Sunday, 6 April 2014

A Blank Canvas to work on.

When you look back over a year
some weeks tend to stand out rather more than others
I think this is going to be one of those weeks.
I shall start with some of the pots we have made.
I love pots when they are at the leather hard stage
this 17" wide dish is a blank canvas
and I stand looking at it thinking of all of the designs I could add
I have so many Ideas I just have to pick the one that I feel
will make the most of the shape & size of the bowl.
I'm stood here thinking I should have made 20 so that I can slip them
all in different ways.
This is what it's like to stare at a blank canvas but have 10
ideas running through your head.
it's all very exciting and a moment in life that only you can
live, this is the best part of being a creative person, having the belief
to do what is right by the pot.
Other people can appreciate the finished pot but as a maker
you have a unique bond with each piece.
Here is the other end of the spectrum
60 balls of clay weighed out to make ramekins
and the 60 completed in just over two hours.
This in it's self is a great discipline and a moment that you can really 
get into the zone and loose yourself in your work. 
As a Potter I find the time adding handles to be a strange place
because sometimes I love to just get on with it
but at the same time I want to be making more pots
and this time feels like lost time, if that makes any sense?
Marion has been trying out a new slip
these three bowls by Marion all have the same slip
but with three different glazes. 
I took a few days out of the workshop on Monday & Tuesday
to paint the front windows of our little cottage.

 Then on the Friday night we had a chimney Fire
and we were lucky not to loose the lot.
it turned out to be not that bad, but it gave us a scare.
 I said on my facebook page that some days you go out of the door
looking for inspiration and some days there it is staring you in the face. 
This was the sun on the statue across the road.
I love the shadow on the wall.
 We had a day when the light was just great everywhere you turned.
 and I finally took the plunge and started making bigger pots
this bread crock is made of 14lbs of clay.
 It looked like spring was here last week.
 So I captured some of it and put it in a jug.
 We had a very quiet day at the court today
but the Morgan owners club were in town
and I took this shot that I really thought captured the event.
I hope this gives you a flavor of what's going on in the workshop
at the moment.
Why not keep up to date with our Facebook Page
at the link below.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Jug Update

These larger jugs are approx 11" Tall
 The tall green jug has green slip inside the smaller one
only has it in the rim and outside. I find that some jugs just look better
with and some look better without.
It's all about the potters eye as to what makes a good pot.
 Tall elegant and simple these jugs make me smile.
 Again the taller jug 11" has slip on the inside
and a rustic quality that is rare in Electric fired pots.
Two blogs in one day
Time for a cup of tea.

Friday, 28 March 2014

A Quick Blog Pot update.

I realise that not everyone that reads the blog looks at my Facebook page
so here are some pictures of work that has
shown it's face on Facebook!
I've been making some larger platters.

 My quest to make more jugs is paying off
as two of these have sold already.
 These are the same jugs but with the sun shining through the round window
in the workshop.
 and here I am rustling up a quick batter mix in one of our small
Pancheons on Pancake day.
 This Jug sold for £45 in the online auction to aid potters in Japan
who's workshops had been devastated in the earthquake disaster
a few years ago.
 This jug is still sitting on the showroom shelf waiting for a new home
but I love this jug.

The large platter at the start of the blog finished
in what I call my
 "Cardew Style"

 and a second in a more traditional style.
 The small Pancheons are normally plain but I reserve the right to decorate
one every once in a while.
 and as a bit of fun 
I have some nice big jugs cooling down in the kiln at the moment
so don't be surprised to see a new blog very soon.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

2014 The Biggest Year of our Lives

The First of March
see's the official start of our 6th Year
at Barrington Court.

As the years have gone by, we have moved
along the building.
This was our first showroom back in 2009
as I look back at this picture
I feel as if we had this pretty much
spot on , I did like it.
But the workshop space was very limited
and the National Trust wanted to create
more workshops in this space below,
further along the building.
This room was a total of 5 bays long
Ideally I would have liked just 3 of
the bays, to double my workshop size
and give me the same size showroom,
But we either had to take it all or none.

So we set about changing this into the new all singing
 all dancing workshop & showroom.
With No Money, it was a big decision.
 But we got stuck in and in the end the showroom
which is in the picture above and below looked
Just what I wanted, the way I wanted it!
Then the NT gained the funding to replace the roof on the barn
at the end of our workshop
and in August 2012 a decision had to be made
Do we take it?
Of course we do!
It would give us the chance to grow,
with a separate school room, more
natural light, and the chance
to be able to fit in a bigger kiln.
There's not much that happens quickly
when your dealing with the NT.
And it was May 2013 before the barn was looking like this.

So we set about putting our stamp on it
We try and keep as much character as possible
in any area we live & work in.
And when a room has no character
we set about creating it
as we had to do in the School room.
Once again with absolutely no budget
to work with.

It works a treat.
And on the outside we have to keep it
as simple as possible.
It's proving to be a great space to work in
the natural light during the day
is just so nice for working in
and in the evenings the sun sets
are just a dream.
So here we are the start of year six
it's often been said that the first five years
of any business are the hardest
and more people go out of business
in the first five years, than at any other time.
But I feel as if I've found my feet
I Have a clear idea of the direction I want to go
and with Marion now on board,
and our wedding in August,
We Both feel that 2014 is going to be
 a good year for us.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Neglected Potters Wheel Owners, it's time you came out of the closet and headed to Somerset.

I thought I might  just ask what might seem a silly question
Do you have one of these you don't use?
How can you be so cruel ?!
Is it sat in a cold damp garage covered in dust & cardboard boxes
never seeing the light of day or a bowl full of warm water?
Is that oh so very comfy seat being neglected
never to have the delights of a warm bum sat upon it?
Has that 13amp plug just been dangling over the edge of the tray
getting in your way and taking up space?
Shame on you!
 Now is your chance to redeem yourself.

As ever we have no spare money to just go out and buy
two new wheels, but the pottery school is starting to get booked up
and one of our wheels has died.
We like this type of wheel but we are open to ideas
so if you can help
we are looking to obtain two more potters wheels.
So do yourself a favour make some room, get a bit of cash for it
and give us a call or maybe email might be better,
 it's a kind of dating agency for unloved potters wheels.
what could we call it?
what about,
Mucky ?
Ok Maybe not.

Monday, 17 February 2014

#OpenforBusiness@Barrington Pottery

The Somerset Levels has never had so much Media Attention
with the floods.
If only they would come back when businesses are
able to re open after the largest amount of rainfall in a Generation.
This shot from the air gives just a flavour of the extent of the flooding.
Luckily for us here at Barrington Pottery we have been able to keep open
and keep working.
The weather is getting us down a bit now, but at least we are not flooded.

The ladies in Barrington organised a coffee morning in the Village Hall
to raise funds for the flood affected people.
and they raised just over £1000.
We have been busy making stock and orders
and we have made a few changes to showroom
I finally feel as if i'm getting somewhere with it. 
Today is another day of rain, but this is about as bad as it gets outside our workshop.

 The Flue to the log burner is still leaking
and running down the pipe
but we can cope with that for now.

 Our Cottage has had a few close shaves with the flooding
but as yet we are still dry at home.

 I'm glad I put a new roof on the old workshop in January
and it's still there.
 Here are some of the new jugs in stock
Half Pint, Pint & Pint & a Half sizes.
 We have had the odd days with a break in the weather
and on one of these we stopped in at a church that had been recommended to us
by one of our customers
 Hornblotten church was just amazing.
and a little light relief from all of the misery of wet weather.
Anyway chin up wellies on
it's half term here and Marion is doing play with clay
this week 11am - 3.30pm
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday.
We have had to increase the price to £3 per person
but it's still good value and the kids love it.