Wednesday, 29 May 2013


Hello Potters and Friends,

I just love this photograph.

 Widows of India.
The Bradley Guest House 1912, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.

A Miss Madge Bradley bought this large house at the turn of the century not to live in but as a refuge for widows returning from the colonies of the British Empire. The once elegant wives of high society, left almost penniless by the inheritance law at that time, were forced to return to the UK and try to make a new life for themselves. As you can see they were keen on acquiring pets!

Alan and I were in Cheltenham to see a performance of the brilliant Scottish band 'Lau', but what a treat it was to stay in this magnificent guest house and be looked after by Madge Bradley's Great Niece and Nephew. 

Alan, on the same steps, striking a dashing pose!

 And then a few weeks ago we crossed the channel to France. 

The French Organ-Grinder of Orbec entertaining in the market.

Other people's discarded objects hold a great fascination for me and when in France I am drawn to all the second-hand stalls in the markets. And this month I found a great wee object on which to display my miniature pots.

This little oak stool, (costing 5 euro) is only 6 inches high and, I hope, will look more interesting than my usual white block that is traditionally used to add varying height on a table of pots. I've also collected old battered kitchen utensils to add interest to my display of casserole dishes and mixing bowls. I wouldn't be surprised if I first get an offer for the stool or the rolling pins!

You might like to see how the finished casserole dishes turned out that you saw me making in the previous post.

And my love of porcelain will never wane.....

I pressed a bit too hard when fixing the handles but found it produced a variation on the handle that I really liked.  

I added little bobbles to emphasise the dent.

The top of the sugar bowl I made with the 'gallery' on the inside of the lid.

It's a dumpy little pot so it suits the edge of the lid extending over the rim of the bowl.
As opposed to this one.....

But this one is a bit more sophisticated so the lid balances snugly on a 'gallery' built inside the rim of the pot. 

The whole form makes an oval shape that is not broken by an over-lapping rim.

Recently, I was asked to make a jug that gave the appearance of the inside glaze pouring out over the rim. This proved more difficult than I first thought.

Pot-bellied custard jugs

Firstly, when making a jug, I would always make sure that the lip is a good pourer. This is done by making the edge of the lip quite sharp as I draw my finger over it to create the shape. It is so annoying to have a good looking jug that drips milk or custard all over your table when in use. I'm sure you can see the problem straight away – as I poured the glaze out, it refused to drip! Therefore I was forced to manufacture the drips by squirting the rim with a syringe.
Secondly, I couldn't glaze the outside of the pots because, when the two different glazes meet, the colour of the drip would completely change and not appear to be running out of the jug. So the left-hand jug I painted with manganese oxide circles and the right-hand jug has stoneware clay mixed with purple oxide and porcelain to create a swirly effect as I threw it. 
I hope you like one of these, Katie.

So now, with all my bits and pieces, and pots and pans collected together, I look forward to putting them all on display for our Warwickshire Open Studio Event that takes place in the first two weeks of July. 

'Pots, Paint and Jewellery'

Look out for our brochure and come and have a cup of tea with us.

And as a rousing chorus of La Marseillaise was sung in our village of Tordouet to celebrate the liberation of that region in May 1945...

..... à bientot and happy potting folks.