Magpie {29}

Slip cast porcelain mug with translucent diamond lathe cut surface, by Gavin Burnett

I snuck out from painting walls and sanding window frames yesterday to go to Glasshouse. It is a new two-day art, craft and design fair held in a large greenhouse not far from where we live in Aberdeen. There was a wonderful collection of things on show, but I was particularly pleased to see Gavin. He is the ceramics technician at Gray’s School of Art, and we met when I was doing my short course there. I’ve always liked his work so was glad of the chance to buy one of his lovely mugs from his ‘Make Tea’ range.

PS When adding the link for Gray’s I was surprised and chuffed to find a picture of some of my urchins on their website. I first made them when I was on my course there.


Magpie {27} update

dolphinBowl©julietmacleod2013 dolphinSide©julietmacleod2013
Terracotta bowl with glaze and sponged decoration, by Bärbel Dister, Cromarty Pottery

I was beginning to think that the pot from my earlier post would remain unidentified, but my trip to Kindrogan last weekend has changed that… I was busy looking at the wide range of work on show from many of the potters at the workshop, when I turned over a bowl to take a look at the foot – us potters can’t help it. (It’s rather like graphic designers smelling a freshly printed document.) Anyway I immediately recognised the maker’s mark on the bottom to be the same as on my bowl. Bärbel emailed me today to confirm that she is the maker. Now I just wish I could remember who gave it to me.



This weekend I went to Kindrogan, in Perthshire, for my first SPA Weekend Workshop. I became a member last year and I’ve managed to miss various events up until now…

What a great few days. It was a treat to meet so many like minded individuals. I’ve bought a few new tools; some samples of clay; discussed anything and everything pot related; and learned a great deal too. The workshop demonstrators were Lisa HammondChristine Hester Smith and Simon Griffiths. The highlight for me was spending the best part of two days watching and listening to Lisa. Throwing and then altering pots big and small, she showed us how to take a more fluid and free approach, using the techniques learned from her time spent in Japan working with Rizu Takahashi.

I’m looking forward to experimenting – when’s that shed arriving?


Although I’m really busy every day overseeing the building work, my mind often strays to the land of clay. Partly this is because I find myself counting the weeks until we get our house back to normal, which in turn makes me realise how long it is since I threw a pot – seven weeks now. To be fair things are really getting exciting… the roof is nearly on and the new steps to the garden and the base for my new studio are pretty much complete. All good.

Newly dug out hole where unused decking and uneven steps were previously

Rear retaining wall built, side wall underway and base being compacted

New steps completed and space for studio (right) nearly complete

It is strange how missing something has other unexpected effects. I find myself wondering whether I’ll be able to pick up where I left off; worrying about how much I need to do before my first fair in the summer; and getting cross with myself for not designing my logo and business card yet.

However, mostly I can’t wait to see it all finished and sit down at the wheel in my new space.