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.


During September I was lucky enough to visit Muchelney Pottery in Somerset and to join John Leach, Nick Rees, Mark Melbourne and the team for 24 hours during one of their legendary wood firings. I am hoping that wood firing will be a key feature of the way my work progresses over the coming years.

I subsequently also visited Douglas Philips on John and Nick’s recommendation to explore the idea of sustainable wood firing further. Douglas has developed a renowned expertise in this area and extensive experience in using Fred Olsen quick- fire downdraft kilns and developing his own kiln designs (the latest “Dora” proving incredibly efficient and successful).