say I'm not proud of my actions, but a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do. I picked up a sausage in a bag - it was lovely and hot, i was just putting it back thinking I should support the local food traders on the market when I saw the roast chickens................

They were so warm and my hands were so cold. I spent the next 10 minutes thawing out my hands almost hugging the delightful hot little things. I was there so long that one of the security guards was watching me suspiciously as I warmed my hands. So I paid for the Lemsip and legged it.

I went back to the market sold sod all all day and went home frozen. I stopped throwing pots after another hour 'cos I couldn't feel my fingers again.

And the moral of the story?  Always take a flask of hot water with you so you can heat the water you throw with, or find a warm bird. (I just put last bit Debs because I thought it was funny x).

Raku teapots and tea bowls

So, what a brilliant month!  I joined a Raku course with Andy Mason @ the Art Centre in Salisbury.  2 years ago I did the same thing and found it quite unpredictable and elemental especially in the firing of the finished pieces. The throwing and turning of the clay I have control over but the firing - no way. Admittedly the work is porous and not as strong as stoneware but it certainly has its place.


New Ideas

Had an interesting week making teapots with Julie Ayton.  Not sure if I really want to make a lot of them but there is something rather satisfying abut throwing and assembling the component parts. I have bases the bodies on ginger jars and use a tubular handle. I really need to investigate the relationship between the body,  lid and spout to come to a comfortable scale. These are a few in porcelain and white stoneware that have been biscuit fired and are ready for glazing.

Nothing New

Ok, so at the same time as the Debs balancing pic I also photographed the north porch arch and the windows and by inverting the images - well.

I don't know if you have read any of the supporting text on the website but I do have this thing about finely balanced vessels especially in porcelain - I know calling them vessels can sound a bit pretentious but I get a kick out of throwing delicate and unnervingly fine based pieces.

Debs Balancing and John Maine

Just walking through Salisbury Cathedral close on an early sunny-ish Sunday morning looking at the latest exhibition - John Maine's "Sanctuary". Saw the piece below and thought following on from the stone balancing a bit of Debs balancing was called for.

I really like this piece, it is very grounded and appears to burst from the earth, forcing its way into the light, cutting its way by a slowly rotating  screw thread.  I think its fair to say that the sculpture is placed and does not extend much below the grass which grounds it even more.

So on that note I took a photo and flipped it so the sculpture is balanced on its point and it then becomes a completely different piece, in tune with the world war one commemoration - an artillery shell about to penetrate the earth and explode with catastrophic effect.


Portland & Pots

Just had a few lovely days on the Isle of Portland, fantastic weather , good company and just the right amount of  Prosecco.

Had a great time and on the beach and I had a go at stone balancing again - something I used to do ages ago with my son, and it set me thinking. Could this be why I love the finely balanced gravity defying form that un-nerves the eye and is reflected in some of my ceramics?

Portland below the cliffs.





Why do I waste my time?

Ok, so it's Saturday about 3 in the afternoon and I'm sat @ the computer updating the contact details on the website so you can copy and paste my email rather than trust the online form. Something that really is a luxury. I have pots to throw, glaze and fire. Yet I sit here convinced this is a better use of my time.

What is the matter with me, surely I recognise the classic displacement theory that has lead students over the years to create fantastic colour coded revision schedules rather than revise, or those of us preparing for a show, to tidy up, hoover the house, then wash and even iron clothes, sheets etc. - yes I do that too.

There must be an inner compulsion of a semi destructive nature that leads to this course.......... Anyway enough for now I have socks to pair and a CD collection to categorise by colour - I am an artist after all - before I even think about touching clay........