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Soda fired espresso cup, from Maze Hill Pottery

The weekend before last we had a stop off in London before heading to Kent to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday. We enjoyed a wonderful morning at the British Museum and I managed a quick detour into the Contemporary Ceramic Centre, just across the road.

There was a fantastic selection of work from an incredible variety of makers, but as I saw work from Lisa Hammond at Maze Hill I was drawn to this little cup. I’ve come to know a great deal about these pots as I follow one of Lisa’s apprentices, Florian Gadsby on Instagram. Florian not only posts stunning images but also writes fascinatingly informative text to accompany them – I cannot recommend following him enough.

This cup has a red shino slip underneath, and was then sprayed with a mixture of cobalt and black stain. Afterwards it was raw fired for thirty hours in one of Maze Hill’s soda kilns. The rim has been blasted with sodium bicarbonate and salt which has almost bleached away all the colour on the rim. The inside has pools of crackled celadon coloured glass at the base. Stunning.

When I got home I sent a message to Florian asking whether or not he had made this cup as I knew that most of the repetitive functional ware is made by the apprentices. I was delighted to hear that he had, which makes it all the more special to me.

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Coiled, pinched, fluted and wood fired tea bowl with shino glaze, by David Wright

Last weekend I exhibited at Potfest Scotland and set myself a sales target… provided I passed it I would be allowed to buy a pot.  So after three days of extreme weather (too hot or too cold) I reached the target and I headed straight for David’s stand as I’ve been wanting to buy something of his for some time. I bought this lovely tea bowl and I’ve been using it ever since. In fact I got a bit carried away and bought one of his wife Laura’s fantastic aprons too.

Inspirational

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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?