Sunday, 26 April 2015

Ready to exhibit

Over the past few weeks I have been busy getting ready for West Forest Potters annual exhibition held over the May bank holiday weekend as part of the Henley Arts Trail.

This year, not only have I needed to plan and prepare my own exhibit, but as Chairman of West Forest Potters I have been co-ordinating the whole event. This has taken more time than I had anticipated, but perhaps this is because it is the first time I have been co-ordinating this event, hopefully next year will be easier. Anyway, fingers crossed that it all runs smoothly and that we have lots of visitors and sales.

I had thought that I would struggle to have enough work to exhibit this year, largely due to puppy distractions! However, when I came to collect everything together I was relieved to find that I have more than enough, so will be able to re-stock if I am successful with any sales. My intial display will look something like this...

The only really 'fresh from the kiln' piece of work in my display is this weird abstract piece on a beautiful piece of yew that Meir gave me about 3 years ago.

smoked abstract on yew - height~30cm
I have also taken the opportunity to try to improve on a couple of pieces of work which I had not been entirely satisfied with.

The first was one of my eternity pieces (Rauiri in Maori)

It started life having green slip applied before burnishing. For some reason I fired this to stoneware temperature which did give the piece the shine without the need for wax polishing, but reduced the porosity for smoking which was my next step.

Needless to say, smoking was not successful!
Back into the kiln to burn off this mess.

This all took place back in December 2012, since then the work has sat on one of my shelves feeling a little sorry for itself.

I finally got around to trying to glaze the piece. I applied vellum off white then added 'splodges' of marble green. The piece came out of the kiln looking like a green and cream dalmation! (sorry no photo) More marble green glaze and firing no.5 has produced the piece below, which I now feel happy with (at last!).

Eternity - height ~25cm
The second piece which I have re-worked had been unsuccessfully smoked, fired to clean, then smoked again with a better result. I then mounted the piece on some yew which I shaped and polished.

smoked oval on yew - height~18cm
Do come to the exhibition if you can, we have 20 members showing their lovely work, there is also a great pub next to Neville Hall, Waltham St Lawrence. We are open from 10am to 5pm on Sat 2nd, Sun 3rd and Mon 4th May and will be offering tea, coffee and yummy home made cakes!

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