December 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

I want to wish everyone an enjoyable holiday period, whether it is Christmas or otherwise. Thank you for visiting my blog over the last year and in so doing offering me support. In terms of pottery, it has been a whirlwind year and I finish it with a growing passion for clay. ‘Use’ is a wonderful thing, to make things for people to use in their daily lives – I love that combination of aesthetics and function, which was what drew me initially towards pottery and away from Fine Art.  In the coming year, I am relishing the prospect of developing my throwing skills in order to broaden the range of pots that I make.

And to ‘use’ of a different kind. Just a little something from Grayson Perry to enliven a moment of your time. The context of him talking is a debate about the use of ornament, mainly within architecture. It is Grayson Perry at his polemical best (he is on second, after 23 minutes).



December 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Ever since I moved up to West Yorkshire, I have been impressed by the wonderful creative community that overflows around here. It is something I talk about quite a bit in this blog, because it has a powerful influence on me – and is one of the main reasons I started the Saltaire Arts Trail five years ago.

What I love about this community is the diversity of people’s skills and the passion that people have for their craft, whether it is textiles, natural dyeing, photography, painting, print-making, graphic design, jewellery-making, wood-turning or pottery. There are also actors, children’s authors, theatre directors, arts administrators… The list goes on… I don’t know why Saltaire attracts this type of community, but you can see why it is such a good location for an Arts Trail!

It is more than just a collection of people, though. There is a strong desire to collaborate, share skills, make connections and possibilities – and this makes it a dynamic place to live. You can find anything you need for any project right under your nose. A small example of this is my maker’s stamp.

It was designed by Michael Lewis of  The Archipelago. I think he is a supremely talented designer and did all the original design-work for the Saltaire Arts Trail. The business card, also designed by Mike, was letterpress printed by The Print Project, who did a great job. Both organisations have sympathetic approaches to the way they work, with traditional craftsmanship, sustainability and community at their core.

I didn’t know how to turn Mike’s design into an actual stamp but, when he saw the print block for the business card, Mike suggested that I get one made just for the stamp to see if it would work – and it works a treat.

Thank you to Mike and to Nick (from The Print Project) for their beautiful work.


December 5, 2011 § 2 Comments

Here are two more short films from the Tate Channel: one of Tacita Dean, the other Andy Goldsworthy. In her film, Tacita Dean talks eloquently about time, materials, the nature of looking and authenticity. And it is Andy Goldsworthy’s sense of place and duration that is so powerful, of which the snowball painting/drawing, shown in the film, is exemplary.

In their different ways, they speak so essentially about the beauty of and in the ideas behind the Slow movement.



December 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

Just a quick post to say that a friend is having an Open House this Sunday and next (4th and 11th December) at which I will be selling my pots. Everything for sale will be lovely and handmade, ideal for little Christmas gifts. There will be my pots, gorgeous textiles by Alice Fox, as well as cards, cakes, and locally made food.

The address of the Open house is 11 Bromley Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 4DS. If you are in the area, come along and say hello.

Also, I was in need of more buckets and containers for glazes, glaze materials and oxides, so I popped into Scrap in Leeds yesterday. What a fantastic resource it is, taking stuff that would normally go to landfill and selling it on to the public. They are lovely people with a brilliant business, and if you haven’t been it is well worth a visit. You never know quite what you’ll find, and I was delighted to find these old Colman’s Mustard tins, into which will go my paint brushes…

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