Leach Pottery and Malawi

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I have not been able to produce a blog for my website for some considerable time.  However, times have changed and here we go for my most recent blog.

I have been a volunteer at the Leach Pottery in St. Ives since December 2008.  In addition, I was invited to become a trustee in 2014. In May of 2016 there was an in-house show of work and I was invited to submit my work.  After the show which did very well in terms of sales, I continued to exhibit my work in the contemporary gallery and it was a successful year for me.

Currently, I am busy producing domestic ware for the coming season in Cornwall.  I bought a second hand gas kiln recently and now have it installed and ready to start firing.  The plan is to use the gas kiln for firing sculptural pieces and to use reduction firing to bring out the best effects with the appropriate glazes. I am also planning to use it for raku firing this summer.

During April, I am travelling out to Malawi again.  I visited Malawi in 2008 and had a working holiday in a training school attached to a pottery at Nkhotakota on the shore of Lake Malawi.  I want to return to make more of the “village pots” with a local potter.  These are the kind of pots that we see often carried on the head of the women in different parts of Africa.  They are made of simple clay and produced without a wheel but built up by spinning the clay on a saucer like structure.  The pots vary in size from small rice dishes to large water carriers.  Once complete and dried out they are bonfire fired in rice straw and cassava stems.  The pots are not glazed and are used for many different domestic uses.

Once back from Malawi, I will write more in this beautiful country and village pots

Cornwall Design Fair

Posted on July 2nd 2015
Cornwall Design Fair is approaching and I need to produce a lot more pieces to show and hopefully sell. Currently, I am working on mug shapes that might appeal and do not look like they have come out of a catalogue! You will note that in “My work” I produce oak trays with shallow dishes on them. I am currently working on making more of these with a difference. I am using what I term “olive dishes” that are much deeper and could therefore be used for a number of different things such as nibbles for aperitifs.
The unfortunate thing in working to a deadline (ie Cornwall Design Fair) it does not allow one time to think and design something that is a bit different. Also when I went into my studio last week and saw the pieces that I needed to glaze before I could throw anything new, I almost shut the door and went surfing.

 

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If you do not know about the Design Fair or its venue, then log onto www.cornwalldesignfair.co.uk . The Fair runs from August 14th to the 16th and it will be situated at Trereife House near Penzance. This is a beautiful old manor house set in a wonderful country park and is well worth a visit both for the ambiance and the high quality crafts

My first blog

Garlic jarI have been involved with a gallery in Penzance for 4 years but decided to move on this year. My work is now displayed in five galleries which are listed on the gallery page of my new website.

I am still working on new ideas for my domestic ware and have come up with two pieces which a customer asked me about at the Cornwall Design Fair last August (2014). These are a garlic jar and garlic scraper. Both are a little unusual in the making as it is strange to make a jar and then to put holes in it! Then during glazing I have to seal the holes to stop the glaze seeping out. If I forget to clean out the small holes – which allow air into the jar – then the glaze fills up the holes and the jar loses its purpose. One needs to remain focused! I am taking a small risk with the scraper because many people tend to use garlic crushers. Continue reading