Monday, 25 May 2015


April was a rare month where we didn't have a SeaSalt order to fill, so we spent the month working on some other orders and also some stock for the shop here at the Leach.
This meant that I got to throw all kinds of different shapes, so I really enjoyed the change of pace.
We had a large order of bowls, so I spent a lot of time making bowls of all sizes and nesting pouring  bowls. We make these in sets of 3 gradually getting smaller, so it is trick making sure the spout also gets smaller, in proportion to the body of the bowl.

 We try hard to not make the bowls too round, or they can look as if they have slumped, so the form is more straight then curved.

These are my finished nesting bowls in the shop
at the Leach. It is nice to see the pots on display after they are finished, rather than shipping them all off!

I also spent time working through the different sizes of jug, from creamer to medium jug. I enjoy making the jugs as there are many different things to think about, including spout, handle etc and how they all work together.

This image shows a small jug finished, then below you can see the handle pulling day, with all of the small jugs freshly handled.

At the beginning of the month we all helped with the beginning of our shard path. We have a shard pile for pieces that have faults or glaze tests etc, which we have begun smoothing down and we will eventually set them in to paving slabs to make a path to Beagle Cross ,the education studio.

I think we all enjoyed the process of preparing the

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Tamsin - April to May

It's all still busy in the Helen Beard studio! April was full to the brim with preparations for Helen's exhibition at Ceramic Art London, which was a wonderful success

We've also been working on a test collection for a new slip-cast range, experimenting with transfer decoration which has been a nerve-wracking experience  - and it's not over yet! But the early stages have gone well.

Alongside Helen's preparations I've been preparing more of my work to sell at our open studios which was last weekend. I've been introducing a few new shapes including bottles and shallow sauce dishes to my range, which all went down quite well.

Now my preparations begin for Ceramic Art York and Ceramics in the City (which I heard a couple of weeks ago that I got into!). I've just written out a list of things to make which didn't sound too daunting when Helen and I were discussing it, but seeing it all laid out makes me feel a bit nervous!! Better get started...

Monday, 11 May 2015

Simona April

Tythegston Pottery - April

My congratulation to Niklas, I have really enjoyed reading your blog for April. You looked very busy, busy... Well, I guess a lot of fun as well hard work!!!

I have done my first Craft Fair at Margam Park. Amazing place to be.

I don't have much photos to show as I forgot to take my camera in the studio with me. Being busy with the usual staff, firing, making, pugging, cleaning ...
I have been making pots for Adopt a Potter!!!! Will show them once they are ready.

I have managed to capture April impressions from my room!!!

Monday, 4 May 2015

Niklas Preukschat - April

There was so much going on in April that I don't know how to bring it all into that post... I'll try to give you some brief impressions of what happened.
For the first couple of weeks the germans carried on with making and finishing their pots as well as building the barrel-arched kiln. Nic and me helped them out whenever we were short on time...

bricking up the arch

putting another layer of bricks on top of it

then a layer of fibre blanket and chicken wire

topped off with a few layers of clamming

Nic and me bricking up the front wall and flue


Then packing both kilns...

 ...and firing them

The kiln building project was such an incredible experience! I think it was a perfect first-time experience for that it showed, with what simple materials a kiln can be build. The whole pallett with fire bricks I collected over the last months got used but we also reused loads of scrap materials like broken firebricks and bits and pieces of fibre blankets. 

After the job was done we took the Germans out for a sightseeing tour through North Devon, having a stop at Svend Bayers' workshop and then heading further north towards the sea.
kiln building and wood-stacking at its best

But with having the firings finished it didn't mean that the pressure was off - it was quite the contrary!
There was still a major exhibition of the 'Gnarly Dudes' ought to be held at ours the weekend after.

The Gnarly Dudes

For those who don't know who the Dudes are:
They are a group of five british woodfire potters - John Fellows, Chuck Schwartz, Charles Bound, Svend Bayer and Nic Collins - who first came up in the mid/late 90s' with two exhibitions which showed the countries' probably most defining woodfired ceramic of that time.
Here's a video of the '99 exhibition:


So, 16 years later they all came together for one last big bang which gave us only a few days to get prepared! A big cleaning up was needed with unnumerable bundles of wood to be stacked, the workshop had to be transformed into a proper exhibition showroom, there was an outdoor display to be set up, and so on... we were very fortunate having six fairies from Germany buzzing around...
The exhibition itself then was absolutely stunning! It was a great input for me talking to the other potters about their way of firing, their kilns and work and to see that variety of woodfiring.
Here's an impression of the indoor part of the exhibition:

Somewhere between the preparation we managed to squeeze the opening of the new kiln in, Sabines kiln we opened earlier on.

The firing itself was, as expected, a bit of a struggle due to the wet kiln which sucked a lot of energy to dry out but the results were exceptional!

the new porcelain body: nuka glazed, plain and celadon glazed

The end of the exhibition also marked the end of the four-weeks course with the Germans and after having them send away it was very strange to rediscover the peace- and quietness our place can offer! Since then we took down the display, splitted wood for the next firing in three weeks time, shifted 2,5 tons of clay around and picked up a few new kiln shelves near London which should last for the next ten years or so...
and my new throwing project after bottles and vases is making mugs for the Adopt a Potter stands at the ceramic fairs in Rufford and Hattfield.

I love the look of that...

... and that!

Hm. I think that's it.