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  1. Have decided to try and update this monthly from now on. Had at first thought I would manage a weekly or fortnightly contribution but until I can transfer mental compositions directly from a dog walk to the computer this is just not going to happen. So, henceforth, a Monthly Missive.

    POT NEWS  (said with echoing reverb)

    Since my last entry I've done a Potfest show, had open studios, taken part in Art @ Sudborough, set up an exhibition an Corby Glen, had a busman's holiday to Rufford and made a few pots.

    Potfest Scotland was the first weekend of June so I missed most of my village's rain-blighted Jubilee celebrations but had a lovely time in the company of my fellow potters. Scone Palace is a great venue and makes other shows seem a bit of let down as none of the other ones I do have peacocks swanking around and calling out.  My standed backed on to or was next to those of Gwen Bainbridge, David Panting and John Scott, whose company and conversation I very much enjoyed over the weekend.  Sales were quite good. Logie Gallery collected their large order (some pots were wrapped hot from the kiln on the Thursday morning). I visited the ospey at Loch of Lowes. Ate some tasty meals in good company. Stayed with friends in Newcastle on the way back south and got home in time for the village fireworks and lighting of the Jubilee beacon.

    Once home I had to demouse the garage and set up my Open Studio display for the following weekend. The little blighters had really partied through the winter in there and the hoover overheated and packed up for some hours in protest. They had ravished my stored apples and one even stripped my chilly plant of its leaves and chillies. I can only hope that its bottom exploded.  Anyway, I managed to set up my display but felt rather despondent about it as I'd forgotten to advertise it in the Parish magazine and feared nobody would come. Normally I only have villagers visit me as I'm out on a limb, on the edge of the area. To my amazement I had some visitors, all  who found me through the open studios' brochure.  A very fortuitous turn of events as hardly any villages came!

    Another quick turn around as on the following Tuesday it was up to Corby Glen to set up the exhibition there.

    corby glen invitation     

    We had the Private view on Saturday 16th and once again I was wrapping pots hot from the kiln and driving them north to be displayed.


    corby glen my birds corby glen Carlos & expo corby glen show 1
    corby glen Carlos window corby glen show corby glen Will & Chris

    It's such a lovely gallery and a real pleasure to show there. I have great affection for the place as I had my one and only sole exhibition there some years ago. The gallery and garden are maintained by a lovely couple, Helen and David Porter, who also man the exhibitions and sell the work.    A hidden gem of Lincolnshire.

    I did a day trip up to Rufford for Earth and Fire. Collected some materials from Potclays and chatted to friends. Have never moved so slowly around a show as there were so many friends to chat to. Was there most of the day and still didn't get to see everyone. At first it was stange to be there without a stand but then I really enjoyed having the time to chat to people without worrying that I might be missing sales at my stall.   It was my friend Janet Creed's first time there and here is her stand.

    janets stand She is hiding behind it.

    That's about it for the potting news other than that I am now working flat out to get enough stock together for Art in Action and Potfest in the Park. It's going to be skin of teeth action again and no doubt more hot pots, fresh out the kiln, will be travelling up the A1.


    Had wanted to write here of squealing swifts and Viv Richards' chuckle being the sound of summer. Of Test Match Special and the pleasure of hearing the affection between Henry Blofeld and Viv Richards. Of getting enthralled by 'I, Claudious' and 'Fortunes of War' on 4extra. Of laughing for a week about Mark Kermode's comment of how the Abba tunes survived 'being moo-ed to death by Pierce Brosnan'. Of swathes of rock roses in the Hills and Holes and masses of pyramidal orchids up the roadside verge. Of being caught up in 2 swarms of bees - what a noise they make. Of the van towing a trailer which was actually the back end of another old van, so a van and a half. Of the wren that needed freeing from a tiny noose of a grass stem and cobwebs. Of tennis on the radio - I'm hooked on 5live. But it's time for bed and there are plenty of pots to decorate tomorrow. So TFN.

    Tune in at the end of July for the next exciting episode.


    potters tips If the buttons fall off your overall, safety pins and clay bag ties makes a fair substitute



  2. Have had no time for this in the last few weeks so there is lots to catch up on.

    First things first. I heard my first cuckoo of the year on 30th April and have subsequently heard him quite a lot, moving round the village and fields.

    Next off. My courgette and squash plants took a month to germinate. Was on the point of ditching them on to the compost heap and trying again, but up they popped. Have still not planted my potatoes and am getting quite distressed about it. WILL do it this week.

    Look across the fields surrounding my village. Acres of dazzling oil seed rape in flower. Is there a name for that acid yellow colour with it's edge towards the green? Nothing else like it. Field upon field rolling into the distance of lumious day glow yellow. The sky darkens and a storm blows up. Zoom in to peculiarly shape mushroom on the field path. Pull further in to find a woman crouched as low as she can get with a small brown dog pinned to her leg, trying to make the tines of an inadequately small umbrella touch the ground to stop the diagonal hail and rain from slarting in and stinging and soaking. This about sums up the season and weather of the last 3 weeks.

    On to the Stamford Arts centre and a weekend of dancing and music making when the fabulous Blowzabella came to town with Brittany band Esquisse. Bals on the Friday and Saturday nights, dancing beneath the chandeliers in the Georgian ballroom.

    One week on and the ballroom is filled with potters and transformed into our market venue. Stamford Pottery Market has finally come to pass.

    my stand at Stamford

     There were stalls in the ballroom and next door in the blue room. Everybody had made a great effort and all the stands looked very smart. A goodly number of visitors came and it seemed like more than last year but it's hard to be accurate about that as it's free entry and there are 3 entry points into the show so keeping a tally would be quite tricky.

     I have the impression that it went quieter quicker on the Monday than last year.

     All the potters donated a bowl for the potluck tom-bowl-a and we raised £270 for East Anglian Air Ambulance with that. One little boy was so pleased with the pot he won that he instantly wanted another go. I hope he doesn't now believe all gambling results in a guarenteed win. He will quickly be disabused of that out in the world. Another man paid  the tenner, got his mother to draw out the ticket and the resultant bowl was bonus birthday present for her. There was great warmth towards Air Ambulance.

    When I have time I will upload images of everyone's stands into a rolling gallery on my Stamford Market page.


    2 days off (ha, ha) and then the van was reloaded and I went down to Blackthorpe Barns near Bury St Edmunds for the Fireworks Market. Lovely venue (ancient, thatched barn), beautiful looking show, great organisation (we were looked after so well and 2 ales, 'Fireworks' & 'Potter's Nod' had been specially brewwed for the occasion), but just not enough people through the door. It's its first year so the punters haven't found it yet which is a big shame as they missed a treat. Lets hope the work gets out for next year.

    My hands now need to get back to the wheel as it's Potfest Scotland at the beginning of June. Stock is uncomfortably low and I need to hold panic at bay and get productive. All power to your elbow.