Lid Making Workshop

Lid Making Workshop

This workshop introduced four students to the intricate art of throwing lids and their matching galleries. We explored a range of lid types and how they are thrown on the wheel. The galleries, flanges and knobs that are required to make the lid function were all demonstrated. We also looked at a sample of other potter’s work to see the solutions others have tried to integrate a lid into a…

Trying New Ideas

Trying New Ideas

After 27 firings in 4 years we’re still learning about our kiln, still teasing out the subtle changes that are needed depending on the wood, load and weather. This firing was pushed out to 13 hours, had a more aggressive early setting of the dampers and we used more passive damper through the soda process. It was not only to see how it would be different from the previous firing…

Firing with lots of tests

Firing with lots of tests

Another firing successfully completed with some interesting clay tests. It’s the testing of new ideas or technologies that are the pieces I linger over during unloading. This time three new clays from Primo were dotted throughout the kiln and a tweak of my standard clay mix. I wanted to see how the clays flashed and reacted with the flashing slips. Also inside was a newish idea using water as a…

Mid-Winter firing

Mid-Winter firing

It’s been good to get back into the studio over the month of May, making a new batch of clay up and starting a list of pots to make for the June firing. Starting with the standard ware range – pasta and noodle bowls, mugs and beakers. Then  larger bowls and pouring bowls. Changing clays to the dark Rahu blend and another series of forms – tea caddies, jugs and…

First workshop firing this year

First workshop firing this year

We had a fairly experienced group of potters taking our Taming of the Kiln workshop this year and it showed in the successful results. Some arrived on Friday to get a head start on the glazing and slipping process, eager to try the 3 new glazes and flashing slip available. By lunchtime on Saturday the kiln was ready and so were all the pots.  We established a steady rhythm of…

The day the Fire Brigade came to the firing

The day the Fire Brigade came to the firing

It has been a dry year so far and our district has a fire ban in place but with our exhibition at the Front Room Gallery looming ever closer we couldn’t hold off any longer. Our kiln is excluded from the fire ban restrictions as it’s an inclosed fire and poses no risk of sending embers into the bush, but the smoke is a different story. At about 800 degrees…

Firing Number 20

Firing Number 20

This firing went like clockwork, we followed the schedule and 12.5 hours later the wood was gone and so were the cones (gone over). A firing that resembled the last one in flashing effects and built on the knowledge about how some of the slips and glazes can work. It was also great to squeeze this last firing in before the end of the year and give us a chance…

Teapot Challenge Workshop

Teapot Challenge Workshop

Our recent teapot making workshop was an exercise in blending the functional with the aesthetic. Four keen potters arrived on Saturday morning to learn the secrets of what makes a teapot work, the practicalities of throwing the various bits needed and the intricate art of assembling it all together successfully. Galleries and lids, spouts and sieves, body shapes and handles were all covered over the weekend and everyone managed to…

Surface Surface Surface Workshop

Surface Surface Surface Workshop

Our recent workshop all about creating innovative clay textures took place against a back drop of an intense winter storm. So whilst the students were busy mixing curious ingredients into clay, slapping on thick slips or stretching clay after blasting it with heat, the rain and wind pummelled down outside. It made for a cosy if surreal atmosphere, warm and dry inside versus monsoon like conditions outside and everyone focussed…

Ceramic College Firing

Ceramic College Firing

The idea for this firing came from a chance conversation I had with Teresa Watson at the opening of the Waiclay exhibition in 2017. From that brief chat the idea was born, and earlier this year the booking was made and workshops planned. I visited the Ceramic College students in their Bayswater studio in mid April to explain clay, slip and glaze choices and how to get the most from…