This was a little project I stumbled across on the internet and IMMEDIATELY had to make.
Luckily my god-daughter was about to turn 2, so I had the perfect opportunity to make it!! I was very pleased with the end result – it’s adorable, and the best part is that you can have a play-kitchen for your kids without having to have huge plastic toys and things taking up all the space in your house… It fits over a kitchen chair so you can just fold it up and put it away when you’re done. Continue reading →
This summer I went with a friend to Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, a small festival in rural Oxfordshire set up by the band Fairport Convention.
This year it was 50 years since the band was formed (although over the years they’ve had so many people leave the band, join the band, re-join the band, that the full 50-year line-up includes around 30 musicians!).
It’s predominantly a folk-rock festival, and the majority of the performers are ex-band members who have gone solo or formed other bands, mixed in with a few performers they just really love. An eclectic mix but really pretty good!
After getting really REALLY into my new hobby (and while wondering how I would fill my days in the summer with no pottery to look forward to), I have been watching The Great Pottery Throwdown on the BBC, and getting lots of ideas and techniques.
I then found a place in Wiltshire that offered Raku firings so I booked myself in for an afternoon of Raku!
Raku is a Japanese form of glazing pottery that involves an outdoor kiln, where you bring the pots very rapidly up to about 1000 degrees, then remove them and immerse them in a combustible (usually sawdust or similar) which starves the pot of oxygen while it is oxidising and producing a lot of carbon, (a process called “reduction”).
Then the pots are removed and immersed in water, and scrubbed to get some very unusual glazing effects. The most common ones are the metallic colours from the oxides you paint on while glazing (Raku glazes are oxide-heavy to get this shiny metallic effect), and something called Crackle glaze, which is usually white, and which cracks in a rather beautiful way due to the sudden changes from hot to cold.The bits you leave without any glaze on will turn matt black in the Raku process, so you can use tape to make interesting designs as well. Continue reading →