Thursday, 28 October 2010

salt kiln firing

My foreman! Grey cat on a little grey Fergie.

He supervised my shelf cleaning at friends' salt kiln

receding light

Mynydd Llangynidr at about 7.15 am, last Thursday morning and this morning.

Last week was cold and frosty, today was warm and mild.

Add the fact that it is half term holiday in Wales and you get a half-decent day at the market.

We're all hoping that it is half-term elsewhere next week and we'll still be busier!!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


Sheep sales are down, so my bill-paying job ends after next week, until the Spring.

Which could mean May 2011.

I need to make the Right Pots and get them selling in the Right Place.

Or find a Patron of the Arts.

Or win the Lottery.

Self Employed Tax Credit will do for 3 months, if it still exists. The government seems to want more self employed people- then we are not on the statistics that they don't want. So it might still exist....for a while.

A rich husband is also an alternative.

I had the offer.

I prefer Mountain Man. I love him.

We are Us.

Sunday, 24 October 2010


Proper planning started for the next salt firing yesterday.
Kiln shelves sorted for cleaning and new batwash.

I came home and mixed more of our basic Shino glaze, I need to make some slip with AT ball clay and do some glazing today.

Also some throwing....and garden tidying and digging if not too wet....also the house is untidy and not sorted and Daughter would like to come and stay in December.........

Meanwhile The Carpenter is assisting The Oily One put a different engine in The Wizzard's car....over in Derbyshire. I hope they do finish it today, otherwise there will be even less progress here.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


Off to a business meeting again at Taste of Enterprise-

Then delivering candlepots, candlelamps and two reindeer to Form in Blaenafon, then half a dozen espresso cups and saucers to Llantarnam Grange in Cwmbran.

Llantarnam Grange chose quite a few pots on Monday as well and I discovered that they also stock the World Heritage Centre in Blaenafon.
So my work is spreading.

Panic reigned last night as we realized that the closing date for submissions to "Earth and Fire" in Rufford (Craft Potters Association exhibition) for the Associate members' stand is THIS Friday.....which means getting things on CD as well...The Carpenter is liasing with Daughter.

I really need to learn to use the Carpenter's camera. Yet another thing to do.

Sunday, 17 October 2010


Well cooked! (cones 8,9,10)

Two for the price of one?!

candle lamps
espresso cups
English Translation!!
Mini jugs

I'm quite pleased with this firing. It did use more gas (Propane) but 4am start was cold and the rest of the morning wasn't a lot warmer. Plus the fact that the kiln was a fairly solid pack!

a week's pics

Keeping this bit dry....
up on Twmbarlwm
Looking over the River Usk to the old Art College in Newport. A beautiful building with marvellous light-at least it will be swanky apartments instead of being demolished
Tide vs River. Tide winning
Autumnal colour

Dappled cow for dappled sun
A youngster with a smart Winter coat on the way
More ploughing!

Kiln Opening

Still no lead, so no photos yet!

The kiln fired well! Only two slight seconds, one of which will do with a bit of rubbing down.
The other I blew too hard and too soon to clear piercings in a candle lamp! (so the glaze is thinner there but ok)

So here is hoping that Form will like some of them and that I can sell the rest quickly!!

Off for a spot of weeding before lunch, meeting a sports physio friend whim I see too infrequently, then on to the South Wales Potters' AGM.....I want to meet the potters, but I could do without the meeting!!
Having been on the committee of North Wales Potters for about ten years, including being treasurer for eight, and treasurer of the Aberystwyth International Potters Festival once.....
I know that organizations need organizing, BUT!!!!

Still. it is a bright, crisp, cold day so let us enjoy :-)

Saturday, 16 October 2010


The kiln is down to about 500 degrees....I was going to post some photos from the past week.....

but I've tidied my lead too well!!

Go and do more tidying....I might find it...and lose something else!!!

Friday, 15 October 2010


Starting to get things in galleries next week-
Form in Blaenafon , Christmas Decorations
Llantarnam Grange to change/add stock
Cric in Crickhowell for the South Wales Potters Christmas exhibition, if I can surmount the paperwork!!
Possibly something in Tenby....

I wish it wasn't all Sale or Return....but at least it will be Out There.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Market Day

Three sheep.

Ho hum. The low cloud/mist today was decidedly chill.

On the plus side, I was given a paraffin lamp to restore. The glass goes up and down , so does the wick, so that is a good start!!

That will come in handy for winter powercuts!!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

meeting update

I am doing things right!!!!!

It is SUCH a relief when someone who knows about paperwork and business tells you that.

They also have a gallery/shop, so now I have stock in Taste of Enterprise in Ebbw Vale.

Must repack stock for tomorrow's market...and hope for a good day as the forecast weather is good.


Today I have a meeting with an organization which helps small businesses-they are supposed to be helping them BEFORE they start....

but I'll see what they have to say anyway. Could be very useful.

Meanwhile I have a kiln that should have been fired last week and could have been fired today.

Everything seems to conspire to make progress slow.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Abergavenny Market

I had hoped for a bit of sun today, but at least it didn't rain. The cloud level stuck at about 1000 feet, and it hung around all day!!

The market was well filled by traders- it is always bad to see empty tables as it puts off the customers. The town wasn't especially busy, however most people I spoke to had, like myself, a reasonably profitable day.

When I returned, the Oily One was further cleaning his car- hopefully sold and to be collected within the week. Then The Carpenter returned from a good mountain ride.

So everyone should be in a good mood!!

Friday, 8 October 2010

wasted day

Today I lost my temper with The Carpenter and upset myself.

Why is it that people wont listen and get a move on with things unless I do?

Wouldn't it be easier just to do something small that I've requested, rather than leave me asking more than once...then accuse me of getting at you, and saying you want to be left alone.

I only ask when I NEED help. I do much more than other people would bother to do.

I like to be independent and get things done, but sometimes one cannot, without help.

So I have not cleared the untidiness in the workshop and got on with glazing. I have not gardened. I have done washing, drying and ironing- but that does not count!!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Hay Today

Today for the first time I had to use headlights on the car as I started for Hay. Then over Llangynidr Mountain it was foglights front and rear going through the cloud! Down into the valley and I just left the sidelights on (it's a French Volvo....honest!!) Coming over from Llangors to Talgarth you could see that the Wye Valley was full of clouds of mist, and see the top of it 'boiling' in the sun.
By nine o'clock it had burnt away, but the locals were thin on the ground, and the Americans left over from the Ryder Cup were there in fair numbers, but not spending.

Total sales, two mugs, on their way to Pontypridd!!

However my weekly day at Hay gives me thinking and planning time. I am trying to work out how to price my work, as well as where to take it.

Not an easy task.

Meanwhile, Hay has some beautiful corners and lanes.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

salt glaze pots

This is what came from the latest firing, and the next is planned for early November
testing "Old Yeller" (left) and "Shaner's Red" (right) on the salt firing.

All being well, there should be new pot photos on my website very soon. (Daughter's Twins permitting!)



Hay and Holidays

Clock tower at Hay
Pony , Mynydd Preseli

Sunset on the way home-but this doesn't do justice to the true colour- it was a bright yellow and a vivid red!
Home to a steaming allotment

Monday, 4 October 2010

holiday's end

The break was greatly needed, and it was lovely to get back to a decent bedtime with less traffic noise and fumes, followed by nice early mornings.
The Twins are good and growing well, three months old and the next step is Teeth!

Daughter and myself went down to Pembrokeshire in convoy, and at our friends we met a baby girl (and parents!) who was born the day before the Twins, in John Seymour's old home. (he of Self-Sufficiency fame).

At the end of the afternoon Daughter went back north and I headed east, via Carmarthen, Llandeilo and Brecon to home. Shorter than the Motorway route and much more enjoyable.

Unfortunately the Carpenter and The Oily One had the house in a worse mess than usual.

If I could, I would have gone elsewhere

Saturday, 2 October 2010


I headed to West Wales after the market at Hay.

I'm staying with Daughter and family for a much needed break, which includes babies-sitting The Twins and helping her photograph pots.

At this moment they are out at one of the village pubs, which is to close soon.

At least it has another and a garage and a shop/post office as well as a school and a book publishers. However it has just lost its pharmacy/equestrian supplies and you can see where at least half a dozen shops have been turned into houses over the years as work in the area declined. I think that the woolen mill last worked in the late 1960s.

Tomorrow we go visiting friends in Pembrokeshire before I head back, hopefully re-energized and inspired.