Raku workshop

On Sunday December 4th, Richard and I did a workshop for a group in Medmenham. The youngsters ranged from 8-17 years old. They glazed their pottery pieces and then we fired them. We even tried some Obvara firing. We  were blessed with perfect weather.

setting up the kilns

setting up the kilns

Everyone had a good time and the results were great.

keeping an eye on the firing

keeping an eye on the firing

glazing the pottery

glazing the pottery

the hardest bit is cleaning the pots afterwards!

the hardest bit is cleaning the pots afterwards!

I loved the chickens. They came out to be nosy.

cropped chicks-small jpg

chicks

 

Amersham Artisans

On December 3rd, we took part in the Amersham Artisans event at St Michael’s Church,  Amersham on the Hill. It was part of the Christmas festival in Amersham with stalls, carols, Christmas lights being turned on. The church was buzzing with local artists and visitors. Homemade cakes and drinks also brought people in from the cold.

The display at Amersham Artisans

The display at Amersham Artisans

London Potters Exhibition

Yesterday we braved the train and tube and hoards in London carrying two huge Ikea bags containing precious ceramics  to deliver to the Morley Gallery. It is the annual London Potters Exhibition. The show starts next week and here is a link to the flyer.

POTTERY invite 2 – Copy

 

Next Saturday is Amersham Artisans exhibition in St Michael’s Church, Amersham on the Hill 10-4 ish.  There are some talented local artists selling ceramics, jewellery, textiles, glass, and more- that’s your Christmas list sorted.

Look forward to seeing you.

Porcelain Christmas tree decoration

Porcelain Christmas tree decoration

Firing

A day of glazing and firing, glazing and firing. Crazy effort to keep up the work for our best selling galleries ready for -dare I say it- Christmas and Edinburgh Art Fair.

glazed work ready for the kiln.

glazed work ready for the kiln.

The brilliant sunny days have helped, although it is now back to thermals!!

kiln just opened at 1000 degrees

kiln just opened at 1000 degrees

Fired Ace pigs now into the sawdust bin. They will be covered in sawdust and left for 30 minutes.

Fired Ace pigs now into the sawdust bin. They will be covered in sawdust and left for 30 minutes.

Eastbourne Usher pottery day

Mike, Mandy, Ben, Jack and Josie came for a day of making pots on the wheel. It was very warm- thank goodness for watermelon and ice creams.

Jack on the potters wheel (small)

Jack pulling up the walls of the pot.

Josie on the potters wheel v3 (small)

Josie centering and starting to open the pot.

They all had fun and made quite a few pots. Everyone had a go. There was a  quite a bit of competion going on – surprise, surprise in the Usher family. It is amazing what I learn as I am trying to help others learning about the basics.

Even Alex joined in, he had never tried throwing before.  Perhaps even Chris will try this out sometime……

Alex

Alex determined to get it right first time!

St Ives

We are off to St Ives, with a car packed full of ceramics and photographs. Looking forward to a week of fun, sun, sea and exhibiting at the Salthouse Gallery.

Jeremy White, Godfrey Thorpe, Chris Read, Chris Inder, Chantal Fordham, Richard Ballantyne, and Bernard Faricy are all taking part our 4th exhibition here.

 

Obvara technique

Obvara technique

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bowl

bowl

St Ives adventure

We are off to St Ives from July 23-30th. A group of us from Bucks Potters have hired the Salthouse Gallery in the centre of St Ives. We will be exhibiting ceramics, sculpture and photographs. If you are in the area, it would be brilliant to see you.

The Salthouse Gallery, St Ives

The Salthouse Gallery, St Ives

Obvara Firing

Obvara Firing is an Eastern European technique. The bisque fired pots are fired  in a Raku kiln. As they are removed they are dipped in  mixture of flour, yeast, sugar and water and then plunged in to water to stop the changes. The longer the pot stays in the flour mixture, the darker the effect. It is a rapid process, so literally seconds in the mixture makes the changes.

Obvara technique

Obvara technique

The pots work well if they are burnished at the leatherhard stage. They also work well with texture on the outside as the colours of the technique really highlight the marks.

The recipe ( if you can call it that) is: 2.2 lb of flour/ 1-2 packets of yeast/ 1tbsp sugar/ 2.6 gallons of water. Mix together 2-3 days before use to allow to ferment.

Warning: it is quite smelly and if you are transporting the mixture put the pot in a plastic bag to protect the car! If you look up Baltic Raku or Obvara Raku on the internet you will find videos and other examples of the firing technique.

detail of obvara fired pot

detail of obvara fired pot

West Forest Potters Raku Day

July 2nd, We took part in a Raku day for West Forest Potters.

Richard and I on Raku, Martin on Raku and Wendy and Debbie were smoke firing. In spite of some serious downpours, everyone had a good time and there were some interesting results.

Wendy with some smoke fired pots

Wendy with some smoke fired pots

 

 

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Martin Raku firing

Martin Raku firing