Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Yesterday was the hottest so far this year.

I drove to Halesowen to pick up a Pirate!!  He had come down south with friends who had collected a VW camper van from Fort you do!!

Most of the day was then spent resting, as ordered!   While they worked on bikes and on getting the engine to run.....

The bodywork needs a bit more....

and I didn't take a photo of underneath........but fun will be had achieving the desired result!!

Then a drive back to South Wales...I'm glad that we started later...and at 5.30pm we were NOT going on the motorways!!

We had a good drive back, with only traffic jams around Worcester.   We were too late to call on friends, so had a picnic supper by Pwll Lon Goch...Keepers Pond...and a short walk on the mountain as the sun set.

Monday, 23 July 2012

going to Eileann Siar..

Not me, yet, but a storyteller and artist, Rima Staines......go if you can...dates and other places in Scotland on her blog....

The shop she sells her work in, in Chagford, by Dartmoor is inspiring too...have a look!

stocking up

I've just increased the stock  with Gareth LLoyd Ceramics at St Ffagans Pottery in the grounds of the National Welsh History Museum near Cardiff.

The lamps and plaques are Gareth's work.

and course the sheep are there too!!

new clay

This is the new French clay, you can see how the colour, from vegetable matter, changes as it dries.   It fires to a pale creamy colour.    It is dug and sieved..that is all! I'm not sure if it has had a little grog added after that, as it does have a few issues with occasional larger pieces and some bits of yellow ochre.
However it throws, dries, turns and cuts well.
We'll have to discuss the economics of it later!!
 Grey cat guarding grey clay pots!!

These are the two pots that I had in "The Rocket"- apparently the jug was judged best pot in the firing!!  It has come out nicely I must admit. They were very kindly delivered to the Court Cupboard Gallery where I worked my duty day yesterday.

We didn't have too many visitors, despite the beautiful hot and sunny weather, but that did give me the time to put up a new stand with glass shelves and display a different selection of my work...and write out a new stock list!!    It looks good (sorry, I forgot to photograph it!) lets hope it boosts sales.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

firing The Rocket, South Wales Potters' kiln

On Friday afternoon, pallets were deconstructed
and much discussion and work under the tutelage of Stephen Mills, potter and pyromantic.  "This finger is loaded" he commented on the next photo!!
Others lit the kiln at 8am on the Saturday.
How else to potters heat water for brewing tea?!!
Stoking, Rebecca Buck and Mary Watkins of South Wales Potters.
Has it reached temperature?

Temperature reached at 5.15pm (and 1235 on the pyrometer) then damper in to "turn it off".
The kiln god worked!!..or goddess as six women fired this kiln!
and near the end of the firing, we had a visit from Frank and Janet Hamer, who are celebrating sixty years of potting together with an exhibition in August at Craft Renaissance Gallery.

bowls with holes

and some without...

Friday, 20 July 2012

too busy

We've been sorting  and tidying here...why doesn't it make much difference?...even though a few bin bags worth of rubbish has gone out!! It was something to do whilst my car was being checked and the rain still fell.

Thursday was spent travelling in the sun, getting or ordering car parts to finish the maintenance/service work on the car. At least I managed to catch up a little with an old friend too.

Today has been too full!   It started with pot sorting- those to change and freshen the display at The Court Cupboard in Abergavenny, others to go to St.Ffagans pottery and a third lot to travel with us to Scotland.  Hopefully some of the latter will be sold at a meeting on the way!!

Then to Court Cupboard, just to deliver the boxes of pots- sorting to be done on Sunday.
On to the friends' workshop I'm sharing, to fettle ten small bowls, and turn three others.  These were made with a different clay from France..and I'm liking it more and more!!
Three left to do on Sunday.

Yet more travelling to Gwehelog, where South Wales Potters are having a firing weekend.  This afternoon was mainly sawing/breaking up pallets for kiln firing!!
Batts had battwash painted and wadding mixed, cups of tea drunk with plenty of biscuits and homemade cookies!! 
There was a little sitting in the sunshine too.
I made my excuses and left early as they were beginning to sort pots to pack in the kiln. 

I'd run out of steam...and now I'm home and had supper, it is too late to make the promised cake...perhaps in the morning....

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

alleys, doors and windows


I hand delivered my passport renewal form yesterday..thankfully the Newport Passport Office still survives, and the local jobs with it.  Although fewer jobs than there were previously.  The thin end of the wedge?

When that was done I had a little wander and a coffee in his usual brand of coffee shop to celebrate The Pirate's birthday.

Into Newport's Indoor Market as they were opening...

and looking at things that people never raise their eyes to see and wonder

The Westgate Hotel of Chartist history, now still boarded up

the beautiful school building (1904) on Stow Hill, then the Transporter Bridge, still working, seen from the top of Stow Hill
Then it was Sheep Ahoy!!!!!

Monday, 16 July 2012


village church, Hinxhill, Kent, England.

I think the date on this later addition is 1695

Sunday, 15 July 2012

a good weekend

Much moving steadily in the right direction.

Bowls turned and more bowls thrown using French clay.

I've had seven hours of paid work (in three days). Just right.

De-cluttering continues .

I've hoed where the Pirate dug over, on the allotment.

The Carpenter and The Oily One are organising themselves.

All this and it has been sunny most of today and the washing is mainly dry!!

Also plans have been made for August....

Friday, 13 July 2012


NOT my favourite occupation.
Still, I have achieved much today.   I am as ready as I can be to file my tax return online for 2011/12, then fill in more forms on paper (preferable!!)
I've tidied my bank statements, and found how many monthly house bills payments to me that The Oily One has missed........I'm not amused.
All the household bills have been put on The Carpenter's account. Which will make keeping track of everything far easier.
The Carpenter's insurance has told him that the other party who wrote his car off six months ago have accepted long last!! 
So a good day all round for us, and for The Pirate too, having far drier weather than us down here and getting all "his" lawns nicely trimmed, and getting hedging work too.  

On a lighter note....
 doesn't this remind you of Trumpton Town Hall?

Thursday, 12 July 2012


Two hour's weeding work done this morning...then by lunchtime the rain had set in.  
The earth is warm, but things are just not ripening or growing properly without enough sunshine.

On a brighter note, six out of ten bowls were just right for turning and half have been pierced for berry drainers.  Not bad seeing as they have been sat, wrapped in plastic for two months....but the weather could have something to do with this!!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


De-cluttering under another name!

It was beautiful weather for most of today, warm sunshine, nice breeze, and yes, you could see the top of the Blorenge.....until just after 4pm when rain stopped play!!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

a full day

Washing and ironing done, sheep made, doctor seen, de-cluttering started...

and The Oily One made supper....eventually!!

The doctor was pleased with how I looked (better than he'd ever seen me) and agreed with my diet changes (no cow products, change to goat, and no wheat unless Spelt)  I feel less urge to eat sweets and cake too.  So The Pirate must keep up his good work!!

The Pirate is back mowing the lawns in Scotland and dodging the midges...and looking forward to being together again!

Tomorrow I'm off to Abergavenny and hope to be bowl finishing or making

Monday, 9 July 2012

Straiton, bridges


These past two months have changed my world for the better.

I have my Pirate, but he has now gone back home for a while. We both have things to sort and work to do.  However he is overtired after the journey and I'd prefer to be there with him....

There is a mountain of things to sort and do and they are getting done little by little.
However I'm sure I need help, but I'm not always sure who to ask and how.

I need to sell LOTS of pots before I make many new ones, and those I make will be made near Abergavenny.  Until I move a lot further North that is.....

The allotment has made progress thanks to The Pirate, and I'm doing a little every morning that it is dry enough.

I have a bike to ride on the track when it re-opens ( at present the TeamGB is using it)
and I'll be riding the others too, on the road and canal path.

There is also the matter of a still very cluttered house and "garden"....

We'll get there, think positive!! straight on!!