Sunday Evening Thoughts


I’ve been bowling along this afternoon, first in Tippecanoe on his first trip to the studio, through the quiet Sunday streets, then fiddling with the new tea bowls. They’re not dry enough for bisque firing for a while yet in this weather. I am toying with idea of raw firing – all-in-one firing. It’s worked before and saves time and energy. It used to be the normal way to glaze fire pots, two firings, bisque and glost, becoming more common with commercial ceramics. They are all different (nothing to do with it being far more skilful to make them all the same, of course) but the glazes will be the same, and dramatic, I hope. But they have to be useable as tea bowls, at a push.

Somebody has just asked me about initial influences in ceramics and that made me think of childhood. We lived on solid clay outside Oxford with a 2 acre hawthorn wood alongside the house, bought for £200. A real jungle for us boys to get lost in all day! We cleared some spaces for vegetables or geese (not in the same place!) and the grubbed up hawthorn trees made great Guy Fawkes bonfires for gatherings of many friends. We noticed that the clay attached to the burnt tree roots became red brick. So the next step was to make it into little objects to fire in the kitchen Beeston Domestic Boiler, easily achieving earthenware maturing temperature. Indeed, on other occasions we’d watch lead boiling on top of the white-hot coke inside the stove. I’m waiting for the dementia to set in……

Posted in Ceramics, Tippecanoe