Magpie {40}

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Little wood fired stoneware bowl with celadon glaze, by Carl Gray

Here is another piece that I brought home from Potfest in the Pens. I really love Carl’s work. Like a lot of wood fired pots at first it appears so straightforward and simple. However there are additional layers of surface texture and glaze that take it to another level entirely. I meant to ask Carl for more detail about the bowl, but time slipped away so I emailed him instead. This is his reply after I described the marks it has on the base:

“The clay body is a general mix of my little bits of left over clay tests (the LB bit means it has a little La Borne clay in it). So, it will be a mix of various white stoneware clays (probably at least a third being Potclays New White Crank) and porcelains. The La Borne clay comes from France and has some iron it it. The bowl has has Limoges porcelain slip to the outside (there may be a pink blush on one side of the outside). The glaze is a blue celadon one but due to the iron in the clay body it will have lost much of its blue tinge and is probably a pale green. Wood fired for 13 hours to cone 12 in the Thoresby tunnel kiln.”

So… not simple at all… but effortlessly beautiful.

Magpie {39}

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Pinch pot, impressed and coloured with oxides and underglaze colours, by Katie Braida

At 2014’s Potfest in the Pens I had a stall opposite Katie. As a result we have become good friends. She makes gorgeous, sculptural vessels inspired by the sea, with layered texture achieved by using a range of blades and printing letters. Last year there was a lovely piece on her stand, but I made the mistake of not buying it instantly – by the Sunday it was gone. This year she was participating again and I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice. I reserved this little pod before the doors opened on the first day.

Yearling

I spent last weekend at Potfest in the Pens. This was my second time at this wonderful show and marked the end of my first year of trading. It was a real pleasure to catch up with old friends and make some new ones. It’s been a great year with some real highlights…

SHOWS
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I’m slowly increasing the number of fairs I do. The year has seen two Potfests (Scotland and Pens) and my first NEOS (North East Open Studios). I’ll be taking part in NEOS again this autumn and hopefully some local events nearer Christmas.

SALES
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I’m delighted to have received some direct sales and gallery orders throughout the year, and I’m becoming good friends with our local postmaster! I’m looking forward to increasing my production levels once my youngest heads to school later this month.

SUPPORT
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At the beginning of June I discovered that I’d been awarded a Made In Aberdeen artists’ bursary. This brilliant award will help me get some much needed tuition, and apply for a London show next year.

PROGRESS
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Over the last six months I have been testing some new colours and shapes. The feedback so far has been really positive and having the chance to experiment has been very enjoyable.

INSPIRATION
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We are just back from our annual fortnight in the Western Isles. My husband’s family come from North Uist and it is a treat to visit this breathtakingly beautiful place. We had mixed weather this year but we still had time for beaching, fishing, rock pooling, sketching, walking, camping and the highland games.

TUITION
Thanks to the Made in Aberdeen bursary I will be visiting Tortus Copenhagen for a week’s workshop this November. I am beyond excited. Eric Landon is a master potter with over 25 years experience. He is renowned for throwing large and tall pieces – something that I need help with.

And finally there is a new addition…
Mij the Border Terrier puppy now keeps me company in the studio.

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