Crafty Play Kitchen

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

Raku firing and Kintsugi

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

I (heart) Pottery

I have finally achieved something I have been trying to do for years. Ever since I moved to Oxford I have been keen to find a local pottery class I could take, as I adored pottery as a child, and have been keen to take it up again ever since. All my years living overseas made that hard to do, and even when I was based in Oxford it was hard to find a class I could easily access on a weeknight, without a car etc. However I finally found one and I’m LOVING it!

Here are my first attempts at making some pinch pots and finger pots – very crap, but useful for practicing with glazes and slips etc.

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More crafty things

Here’s another couple of crafty projects I’m pretty pleased with – my new gin lamp and my kimono!

Here’a the kimono I made all by myself on a whim…

I don’t have any good pics of the finished thing, but here’s one of me wearing it at Christmas while my niece stuffed my belt with wooden spoons….

It’s super comfy, made of thin stretchy t-shirt type fabric, and I love it!

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Doing it myself…

Here’s a glimpse of my latest DIY project – my dining table, which is incredibly nice and sturdy, but a rather old, battered and stained pine, was in dire need of a makeover. Here it is with Stanley the toolbox on it…

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Also one of my chairs broke a while ago, leaving me with only 2, which is awkward if I want to have more than one person over for dinner at a time… Continue reading