Sunday, 3 January 2016

Heading into the unknown life as a potter in 2016.

Yesterday I spent 2 hours putting a blog together that was a look back over 2015.
Then I sat and read it before pushing what I thought
was going to be the "Publish Button",
but once I read it I decided to push the "Delete button"!

Life is short, and there just isn't enough time to make all the pots I want to,
plain simple ones like this Pancheon give me the most pleasure.

A quick look back over some old pictures and I unearthed this one
taken in 2014.
I am so lucky to be on the same stage as these fantastic potters
they spur me on to be the best ambassador for pottery I can be,
a very proud moment in my pottery life. 
 The workshop in early June looked like it could have been in Greece.
apart from the fact that those are Apple trees not Olive.
 My Demonstration at Art in Clay
proved to be a personal and business turning point,
I came away from the 3 day show on such a high.
Then of course was brought straight back down again!

But as ever my pottery friends gave me advice and 
my non pottery friends gave me a beer. 

 So Thank you to all of my followers
have a great 2016
What Ever it throws at you.
if you see somebody without a smile
give them one of yours.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

The Potters Cast Pod Cast

Back in September I recorded a Pod Cast
on the Potters cast
It has gone Live Today
It's a relaxed chat about how I got started
and my life.

You can listen to it here.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Pots are like people in so many ways.

I Have always said to my customers the reason people relate to pots in such a personal way is that pots are very much like people themselves.
The obvious things are that they have a foot a belly a shoulder and a neck.

But I think the reasons spread much further than that.
Some pots seem to speak to you straight away, These are the confident pots
often with something in common with yourself.

Some pots sneak up on you without noticing, then suddenly you start
noticing them and start smiling when you see them.

Some pots you never want to see again
and there's nothing wrong with that!
Others that you lust after belong to someone else.

Can you see where I'm coming from?
A few might shock you.

I know I've seen a few that make me wonder about the state of mind of the maker.
Those ones tend to be left on a shelf as you quietly walk past.
here again I can think of people.

The vast majority will go unnoticed and will go about their daily business.
But when you see a pot that lifts your spirits
and you feel a connection that's the point at which you should buy it.
Hand Made pots are one off's
it's not like buying something from a department store
when it's sold that's it.
there aren't going to be 10 more in the stock room.
and if there are then they won't quite be the same
as the one you saw first.
I try and convey this to people in my showroom, but it's hard
to try and not sound pushy.
God Knows the last thing I would ever want people to feel is pushed
into making a purchase.
To me it's all about the experience of buying a pot that speaks to you
as much as the pot it's self .
Buying from the maker is the best thing you can do.
So go on Break the mould this year!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Barrington Pottery is entering a New Chapter in it's white Knuckle ride.

We open on Sunday's as well as every other day of the week
It's about being open when visitors are around
and at the moment Barrington Court is closed in the week
and only open at weekends
until mid February 2016.
But I just Love having the workshop all to myself
during the week.
I can listen to the plays on BBC Radio 4.
Today I put my i pod on loud and just stuck it on random
from 495 songs Brilliant!

But it also means I can crack on with making more pots
without being disturbed. 

These Cider Beakers are a classic case of me just loving making pots . 

I've also found time to make these small storage jars with a handle.
I have a set of these I made years ago
on my shelf at home in the kitchen for Tea, Coffee and Sugar
They are great and I made them to show my visitors this week from Japan.

Here I am with Koi and Rumi from the Gallery St-Ives Tokyo.
who paid me a visit on Monday to discuss pots
for me to make for a new Exhibition in the gallery in April 2016.

Earlier in the week I posted this Picture on my Facebook page
and suggested that if you know someone that's just starting
to get interested in pottery and you want to buy them an inspirational
Christmas present
then you couldn't go far wrong by buying them
a good quality pot and an inspirational book!

But having reflected on this
if they are not into Country pottery, you would do better
to buy them a years subscription to Ceramic Review.
This covers far more bases and art forms using ceramics.
They do have an offer on at the moment of 1 Year for £38

This dish was a new design and it sold within 10 mins of being put on the shelf.
That's a nice feeling.

In Other News:
Tom from The Great British Pottery Throw Down
came to see us again this week
with some more pie dishes

I got to know Tom at Art in Clay in Hatfield in August this year
he was in the audience of my demonstration
" Your first 10,000 pots are your worst"
He's been improving his throwing skills by making pie dishes for us
for the past few months
and he's come on great.
he has his own web site with some great pots
( Mind you they are Stoneware! )
You can check him out here.

here are some of the bisc fired pie dishes.

He's not allowed to tell me how he's got on
in the show.
He's been a Major in the Army so I'm sure no amount of 
interrogation from me will make him spill the beans.
We shall just have to watch it and find out.
Personally I'm loving it.
Ceramics seems to be the big Buzz word at the moment
and that can only be good for us all.
Happy Potting.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Pottery on National TV BBC2

It's Sunday afternoon and I've just got back from the workshop.
I've had a good day today.
I've been making Pancheon's and Shallow Pancheon's

at the end of the day I decided to make a pot, just because I wanted
to make it.
When I'm at the wheel I always see other pots I want to make
and so today I just got on and made it.
It's 44cm wide and will have two large handles.

I'm very pleased to say that I have finally got to grips
with the big kiln, that was firing too hot at the bottom.
It means I can't just fire it over night, I have to be with it
to adjust the damper and the spy hole bungs. But I must admit
I do like firing it while I'm in the workshop.

My Harvest jugs are all now completed, I had kept them out of the kiln
until I was sure I could fire them OK.

and I've done a few Autumnal shots of pots in the showroom.

I love it when the afternoon sun starts flooding through the workshop
windows, so to make the most of it I cleaned them today.

 This week has seen the start of a New TV show on BBC2 about Pottery
They have called it the #greatpotterythrowdown.
There has been a lot said about it before it started, and a fair few
comments now it has started.
My View is plain and simple.
"Pottery is on National television and people are talking about it
that can only be a good thing".
This country has some very talented potters and I love being apart
of this vibrant and creative community. 

I make simple honest pottery and I'm proud to do so.
I'm self taught and haven't been on a degree course,
but that hasn't stopped me believing in my creative ideas.
the wording on these bowls pretty much
sums up the way I like to approach life.

The results from the last Glaze firing made me realise
that I have finally got to grips with the bigger kiln.

 I've added a few extra workshop shots, these
are Handles firming up before being fixed to the pots.
 and these are some new Casseroles I'm working on.
 This Honey pot is in the showroom at £30
I'm surprised it's still there!
 One of Our classic Pancheons glazed and ready for bread making.

Here is our old Gas kiln in the back garden
I'm hoping to fire it up again next year.

 I love the simple pleasures of being a potter, especially in the 
new workshop.
I love the way the sunlight catches and dances around the edges
of these large cups.
 I was very pleased to get the last batch of leaf resist jugs finished
and off to their new homes.
Time for a Beer down the local pub
The Barrington Boar.
have a great week and I'll catch up soon.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Barrington Pottery Mugs now showing in Japan!

Tomorrow see's the start of a new exhibition
in the Gallery st Ives in Japan.
It's only a small exhibition
but You can see some of the other potters
on the flyer and I was very pleased to be included.
This is the first time my pots have been seen in Japan
and I hope they are well received.

You can check out the gallery here.

I have already been asked to supply some more pots at the start of 2016
and I'm already making some new pots with this in mind.
My aim is to be able to make a visit to Japan with Marion at 
some point in the not so distant future.

If you have been following us on Facebook you would know that over the past
month we have been having Kiln problems
on a Giant scale!

at one point all three of our kilns had failed.
We had to wait for our kiln engineer to be able
to fit us in.
The big kiln I brought earlier this year
needed a new controller, sounds easy enough
but it is a 24 year old kiln and so it needed
to have a more up to date socket added.
which is something I couldn't do.
We finally fired it during the day so that I could watch it.
It is still hotter at the base than the top
but I can manage that to my advantage.
as they say 
" if it was easy everyone would be doing it"!.

So it feels like a bit of relief  that we are now able
to get back to full production, The showroom had very 
few pots left in it and we had very little to sell.
so Finances have become very tight at the moment.
Lets hope we get on top of the stock issues over the next few weeks.
and we have a good run up to Christmas.
Today we delivered some sample pots
to the National Trust for the new Spring collection.
and we have two boxes of pots to ship to Berlin
before the end of the week.
I still find it hard to believe that all this is happening.

 Time for a Crumpet.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

31 Day's of Madness at Barrington Pottery October 2015

We decided some time ago that when our new web site
is up and running we would offer an online promotion.
What we hadn't banked on was all three kilns failing in one week!
Never Mind we soldier on
and our offer still stands.
In October 2015 we are offering free post and packing on all orders
placed for UK mainland delivery.
Just to emphasize this I've added some of our 
more bizzare pictures.
we do now actually have a log burner!

The above illustration is far to familiar to most of us.

Just to prove that pottery is some times just a bit to easy!

We Got to meet and talk to Prince Charles!

I may have had a Beer or two, or threee, or Fourrr.

and then we found the secret to life and all was well again.

well we thought so!

what kind of dam fool potter puts a sign like this in his showroom?

It had to be done! 

Then This happens

and to start to question your sanity.

I know this barn would make a great pottery!

and so it did. 

So to prove we are not as mad as we seem to be
Park up your speed boat

Put your feet up
and order those Christmas presents early at