A fortnight or so ago now, the inspirational Alf Jenkins took me to meet the wonderful Neil and Karen, who farm over on the far north-west side of Clee Hill from Clee Hill village. Neil’s grand-father made bricks from clay on their farm and the beautiful Victorian era brick kiln, lovingly restored, still stands and is a wonder to behold – the last of its type in the West Midlands. Neil showed me some steens (pancheons) that he has – one stored inside the kiln, with it’s eye on the sky above – letting in shafts of morning light, and a couple in the basement of his farmhouse amongst the cider jars. These are steeper sided than Mr Button’s or the Buckley pancheon that I have – perhaps more for cream settling than baking? Neil very kindly gave me a bucket of his farm clay and we went to a ditch in a neighbouring field to collect some clay where recent digger excavations had exposed some beautiful blue material. I took both away and am in the process of firing these and glazing the results as a further project linked to this unique and evocative place (see upcoming post).