Workshop ready and running…. at last….

At last, after three / four months of trying to balance:

  • my freelance work as a freelance environmental educator – working with local authorities and schools (trading as Far-Side:learning – no web-address yet)
  • starting the Masters at Bath Spa
  • building new sheds and renovating / redecorating / kitting-out the workshop….

…..this space is ready and running. Kitted out with a powerful but quiet Shimpo wheel, Rhode electric kiln (one of their energy efficient Eco-top kilns) – both sourced through the incredibly helpful and enthusiastic Bath Potters Supplies and with some re-used / recycled shelving (from the local Worcester Resource Exchange) and work surfaces from reclaimed bits of plywood, it’s beginning to work well. However, the big challenge still exists around my commitment to explore wood-firing and there are conversations to be had with some local workshop / unit / landowners operating outside the smoke free limits of Worcester city. My only defence in using an electric kiln, beyond the efficiency of Rhode kilns is that we source a lll of our gas and electricity through Good Energy, which means that the energy I am using can be linked to renewable, rather than fossil fuel generated electricity.

There’s no running water – buckets sufficing and encouraging very careful use of this resource.

Happy New Year bonfire firing….

Saw in the New Year last night with a bonfire and firing a few small pots made by us all… We have a fair bit of lavender in the garden and we store some of it to burn on New Year’s Eve. The seeds and stalks give off a beautiful, powerful smell and the resins burn with a blue / orange flame, the stems twisting and glowing briefly before turning to ash… The pots made were an experiment, I haven’t bonfire fired for twenty years. We used craft crank, which although very resistant to thermal shock, meaning our pots all survived the firing, hasn’t given the best visual results. The clay doesn’t burnish well and the colour of the fired clay is buff / black, rather than the orange / black you can get with terracotta or the clays I used to use from Devil’s Water in Northumberland or other river clays.