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Porcelain, wood fired bowl with lithium glaze liner, by Patricia Shone

I saw a photograph of this beautiful piece on Patricia’s Instagram feed just over a month ago when she was exhibiting at Earth and Fire. I’ve admired her new porcelain work for a while now, and what with a rather large birthday coming up at the end of the year it didn’t take much to convince me to treat myself to an early present.

Patricia’s work is inspired by the landscape of the Isle of Skye – one of my favorite places in the world, and where I spent many summer holidays growing up. She creates pieces by either throwing or cutting into solid lumps of clay, and then texturing and stretching to make the finished forms. I had the pleasure of watching Patricia demonstrate some of her process a few years ago at the Scottish Potters Association spring workshop.

See also:
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Surface

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Porcelain wheel-thrown cup with matt white glaze and oxide rim, by Yumiko Iihoshi

A short while ago I spent an action packed weekend in London. I asked friends on Instagram where I should visit during my stay and I managed to fit in some fantastic things following their advice.

One particular highlight was discovering Gallery Eclectic, which houses a wonderfully curated selection of Japanese pottery by makers such as Shinobu Hashimoto and Makoto Kagoshima. I could have bought so many things *if only* but I finally selected this understated beauty made by Kyoto Saga University of Arts graduate Yumiko Iihoshi. This was one of her series of ‘Hand Works’, each with a slightly different profile… some straighter and some more curved. It is lovely to drink from.

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High-fired, small porcelain bowl, by
Susan Duncan

In May 2013 we visited Wester Ross to stay in a friend’s cottage. It was a landmark time for me… Earlier that spring I had finished a short course of evening classes in ceramics at Gray’s School of Art, and had taken the decision to invest in my first wheel. It was also when I started writing this blog.

During our week’s stay I met Susan Duncan, a potter who lives in Lochcarron. We had a wonderful chat about me starting out as a potter and I got to look over her work and studio. She was generous with her time and advice, and last week I had the chance to visit her again and thank her. I bought two bowls… one porcelain and one stoneware. I’ll post about the second one another time.

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Small ‘ball’ bowl, slipcast porcelain, by Annemette Kissow

I mentioned in my last Magpie post that I bought three small contemporary pieces when I was on my visit to Copenhagen last month. This is the second… the yellow colour of the outside is amazing and my photograph doesn’t do it justice. The wooden base was made by fellow designer Lise Damager Hansen and can also cleverly be used as an egg cup.

We came across Annemette’s shop and studio whilst we were walking through the city to visit another gallery. She founded it in 1995 with a group of fellow graduates from the Danish Design school. We were allowed a sneaky peek into the studio, which was immaculate. If only I could keep mine as clean and tidy.

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Little Barcelona Bowl, slipcast porcelain, by Jeanette List Amstrup

Whilst I was in Copenhagen, at the end of last month, I had a little time to visit a few ceramics galleries and studios. Most of the pots that I saw were contemporary in style and these caught my eye. It was inevitable that I would buy something… and this is the first of three pieces I came home with. I would have loved to have bought one of Jeanette’s larger pieces, but I had to be able to fit any purchases into my carry-on luggage. This series of bowls were created for an exhibition at Mitte Gallery in Barcelona. They are simple, fulsome forms that are lovely to hold. The glazes are stunning with apparently effortless blends of colour, which I’m sure aren’t as simple to perfect.

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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.

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Thrown porcelain dish with volcanic glaze and inscribed text, by Carys Davies

This beautiful sample arrived in yesterday’s post.

I’ve been following Carys’ blog for some time and particularly admire her ‘on the horizon’ pots… beautiful combinations of smooth and rough glazes, meeting and merging along a horizon line and often accompanied with words from the Shipping Forecast. I was interested to read that she is progressing some new work inspired by thorn trees in grassland, but has been having a few glaze issues with some pieces sticking to the kiln shelves. I left a comment and because of that she sent me one of the ‘faulty’ pots. It may not be perfect, but it’s still truly beautiful. Lucky me!