Sunday, 17 June 2012


Over the past few weeks I have been working with terracotta clay, having been inspired by some of the speakers at West Forest Potters.

This clay really lends itself to burnishing before the first firing. I find it very satisfying to sit rubbing a pot with the back of a teaspoon or a polished stone to bring the clay to a beautiful sheen, especially when there is a good play to listen to on Radio 4! After biscuit firing I then smoke the pot in the garden and finish by polishing with beeswax whilst still warm. I love the unpredictability of smoking, safe in the knowledge that if I do not like the result, I can either smoke again or put back into kiln and fire off the marks from the smoking.

Here are two new pots which I feel have come out very well from the whole process.

Smoked Vase (h~21cm, w~14cm)
Distorted Smoked Vase (h~14cm, w~11cm)

Saturday, 16 June 2012


A few weeks ago was one of my favourite times in the garden; as the new shoots of my many ferns emerge and start to unfurl. I took the opportunity to sacrifice some of the mature fern fronds by cutting some of the new shoots (koru) to use to impress into clay. I used 3 different sized moulds at college to make a large circular plate, a large rectangular platter and a small rectangular plate.  Into all of these I pressed a range of koru and fern fronds before biscuit firing. After this first firing I then used a combination of copper oxide to highlight the impressions and a mixture of glazes, before the final stoneware firing. I am very pleased with the results of the two large platters (small plate not fired yet).
Large fern plate (~32cm)

Large rectangular fern platter (~37x17cm)