We’re past the winter solstice now and slowly our days are getting longer. This far north we’re lucky to have seven hours daylight during December, but the sun being so low in the sky does give a fantastic light – I can see why artists and photographers like it here. I’ve been spending the last few days gearing myself up to get throwing again and, come Monday I’ll be back in the studio… but today I spent a few hours at Aberdeen docks and beach searching for sunshine and inspiration.
I’m just about to order some more clay and I have a conundrum… Living in the far north of Scotland means that delivery charges are hellish, so it makes sense for me to order as large a quantity as possible to bring down the unit cost. Now that I am happy with my choice of clays this in itself seems to be an easy decision, but storage of half or even a tonne of clay is more of a challenge. Unfortunately I don’t have a handy, empty cellar or the like – at the moment I store my clay in an old compost bin which is on top of a pallet. It holds about twenty 12.5kg bags, but it is outside. We often have very cold winters here… so far this year it has been mild but we’ve known it get as low as -19˚C and I’m worried about the clay freezing. I understand this is not a good thing, though I’ve not experienced it myself, yet.
A while ago I visited Thomas Gough at his pottery on Speyside. He keeps his clay in an old, defunct freezer. The insulation keeps the clay at an even temperature and it’s airtight too. Quite inappropriately appropriate when you consider my problem. I’d really welcome any other tips that you may have, or I shall be heading to the dump in search of scrap white goods shortly.
Press-moulded bowl, by Emma Williams
Happy New Year!
It’s been a long time since my last post, I don’t know where the time has gone. So, out with 2014 and here’s to a fantastic 2015. What better way to start than with a lovely new pot…
Tiny – at no more than 35mm high – this bowl is true to the saying ‘the best things come in small packages’. There’s so much detail in this tactile piece… the white slip under the dry barium glaze, which makes the turquoise colour sing out from the black clay; the toasted brown crawl glaze on the interior which results in an extraordinary, but quite pleasing roughness. A beautiful and unexpected extra Christmas present from my sister.