Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Barrington Pottery New Products and Showroom revamp.

Things have been so busy at the pottery
over the past few months that somethings had to give
and I'm afraid the Blog fell by the wayside.
But the pressure of a big order has now gone away
with over 1,000 pots collected from the workshop.
So I've now got back into making stock for the showroom
and I have time to bring you up to date with the goings on.

I have been Making some new design serving dishes
These dishes are about 7" wide

Far more colour and pattern than my usual work. 
I found it hard to do so much design work 
So just to please me I slipped in a number of plainer one's. 
The idea behind these dishes is that they are made to mix and match
as serving dishes.

This was a mock up of our stall at  Earth & Fire at Rufford Abbey.

This platter is 15" wide and has a nice rustic look.

This large Lidded jar has now sold.

These New lidded jars are a treat to make and I love the
simplicity that slipware affords.

These Jugs are one of my favorites to make.

We have been making a large order for the National Trust
here are some of the 300 Devon Jugs in production. 

Our Showroom revamp has proved a great success 
this Giant A Frame was found in a skip
and I transformed it into a display area for my Signed pieces.

 We have kept the Country feel that I love. 
 It works well to set the work apart from our standard wares.
We have been working some long hours to get our orders
out on time, this picture of the sun rise at the workshop
was taken at around 5am. 
 This picture of the jugs before being loaded into
the kiln gives an idea of the scale of order we have been working on.
 and you might recognize this chap?
it's Tom from the pottery throw down.
he has made all of the pie dishes that are in the
 showroom at the moment.
I've just started making more stock for the showroom
and we have some exciting plans for 2017.
so keep logged in for the next few months to see whats happening.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Busman's Holiday to visit Clive Bowen.

We are incredibly busy in the workshop at the moment
as we are working on a large order for the National Trust.
But Wednesday is our one day off in the week
and it just so happens that this week
is Clive Bowen's Spring Sale.

Marion Loves Clive's work as much as I do
But we both said no to this large plate because we thought
some of the decoration looked like sperm!
Very off putting if your eating your dinner off it.

 This was the door into Clive's workshop
and this the view from the window. 
I loved this. 
 I love the light that the big showroom window offers
Clive gave us a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake
and Marion pointed out a pot she loved. 
and this was my cup of tea sat on Clive's first kiln 
I was so pleased to see his sink looking like this
it made me feel better about mine.
The whole place has such a natural feel about it
and Clive was a great host and talked a lot to us about 
slips and clay's Clive has been using the groged red
from Commercial clay and I use the Smooth Red
from them
I had one of my big jugs in the car that I showed to Clive
and he seemed to like it, he said he would give it a try.

We talked about The Gallery St Ives in Japan where I had just had some of my pots
in an Exhibition along with Dylan Bowen

as ever I have come away buzzing with enthusiasm
and a determination to get on with my order and get them out the door so I can move on to other ideas now buzzing around my head. 
Why is he not Sir Clive Bowen?
A Better ambassador for country pottery as you will ever find. 

Monday, 18 April 2016

Gallery -St-Ives- Japan - Great Slipware Show 2016

I'm so Excited that my pots are going to be included
in this Exhibition in Japan.
It all started back in July 2015 when I had my first stall
at Art in Clay - Hatfield House
I was also the very first Demonstration of the show
"Your first 10,000 pots are your worst."
It was about singing the prasise of the art of production throwing,
I was trying to convey to Gallery owners that just because you make pots
in large batches dosn't mean they are poor pots,
in fact it can be just the opposite, 
When you are at the wheel and your making pots from the same weight of clay
you build up a rhythm and the pots just start to flow,
just as a tune flows from a song writer
or a book flows from an authour. The difference with pots is
that each pot will have it's own life and tactile quality
that is unique to that pot.
What I hadn't noticed was that a representative of the Gallery
was in the audience and came to my stall later that morning.

Our Hatfield show had been our best ever show and I came away on such a high.
The initial contact was followed up with emails and a request from Koi
the gallery owner for some mugs for a show in October
with a view to possibly supplying the show for 2016.

Then In November last Year whilst on a visit to the UK
Koi & Rumi came to visit us at the workshop to choose
the pots he wanted for the show.

Here is a PDF link to the show catalouge.

                      Great Slipware Show 2016

                                   Sat, 23rd April- Sun, 8th May 2016 
                      Venue: Gallery St. Ives

              The second 'Great Slipware Show' is taking place following its           successful first show held in 2012.

The potters taking part in are:

Dylan Bowen (Oxford, UK)
Prue Cooper (London, UK)
Patia Davis (Herefordshire, UK)
Paul Jessop (Somerset, UK)
Niek Hoogland (Netherlands)

I couldn't believe it when in the middle of making my pots for the show
I fell ill and found myself sat in Hospital.
I got Marion to bring me in some pens and paper so I could make notes and drawings
But I'd never been in Hospital before
and the whole experience took my mind well away from thoughts of pots.
 But luckily I wasn't in Hospital for long and when I was back home I was
able to concentrate the mind of the pots needed for the show.
Some had been made towards the end of last year and been put aside.

But when I got back on the wheel it was a great feeling of relief 
and I feel as if I have a more focused approach to my work now.
I feel that each pot I make now has to make it's mark on the world.
It has to be a pot I'm proud to put my stamp on.
I managed to get all the pots finished and shipped out on time.
I'm sure many of you will know how good that feels.
and I'm very pleased with them
I feel as though I've sent pots that I can be proud of 
Pots that I would offer up to customers as good examples of my work.

I'm a self taught potter with my own sense of what what is good and bad about a pot.

Obviously I'm influenced by the whole Leach, Hamada, St Ives vibe
and if I were to pick one particular Potter it would of course be 
Michael Cardew.
This large jug is my most recent work and will be coming to 
Earth & Fire at Rufford Abbey this year in June.
By then I'll have an idea as to how my pots have been received in Japan.
If they sell well we would love to visit and even do some demonstrations
that would be a dream come true.
As I've been putting this blog together I hear news of more earthquakes
in southern Japan.
Our thoughts go out to all of the people in Japan that have been affected
and we wish you well.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Pride & Pudding is Now Available

I'm feeling pretty proud myself this week
It's not everyday somebody writes a food book that is both
Beautiful to look at and an excellent reference point.
But this week Regula Ysewijn has done just that
with here new book Pride & Pudding.
Available in most good book shops and on Amazon
see the link below.

The reason I'm feeling so proud is that some of the photos are of our pots
being used just how they should be. 

 Great pictures in a top quality book and all for around £20 
that's amazing value for money
and a real treat for anybody that loves cooking.

 Regula also uses our pots on a regular basis on her blog

 here are a few pictures from her latest blog.
I love seeing our pots being used and loved. 
it kind of completes the circle.

And if that wasn't enough this week I've been told I'm a Finalist
in the Craft & Design Magazine Selected makers Awards.
So thank you to everyone who voted for me
it's very much appreciated.
Now I just have to wait for the Judges decision.
either way it's a pleasure just to be voted for.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

This Potter is Back at the Wheel!

It's been over a Month since my last Blog,
to be honest I've not known what to write about.
and the first rule of blogging is wait until you have something to say.

I've not been away 
just very busy
Putting most pictures on Instagram

I think the hardest part has been dealing with the fact that it feels like 
I've had the rug pulled from under my feet when we have been
 moving along so nicely.
We had had a good end to 2015 and in January
I was making pots for the National Trust and for the Slipware Exhibition
in Japan, when I was taken ill.
All of these pots have now been delivered I'm pleased to say.
I'm very excited about supplying pots to the Gallery St - Ives in Japan.

Getting stuck back into work is the best way of dealing with it
as the new ideas from the hospital are that you should get more active.
But I'm not sure if they realise just how hard work pottery can be.
I've had to cut down my hours
and we are trying to make some important changes
but it's not easy.

One thing my time in Hospital did for me was to give me time to realise
just how precious my Time with Marion is.
This track on my iphone hit the spot at the time.

 Things need to change!

 I need to make New Stuff!

Classic shapes will always have their place. 

Larger pieces will also be more prominent  
this is the first big pancheon I've thrown which I did on Tuesday
evening during our evening classes.
I loved the sunlight hitting my pots whilst I was throwing them
and this was my favorite picture of the day.

We are attending the rehabilitation course at Yeovil Hospital which is
twice a week on a Monday and Thursday
so that's really eating into our making time.
But the main thing is I'm back at it
and this week i'm feeling much more like my old self.