No, it's not Alan - although he does have his own kilt; the ancient Graham hunting tartan. But you've guessed it - we've been to Scotland!
One of our daughters, Carrie, lives in Edinburgh with her husband Alistair, and a great time we had.
After lunch we walked down to the Botanical Gardens and took a stroll around the tallest glasshouse in the world. Yes, in the world.
After this lovely relaxing time it was straight back to the basement and preparations for two exhibitions.
The first was last weekend in Jephson Gardens Glasshouse Studio, Leamington Spa.
Not quite on the scale of the Edinburgh one but it shows our work off beautifully.
A phrase I read recently, spoken by the great potter, Lucie Rie, made me think differently every time I sat at my wheel. She said that form and shape is everything. A badly formed pot will never be rescued by a glaze, no matter how beautiful the glaze may be.
I'm sure we've all gone on to fire a pot we didn't like, in the hope that it would look better when glazed.
So over the past few months I have concentrated on shape and simplicity. And having this aim before I begin has definitely made a difference to the quality of my throwing.
So here are a few pieces that I regard as successful.
White Satin glaze with oxide rim.
Wide- Skirted Jug.
Dipped Blue glaze - Clear Sky from Scarva.
Transparent and pale green glazes.
Green glaze with white glaze rim.
The fingers-through-the-slip technique that I've shown in a previous post.
This was a last minute decision so I needed a sort of pipette to create the small bobbles, and I had to do it straight away before the pot dried out. So this was what I did.......
Keep the point nice and tight, secure with sticky tape and trim the point to your liking (big blobs or small).
Voila! There you go. Fill with slip and start squeezing. It needs very little pressure. It can only be used once but you get 2 from your sheet, no washing up and no expense. Just how we like it.
So if you live in Warwickshire, pick up an Open Studios Brochure and trail map.
Look out for the bunting that we'll have flying from the windows and come and see what's on offer.
Happy Potting Folks.