Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Pottery requires Patience.

This year seems to be flying by so fast it's hard to keep it in focus!
On a plus note I've been very productive in the early months of 2019.

If you've been able to visit our showroom you would have noticed
increased stock levels.
I have been very focused this year on not only making pots
that I love to make but on keeping up a Professional standard
within our showroom and online offerings.

Our Online Business continues to grow and Marion's reputation
for excellent packaging always gets a mention in our 
online reviews!
An earlier visit to the Clive Bowen exhibition back in March
at the Goldmark Gallery 
gave me a boost of creativity, but I'm not one for copying
so it gave me a sense of freedom to continue down my own road.

I didn't get the chance to do a Ceramics Degree at a University,
the closest I got was an interview with Mick Casson
at Harrow back in 1978/9.
He said that at 17 my throwing was good but he felt
that I wouldn't be able to cope with the academic side of the course.
( I had failed my English 0 Level twice by then )
along with the fact that the average age of students on the course was 27.
He suggested I come back in 5 or 6 years!
Naturally I was devastated at the time, but as time has passed
I now believe it was the best thing he ever did for me.
I carried on teaching myself and developed my own style and learnt
what I needed to know about what interested me.
I dabbled in Stoneware in the early 80's
but by the time I was 23 I had a full time job selling ceramic tiles
to architects in London, a Daughter and a company car.
There was no way I was going to give that up to go and 
join a pottery course! it just wasn't even an option I considered.

So here I am 40 Years on
back to my first Love English Slipware Pottery
making pots in my own style how I want to make them!

I've always had plenty of patience, but my god it's taken a long time
to get to this point.

I seem to be making more architectural pieces for people
like this large sink for a new build sleek house.

But I still love to make my basic core range,
I do actually love the fact that customers walk into my workshop and buy my work,
for those of you who follow me on Facebook I know you might
think I'm telling porky pies, but I do.
It's only the few first thing Sunday that seem to wind me up
and in actual fact I love the banter we create on Facebook
as I know many of my fellow potters feel the same way.

Here's my wheel
devoid of any distractions on the back wall
but that's going to change ( watch this space )

Here are a few newer pots with a more relaxed approach!

The tall white jugs are a bugger to make but people 
have been swooning over them in the showroom!
The one second from the left went off to New York this week.

 While this two handled Pancheon is just sat in the showroom
waiting for it's new owner to walk in.

I didn't apply for any of the shows this year!
I struggle with issues of self worth on the run up to the shows it really
seems to have an effect on me.
So I thought I'd give them a miss this year and see if anything felt
any different by not having the shows to deal with?
And it has removed a lot of pressure off my shoulders so for this
year at least it's been a good decision!
Having said that we are planning to visit 
Earth & Fire on the Sunday.

We have always said that if we relied on just the visitors to Barrington Court 
to survive we would have gone out of business 7 years ago.
So in my next Blog I shall show off some of our Brand New Customers
that we have been making some exclusive pots for.
Have a great day
and thanks for stopping by.
PS: as you can tell I never did pass my English O Level

Thursday, 3 January 2019

I've Finally reached the Dark side of the moon!

I'm back on the Blog again and Why?
Because The Chinese have landed on the dark side of the moon?
No, because I have time, time to stop and think,
time to look back and reflect, and more importantly time
to plan ahead!
If you want to reach your ultimate goal
You need to plan ahead.
We love planning the year ahead, because we love to know how the year is going to pan out. (well that's the idea! )
We actually bought our 2019 year planner and diary back
in September last year!

Our biggest decisions have been:

A: Not to go on holiday for 10 day's
B: Not to apply for any of the big shows
C: Buy some more wheels for the school room
D: To offer a brand new service ( details to follow )
E: Write a diary throughout the year of our showroom

The reasoning for the above list
The last few holidays we've been on haven't quite gone to plan and we both said we could have explored more local areas and spent more time in our own home, which this year needs some new windows ( handmade of course ) and a new boiler! £££

The big shows are great but I get so uptight on the build up, that my simple pots are not good enough
that for us we have to make the harsh reality of adding up all the costs and deciding that yes we make money and yes we get to meet great customers, but we might just save a few bob.

Our school room continues to thrive with so many people coming for our lessons that have been recommended by friends. a small increase in spaces available will enable us to fulfill the ever increasing booking list.

I'm quietly excited about our new venture for 2019. We have close links with the interiors world as it's an area I spent most of my working life in before we started the pottery and it's putting that knowledge to the test that's going to be exciting!

And lastly I'm going to keep a diary on the showroom because we get such a mix of people through the door from the highly knowledgeable about ceramics to the utterly stupid
 " I can't believe their Human " How do they function type of people!
 and every time I go on a rant about them on my Facebook page the response is comforting.
So there's some mileage in that and at the same time it get's the frustration out!

But most of all I'm looking forward to making some very nice pots
Having more fun and feeling under less pressure!
Come on Visitors
I'm ready for you this Year!
Cue Pink Floyd

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Barrington Pottery 10 Years in the making!

This Year Barrington Pottery will become
10 Years old
It's been an incredible journey with some amazing
highlights, but it's not been easy!

I'm going to be selecting links to some of my Early Blogs to give a flavour
of where it all started.
I started with absolutely no money to back me up
and so to survive each month has been a challenge
that some months took me to the brink,
but a determination to succeed has led me to dig deeper
into my inner soul than I had ever thought possible.
I've been reading some of my early blog posts and I have been surprised
as to how open and candid I have been in the past about my thoughts.
It has led me to realise that the openness was something that I liked
and is what made the blog in the early days such an intriguing insight.

My first attempt at becoming a potter back in the early 1980's
failed due to ME,
 I can't blame anyone else, I was too young and inexperienced as simple as that!

It's amazing what a sheer determination to survive can do for you
combined with 24 years of experience in the contract sales market
that I have been able to use along the way this time around.
So here is the first of a series of blog links
that for me mark the milestones of my journey.
Thank You

Here is a link to the blog showing my first showroom in the back garden of our cottage.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Pottery is the New Yoga?

Earlier in the year one of my daughters sent me a link
to an article in Vogue magazine which stated
"Pottery is the New Yoga"
I can fully understand where this comes from as so many people that attend
our twice weekly taster sessions tell me it takes the mind away from
anything else they have going on!
it's a place to escape from the day to day life stresses.

So where does that leave Me?
To me the day to day stresses are the Pottery!
I have to find some other place to escape and for me it is my computer
it all seems a very backward world sometimes.

At the start of the year I stated that I was going to make large pots
in 2018 and to expect more from me!
Well it's been a bit of a mixed bag if i'm totally honest.
Teapots are new from me and I've enjoyed making them
and the response has been unbelievable.

As a warm up to a day's throwing I've been making small quantities of
my small sauce pots and ramekins
as these are regular sellers in the showroom. 
The jug here I think is one of my best ever!
it's nice when you look at a pot and it hits all the spots for yourself
it's a rare moment. 
 I have started on making bigger pots, Much Bigger
It may not look elegant at this point, but it is great to be challenging myself
to go bigger, It's all about self belief and that's my biggest hurdle.

I've been far more open to trying new things this year with  mixed results

This just didn't quite work for me, but someone asked if they could buy it!
But I know it didn't come out as I wanted!
How many of us have sold pots that we feel that about?
I probably shouldn't ask that! 
The standard stock items haven't gone away and luckily for me 
they continue to sell, but then they have remained at the same price
 for the last 6 years Time to put the price up?

My bigger jugs came out nice and in previous years I've held pots
back to sell at Earth & Fire and then not sold them at the show!
so this year people have asked to buy them and they have gone
to new homes.
Don't worry I'm making some more this week to take to the shows.

 Marion's Sgraffito work on my harvest jugs has been a great addition
 this year and I do enjoy making these little jugs.

 I wanted a plain big serving dish for the table at home.
 and This is what country pottery is all about for me
 This 18" wide dish now sits on our kitchen table at home
 On the bigger theme I've made some bread crocks
and had reclaimed oak lids made for them
but I have had very little interest in them!
Sometimes ideas work and fly off the shelf and sometimes
they sit around forever just waiting for the right person to walk into the showroom.
If pottery is the new Yoga
then this is one of those positions you don't 
do very often!
Thank You for catching up and have a great week!

Pottery requires Patience.

This year seems to be flying by so fast it's hard to keep it in focus! On a plus note I've been very productive in the early mont...