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  1. It is pouring it down outside and I am waiting for my tea to heat up in the oven so it seems like a good time for a bit of a catch-up.

    I find I must spool back in my mind to mid May and Ceramics in Charnwood, a one day ceramic market in the middle of Loughborough on the town's market place. Organised by Louise and David Salsbury, it was set up at the same time and for the same reasons as my Stamford Pottery Market and from a modest start is growing yearly and attracting both more potters and more interested customers. A few of the latter had been to Stamford and decided to come and see more pots in Loughborough. So let's hope that between us we are sewing the seeds for ceramic interest in the East Midlands. There is s link to their Facebook page on my contacts page, so take a look and see what a fun day we had in the sunshine.

    Onwards into June and the month was kicked off with Potfest Scotland at Scone Palace. As I say each year, every ceramic market should have a few peacocks strutting around, swanking their plumage and screeching at intervals. Lovely setting, customers and food and I saw a couple of red squirrels. Had only ever seen a red squirrrel before in Denmark so this was very exciting. The poor old osprey had overcooked her eggs up at Dunkeld so it is another barren year for her.

    Towards the end of the month found me at Earth and Fire at Rufford Country Park. After 2 years of wind and rain blighting the show, this year was treated to glorious weather. Had a fit of inspiration in the 2 weeks between this and Potfest Scotland and came up with some new tiles. Am pleased to say that there were a success.

    bear tiles

    I also displayed my pew groups for the first time.

    pew groups

    Now on into July and Art in Action where I taught throwing in return for a free stand. It was very hot and apparently weather warnings were being broadcast, but the teaching went well and the company was great fun. Sales were unfortunately down on last year but it's a joy to be there as we are a good team of teachers and the whole set up is very inspiring. Fell in love with some beautiful textiles by Amanda Wright. www.goatstreetgallery.co.uk .

    Now on to the last show of the summer for me, Potfest in the Park at Hutton in the Forest. This is my best and favourite show and, dear Reader, I know already that I will be there next year as I won the Potfest prize which is a free stand for 2015. Am chuffed to bits.

    Here are some images of the competion piece that won it for me. The theme was 'Out of this World' and my piece was called, 'Tiny Clanger visits earth to study the native flora of North Cambridgeshire'.  This was the only thing that popped into my mind to do so I took Clanger up to the Hills and Holes at intervals and photographed her with the flowers. It has been the best year for orchids in the 12 years I have lived here, so I think she had quite a nice time.

    tiny & flowers

    I then used my little old desk-top photocopier to create images to transfer on to clay, and fired the resultant postcard-sized tiles. I also threw a dome and button so that with the voicebox extracted from Mother Clanger (I felt Tiny had done enough by now), I could have people press a red button and hear a clanger hooting.

    Clanger 1


    So there we go.

    I think my tea is ready now so I will safe my usual radio  and cricket reviews for another day and sign off. Bye for now.

  2. Another May Bank Holiday weekend over, another Stamford Pottery Market successfully accomplished.

    It seemed to me that the show went very well. The stalls looked very smart beneath the sparkling chandeliers and there was a really happy atmosphere to the whole event. We had very good footfall (bar the usual lull at lunchtime and the last half hour), and all the potters seem happy with the enthusiasm of the visitors and with their sales. Some people just saw the open Ballroom door and stumbled upon us but a good amount had come in previous years, enjoyed it, and made a point of coming again.



    So that's the first show of the year out the way and I relinquish my organiser's hat for another year and become just a participant.

    The next show is Ceramics At Charnwood in Loughborough Market Place on 18th May. Three months of 2 shows a month with the addition of Open Studios thrown into June.

    Miscellaneous soundbites and visual delights.

    Saw my first swallow on Easter Sunday and heard my first cuckoo on 26th April. Am keeping my ear open for the swifts but no squeals yet. Lets hope the Maltese haven't shot them all.

    The early purple orchids are stunning this year. Some real whoppers. Pasque flowers not as good as last year.

    The rape fields are a-glow with their acid yellow and the scent so pungent it has you gasping.

    On the radio 'Gloomsbury' has been a joy.

    NT Live transmission of King Lear was very thought provoking. Didn't think I could hack another King Lear (you know it's not going to end well!) but was gripped and Simon Russell Beale was as good as the critics said he was.