Late in the evening we watched the International Space Station sweep brightly over from west to east, but the Perseids eluded us due to the smear of cloud. In the early hours the sky cleared, and with no moon the stars were crisp. The Perseids delighted as always, a bitter-sweet pleasure marking the dying days of Summer. On cue, the early morning had an autumnal whiff and nip. Pure joy.
When our friend Cass had a birthday party she invited us all to bring something crafty to do, suitable for all ages. My contribution was strips of raw clay and a few scribing tools. People wrote birthday messages for Cass, or just doodled. I fired and glazed the strips and hung them from a willow ring.
Peter Allwright is an artist. His paintings have a startling vibrancy. People scurry against background colours whose luminous intensity must take the greatest skill to achieve. I was honoured to receive a commission for some biscuit jars onto which Peter will paint. Appropriately they needed to be fired twice. Now, why is the first firing called the ‘biscuit’ firing – wouldn’t it be more etymologically correct to use the term for the second firing? Anyway, have a look at Peter’s paintings, they are stunning.
I’ve had a few questions & comments about the new header image, so I’ll go public. The image is from the rim of a large bowl which was destined for submission in a competition. The interior was to have been inscribed with the post-codes of all the proposed UK fracking sites, nothing more. The aim was to promote discussion about the merits, or otherwise, of fracking in the UK. Ironically the piece developed a crack during the second firing, so I regarded it as flawed and didn’t submit it. I think maybe I was wrong.
There’s a buzz in the Pete’s Pots studio, but the kiln has been cold for days and the wheel is still. The bees are back! Last year the nest in the roof went quiet after a few months and I feared the worst, but the Tree Bees have returned and are busy busy. Maybe all those honeypots I made had something to do with it.
My good friend Caroline commissioned a bird bath to sit on an existing pedestal, with a rim to make a snug fit. With due allowance for shrinkage the fit was perfect, but a massive circumferential crack opened up during the glaze firing. Strangely it adds a certain charm, and although I was able to offer alternatives I was pleased that this one was favoured – I like it very much.