Friday, 30 April 2010

Another day

With rain.

At 2am the rats were scratching and gnawing in the eaves above my room.

So I knock on the ceiling and they stop, eventually....and you lie there for an hour expecting them again.....and they return at 5am when you've managed to sleep again!! Aaaargh!!

It appears they travel along the terrace this way and although the council Rat Man has an idea whose property is letting them in, you have to prove it. Some people wont admit to a rodent problem either.

So the council was phoned and Bob The Pound turned up!! He is doing holiday relief for our Rat Man. It was nice to meet him. He farms in the next but one valley westwards, and has just finished lambing.

Three bags of leeks are in the freezer, leeks in cheese sauce last night and Leek and Potato soup on the way any minute now.
As it was wet I've been playing "catch up" in the house, so a double batch of Lime and Lemon Cordial has been made and bottled and is awaiting sterilization.

Now the rain has stopped for a bit it might be time to go gardening again-hunt the slugs time after the rain!!

Thursday, 29 April 2010


Nice, soft,steady rain.

OK, so the weeds will be growing fast too....but that means more compost!!

I'm sitting here busy wasting time on The Carpenter's computer.

On the windowsill behind me Teigar Cat is curled up and busy snoring.
She snores louder than Mountain Man!!

I have Leek Soup to make and freeze and leeks to freeze. MM's garden is looking full so we cleared a row of leeks to make way for a row of carrots.

I have a kiln to unpack and repack and more pots to make.

My get up and go has stopped. I think this calls for a good cup of coffee and a large double chocolate cookie!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


and still not much rain. Bank Holiday next Monday....I guess we could have rain then!!

Kiln Opening

We made it! I fired until the cone tip pointed horizontally- 995 degrees on the pyrometer.
So it looks as if I've got bisque firing sorted. One more bisque, for which I need to do a little making, then it is onto the first glaze firing in this kiln.
The cone in the background is one from the first firing- so I think we can say that cones do measure heatwork not temperature entirely. However it will be useful to put them in different corners of the kiln in subsequent bisque firings just as checks. (and saving the unfired cones for the front)
The new jug shape is still looking good!

Monday, 26 April 2010

kiln firing!!

I'm sitting here trying to keep awake!

The kiln has nearly reached temperature (1000 Centigrade) for a bisque firing. I just need to hold it back a bit and keep the temperature steady to get an even temperature throughout the kiln.

The computer isn't the only thing around here sporting an 'L' plate!!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Market day!!

Today was the first day of a weekend Craft Market at the visitor centre to Cwmcarn Forest Drive.

I had a fairly successful day-roll on tomorrow!

The weather seems set fair again so sales could be good.

Now off to shut the greenhouse for the night while The Carpenter and the Oily One start on making supper :-)

Friday, 23 April 2010

evening visit to the allotment

X marks the spot? With what looked very much like bands of dust in the sky
The greenhouse is full! The breezeblock base for the greenhouse extension are down and levelled (with a run to the far end so that rainwater flows to the water butt)
Looking down on the stream at the end of the allotment
and up to the Moon.
It is still dry and dusty and still at or below freezing by night.

lambing time

doors walls and floors

Thursday, 22 April 2010


The Carpenter has re-started work on the kitchen! One wall cupboard up, but now we wait to get an electrical socket moved before more progress can be made.

Last Saturday's market at Brecon was better, but needs to be at least twice as good. Everybody wants a potter at their market! I'm trying to work out what I have to make to sell enough!!

I need to do a batch of fettling and pack the next bisque firing.
I need a bigger share of the workshop-be honest, I need it all!! The Carpenter is reluctant , but I can't say too much whilst there is kitchen AND bathroom progress. I have been offered a secondhand Leach kickwheel in good condition at a reasonable price....he thinks that I am just being acquisitive!! He doesn't yet see it as a tool I will use...would you throw with white and red clay on the same wheel?!!

Meanwhile the housework and gardening continue. We need some steady rain now....but at night, please!!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

St Ffagans National History Museum

I had a beautiful day here today.
This is the newly re-erected barn to Kennixton Farmhouse from Gower. I've enjoyed seeing the thatchers at work on the barn roof and also mending the farmhouse thatch.

The only plane noise was one propellor driven plane leisurely crossing above. Unfortunately the wind changed and we could hear the motorway link road.
The air was clean, birds singing, and there is a good display of Ewenny slipware at the pottery.

The pottery at Ewenny itself, near Bridgend was founded in 1610 and is now being run by the ninth generation of the Jenkins family (Caitlin).

I can't find any older working pottery in I'm sure someone out there will know!!

St Ffagans Museum

Monday, 19 April 2010


Look at the colour of the cloud above the skyline

You can hardly see Twmbarlwm through the murk

When you think that this "ash" cloud isn't really ash, but supercooled fragments of rock- very like some glaze materials that I have in my workshop. When glaze mixing I use a mask so as not to breath in the dust.....


Sweet cherry blossom at the allotment garden (digging all done, need some rain now)
pear (Concorde) nearly out
tulips and grape hyacinths
wood anemones (remember hearing "wooden enemies" when a child and wondering what on earth they were talking about!) and celandines

Friday, 16 April 2010

Getting Architectural

The cut feet bowls have got bigger. I'm not sure about the feet, but they are coming along better. The first was a bit Gothic!
Perhaps I might try throwing a profile then cutting it to make feet. If Gary can do it for handles!!....
Wine cups and small bowls
A little light sgraffito, then some slipwriting to relax. (!?!)

Thursday, 15 April 2010


Meet The Oily One, with Teigar, his cat.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Market day!!

But not a lot of selling.

People say that they want the markets to carry on, but they wont if they don't put their money where their mouth is.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

true friends

Will still be here waiting and caring, when you've gone off in a huff.

Will say what they think, and see both sides.

Will welcome you back and nothing will need to be said

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


I have planted four beds of potatoes, and a row of carrots.

I have turned and cut a dozen bowls, stamped seven , slipped and decorated five.

I ache and an shattered!
However it is very satisfying and I wish for a proper workshop that isn't cramped.
At least I have a working workshop now!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Friday, 2 April 2010


My kickwheel was designed by David Ballantyne (1913 - 1990) of Poole Pottery.
It is called a Saviac .
S Search
A After
V Values
I In
A An age of
C Crisis

Quite apt, nowadays