Monday, 31 May 2010


The water board reckons there is nothing wrong with our water supply.....

I use a water filter jug!! I don't like the look of this and using the jug makes it taste acceptable.

How many of us take water for granted?

I've been busy...

Reflections from glass on a hot pavement.
I've had one of those weeks when potting has got a bit squeezed out, partly because I'm trying to work out why things happened.
The bisque went well, turned off at mid-day, then had the workshop doors and windows wide open until 10pm to let out the heat .
new bowl shapes
with blown off footrings/feet. I thought they were dry enough. Could be the kiln went up to fast. I have lowered the bottom shelf to just above the flue exit. Maybe this will make it more controllable. It adds 2.25" vertically to the packing space of the kiln, anyway!!
Cracked slip. Could be that it only likes being relatively thin on this clay body. I'll be glad when I get my second wheel so that I can do red clay again!!
Cracked bottom kiln shelf...not sure why. I moved the two parts so that you could see the crack better.
Indeg looking after daughter. The bump between them is The Bump...36 weeks and counting...I don't think she will have to wait too long for them to arrive.....
Sunday afternoon we spent four hours walking, checking ponies and foals. Two mobs found (of 9 and 11)
A good bilberry patch!...We've noted this and a couple of others. Lets hope we're not to busy when they are ripe!!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

kiln firing!!

Another Bisque fired!

I placed ceramic fibre paper- only 2mm thick- over both sides and rear of the kiln and around the flue that is inside.
It looks as if the kiln has used less gas and fired better. The test will be the next glaze firing.


byre roof
tollhouse doorstep, both at St.Ffagan National History Museum last week, after rain.
I have rigged up my waterbutt system, just needs connecting pipes and downpipes from the greenhouse gutters.....and some rain.....

Mountain Man commented last night that the weather patterns so far this year were as he remembered from 1976........

Saturday, 22 May 2010


Busy doing bits and bobs.

I have enough pots to fill the bisque firing now, as soon as they have dried in the sun!
I'm trying to make some less expensive pots that are simpler but still have my style. My front window now has a display of my work and my business card. No prices, so I can't be accused of running a shop and get stung for shop rates!!

The garden is coming along, things are growing well. The corn, squash and beans are up and growing fast!! The hottest couple of days have been and hotter to come.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010


I've gone back to throwing off the hump for a bit- it seemed a waste of time weighing small bits of clay for kilnfillers!

It is good to practice this throwing technique again and no batts to clean!

Sunday, 16 May 2010


Herb Robert (wild geranium)
cultivated geranium

I had reasonable day at Brecon Craft Makers' Market. There must be somewhere that will work for pot selling. I know that things are tight now, but how come people will pay more, and buy two small sheep, rather than a small mug or jug or plate????

I must take time to look at markets in other places. I enjoy Brecon though....

I collected Mountain Man from the northern end of Mynydd Maen where he had been photographing ponies. We went to Merthyr Common where they had been bred, to show the photos to their previous owner. It was good to talk with him and his wife, talking ponies and people, weather and cooking and markets.

Talking and tea drinking until nearly 10pm!!

Friday, 14 May 2010

a walk in the woods

Mountain Man taught me another path yesterday. It is in Cwm Gofapi, coming down from where he lives. But as he said, there aren't many alive now who remember this half of the path

looking back up to the fire road
and looking down to the next fire road down

coming down towards the light
almost at the lower road
a huge patch of oxalis (?)
the lower fire road
oak before ash?

looking back up Cwm Gofapi to Cefn Rhyswg

St Ffagans National History Museum


Is cold and damp!!

It is Mid-May!!!!

"Ne'er cast a clout till the May is out"....well it is blooming now and it is blooming cold again today.

I have planted out young onions today, as the soil is warming up well, despite the wind.
Carrots, Turnips and Swedes in too. It is a Root day today!!

Now I have retreated indoors to warm up again. The heating is off, as living in a stone house it retains heat well. As the main chilling factor is the wind, once out of that it FEELS warmer!!


Didn't start well.
Half-woke early, felt drained until 7
Next-door neighbour runs a cafe of sorts, and wouldn't listen to why the bin men had left her bins. I made the mistake (there were a few of us out taking our bins back in) of telling her politely why they hadn't. She listened to that. So her and her daughter have been verbally unpleasant.
If you buy a property and run it as a cafe downstairs and a flat upstairs, you budget for waste disposal, and recycling and property maintenance. Running a flash car and going on holidays regularly and opening limited hours (10-3 and Saturday morning if you are lucky) doesn't add up...unless it is a tax avoiding ruse..... not that anyone will say any of that, to her.

So I didn't make any pots. But I did garden most of the day. Then I went for a walk halfway up the mountain with my Man.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


A cold and frosty morning. Followed by a cold and damp day.

I started five minutes earlier today...and arrived twenty minutes earlier, without the fan kicking in. ( I think there is an airlock in the system somewhere). Why do people insist on tailgating in the lanes, when you are doing a reasonable speed for a lane/ small road and when there is nowhere to pull over and let them go past- mind you if you did they would blast away and have an accident and block the road for you..!!

Today I made yet more dragons!! I packed a kiln full of sheep (and six dragons) as well.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


I was up at six, basic housework and breakfast done, lunch packed.
The greenhouse had to be opened a little and small plants brought out for hardening off.
Then on the road by 7,3o.

It takes about an hour and a quarter, give or take five minutes, whichever way I go.

I hate being stuck in jams, and I don't like belting along at 70mph whilst people whizz by.....

So after a quick two miles down the valley bypass (easier and safer to turn off it at the roundabout than to cross it at the same place) I turn right and go up a lane- 1 in 4 for most of its length...mostly it heads straight up the side!! The hamlet here is called Ochrwyth which means Left Hand Side. Which it is, as you go up the valley!!
My route takes me through lanes until I reach Lisvane village in the North of Cardiff,and small roads for another mile to the village of Llanishen. That is two thirds of the journey, but takes only half the time.

Then I have my first Official day of Being Employed!! Just two days a week- all he can afford and all I want , to give me money AND time to do my own work !
I just wish it came without the driving .

I arrive home at nearly 5.30 and feel drained. I ought to have a cuppa and do something....but time disappears and it is now 6.50 pm, time to think of supper and shutting the greenhouse.
I need to make a shelf full of small pots that will dry quickly (and hopefully sell quickly!!)

Monday, 10 May 2010


The workshop is as clean and sorted as I can get it with what little space I have.

The dining room table is full with forty years worth of accumulated tools, bits and bobs.

These Must Be Sorted.

Yet another day of parts. Housework cleared by 9, gardening for a bit before braving the Jobcentre where I signed off, and persuaded the clerk to let me fill in a form to sign off, instead of me paying for a phonecall tomorrow! The form will go up the stairs to the next floor and be dealt with tomorrow...job done!!
Then off to the dentist and hygenist- teeth there, no new holes and given the ok and wash and brush up!! Relief!!
More gardening after lunch in Mountain Man's greenhouse. Bliss.

I am sieving and digging in compost from the biggest heap. This is urgent as all the other bins need to be turned into that one as soon as it is empty, and I have a compost caddy queue at home waiting!!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Abergavenny Market

Yesterday's display! The new pots are replacing the old, at last!
An interesting gate.

Today is a bitty day. I've done a bit of washing, a bit of gardening, had a bit of lunch, tidied the house a bit......

Now I need to tidy and clean the workshop a lot!!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Abergavenny Market

The weather was chilly and damp today, so the number of people visiting the monthly craft market was down, and many were not spending. I didn't do to badly, costs covered, but I was threequarters towards what I'd like as a minimum for a day's work out.

I did get an inquiry about commemorative mugs for a chapel, about thirty or forty....lets hope the committee approves!!

Friday, 7 May 2010

New pots

A sight I was glad to see!
The new shape jugs- Busty Jugs !!
This is my black glaze.....Hmm
and Iron reds are always fickle!! I just need to be braver and glaze thicker!!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

kiln firing!!

Firing finished just after 3pm. Now comes the worst bit- waiting until I can "crack the wicket" and peek inside.

lambing time

Real ones this time!!

The Maypole by Cilewent farmhouse.

what do I do with this?

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

More progress...

Firing tomorrow....if I can get up early enough!!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Pottery Progress!

Busy making glaze tests, glazes, and glazing pots....