Magpie {47}

Thrown and altered, wood fired, oval, stoneware vase with celadon glaze by
Andrew Pentland

Andrew is a lovely man who makes gorgeous pots, and it was a pleasure to catch up with him again at Potfest Scotland a couple of months ago. I saw this piece when we were setting up, but ended up buying a yunomi from him on the Saturday instead. I had to go back sheepishly on Sunday and ask if I could swap it for this beauty as I already have so many mugs and cups. I particularly love the finger marks left from where he held the pot when glazing… a testament to the maker’s process.


Magpie {44}

Wood fired and soda glazed bottle, with orange slip and tenmoku liner, by
Joe Morgan

I met Joe at a show last year. He has been building a wood firing kiln not that far from me and I was thrilled when he asked if I would like to include some pieces in its maiden firing. I helped out a little with the second firing and learned a great deal. I can see how people find it intoxicating – such an ancient and demanding process, often with breathtaking results.

Joe and his family came over recently and he very generously gave us this gorgeous bottle as a thank you. I love potters! We’ve been mulling over the next firing and I’m making some work especially for it. This time I’m going to try a new clay as my usual body didn’t yield very exciting results last time. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

Magpie {40}

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 {38}

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.

Magpie {36}

SHONE2julietmacleod2015  SHONE4julietmacleod2015 SHONE3julietmacleod2015  SHONE1julietmacleod2015 Thrown and altered wood-fired cup by Patricia Shone

Oops… another pot that I bought at Kindrogan. Normally I only show one image for this series of posts, but each side of this squared pot is unique, and highlights the fascinating process that Patricia uses to create her beautiful work. She lives on the Isle of Skye – one of my favorite places on this earth – and is strongly influenced by its imposing landscape. This particular piece is thrown on a wheel, then wire cut and stretched to create the rugged texture. It was then wood fired to 1260°C with soda, and has a lithium flux glaze inner.

Magpie {14}

Wood fired stoneware teapot by Julie McWhirter, Edinbane Pottery

I can’t remember when I bought this teapot, but I’ve had it for well over ten years. It was bought on one of my many trips to the Isle of Skye which (as I have mentioned previously) always included a visit to Edinbane for a pottery fix. It was made by the then Julie McWhirter who joined Edinbane in 1998. She is now married to Stuart Whatley, the pottery’s owner.