This week’s failures

porcelain pots Modern life has made some things a lot easier for the studio potter – like paperwork and photography: I’ve just photographed work for a new show at Gallery57 in Arundel. But some things are harder, and once in the workshop we’re kind of out of step, out of time, more like being in a nature reserve, or a culture reserve?

porcelain potSome of it is about timing: getting work dried out and fired takes time, and so new threads of work get attenuated over weeks and months as I fit tests and try-outs into other firings. At least it means you don’t get carried away by a brief enthusiasm… I’m still not sure what wrong/right about “birch”, work in black and white, inspired by snowy landscapes with trees, all very chiaroscuro. I’m adding to the collection waiting for either inspiration or critique. None of it happening to schedule, unfortunately.

Libation cupEven my ‘playing about’, an attempt to un-block thinking, has been going wrong. The blackthorn/libation cups certainly haven’t been improved by this black glaze, partly though as it’s a bit underfired, a side effect of the normal slowing of kilns with wear.

glazed potThe little pots fired on the rims have come out better: I’m trying all my glazes on them to see what works. Firing on the rim is tricky though – some break when prised off the setters, and some have glaze smears. I’m a bit more optimistic about these.

sprigThe surprise has been the ‘sprigs’. These are small, meant to be applied as surface decoration, but I’ve been using them to test new batches of glaze as they are easy to fit into the kiln. Images of white and black glazes never really show the tactile and surface character – the white edelweiss, for example, has a silky thinness that reminds me of a kind of stony ivory.

sprigSo although this might be considered tacky, I’m going to turn it into a brooch. I called at Hatton Garden on the way to the workshop, where bullion, findings, beads, are all pretty easy to source (remember Kernowcraft and Manchester Minerals?) – I went to CooksonGold, and next be seen wearing an assortment of brooches (purely for test purposes..)


3 responses to “This week’s failures

  1. Thanks Cary’s, I’ll pop into Arundel to see your stuff. Don’t worry about the failures – it’s the process that matters. Helen xx

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Carys, I love the ‘birch’ pot! The photo is probs not as lovely as the real thing either…The vessel shape is also good – taller and a better fit for the design. I hope to see some at your Open Studio.


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