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May Day Magic.

Good morning and welcome to the the magical month of May, here at Glazed Expression.

May day or Beltane, has always been a favourite time of year for Tess and I. Both of us originally hailing from the Cotswolds, specifically the Cirencester/Stroud area. We have been raised with ancient pagan customs, festivals and celebrations as part of our DNA. May Day has always been for us, a time of fun and happiness. Celebrating new life and fertility, with May pole dances, Hilltop bonfires, Green man festivals, bed races, and much much more. Who could not enjoy these activities that usually, even in our un-predictable British weather, seem to take place in the beautiful pale spring sunshine, surrounded by emerging new life and burgeoning growth.

(coming together of goddess and Green man)

Now we have moved our life here to the wonderful south west of Cornwall, we had expected to be able to enjoy such festivities, such as the world famous Flora Day celebrations that take part here in Helston. However, since our arrival in 2019 the festival has been cancelled due to the pandemic! We actually really look forward to the time when we will get to enjoy the full Flora Day experience. However, until that day we will continue to celebrate this wonderful time of year in our own little way. Tess is, as I write this post, inventing some fabulous May time celebratory discounts and giveaways through our web site. So do have a look when you leave this page and enjoy a bit of Beltane celebrations with us.

The lead up week to May was fairly busy for us, with Monday kicking off with a bit of sprucing up, of our very tired and dowdy looking Ope. In Cornish means Opening, and is the term used for the small ally-ways that connect the larger streets of Cornish towns Like Heston. We happen to be the owners/guardians of one such Ope, that runs under our building, giving access to residents of Chipmans Court and through to Penview Crescent. Under previous ownership this quaint little passageway had fallen into some disrepair. It has crumbling, dimly lit, dowdy, lime plastered walls and loose or missing cobbles, this area had been woefully neglected. With, the 'Art Studio Open' event pending, Tess and I thought, it would be really nice to make this part of our property a pleasant experience for those who wish to pass through or by. We kicked off with a good clean and patch up of the walls. We spent most of Monday and Tuesday scrubbing painting and plastering walls. The finished effect makes for a much more appealing passageway. Which will make visiting 'Barquhar Studio' during 'Art Studio Open' far more attractive. we are hoping to add some artwork to the walls in the future and a few sculptural garden pots etc.. watch this space.

Have I mentioned 'Art Studio Open' before? It's an open studio event that is taking place on the 29th of May to the 6th of June. Artists of all genres who are based in an area stretching from Lands End in the west, east to Helston, and north up to Portreath, will be opening their Studio doors to the general public. We are very proud to have been included in this group and will be inviting people to come see us in action. Throwing pots, decorating tiles, paw imprints, vessels and general day to day workings of a professional Ceramic studio. For more information on the event check out this link.

Wednesday was a Studio day for us this week, and we saw the emergence of my final sunset reflections bottle from the kiln. Parts of this piece were just as I anticipated, however, there were areas where the gold lustre did not do it's thing quite as I would have liked, leaving parts of the decorations looking a bit brown and tardy. More attention is needed to lustre I think, what is your opinion of this one? *Tess thinks it is beautiful and instead of it joining the shelf of shame it is catalogued and being offered for sale. (catalogue B1 - the first pot thrown in 2021)*

Sunset reflections Bottle (30x22cm)

After spending the day working hard in the studio we ended with a walk along the coast path from Coopers lane. Feeling so blessed to live here.

Friday morning started with a bit of a panic as we noticed small blood like splashes on the paintwork of our flat, at about doggy tail height. It transpired that Tali had developed happy dog tail syndrome. This is where she had wagged her tail so hard that she had bashed it against the wall too hard and caused it to bleed! After a lot of frantic googling to see what could be done, Tali now has a bandaged tail in the hope it will protect it from further damage while it heals. She seems oblivious to the fact she has damaged herself and continues to do whole body wagging at the slightest opportunity.

After sorting out Tali and her wounded tail we got on with building our New Kitchen to the sounds of The Mission. (vinyl Friday special, from Tess's extensive 80s collection) we now have the bare bones of a kitchen island with breakfast dining space and everything! however, its not an island for everyone. We are building our kitchen to suit our very tall statures. Although the new island is perfect for Tess and I ... well maybe just me? *did you know he is 6ft9"* it may well be a bit of a challenge for your average chef, with a working surface height of 103cm. We love it though, and I particularly enjoyed preparing our saturday night curry (my personal speciality....*his burgers aren't bad either*) without having to bend forwards in a back breaking fashion as before.

(our new island in the kitchen)

The new eating area/ breakfast bar of the island also serves as the perfect space to write the Sunday blog and to engage in some impromptu tile decoration too.

So, as you can see our week has been quite busy as usual. We are really looking forward to getting the Gallery doors open and to the forthcoming, first year of trading as we had originally intended. It's quite an exciting time for us both with lots of firsts and lots of new and amazing experiences. One of these amazing new experiences for us both was making contact with members of my family that I had not known before moving to Cornwall. This is a long story, that is probably best told another time and another place. However, it has lead us to finding the final resting place of my father who I did not get the chance to meet in life. So while the county is still fairly quiet, and we are allowed to travel a little further afield. Tess and I went on a little trip to Looe where it transpires he had lived and subsequently died back in 2011.

It was really nice to see the place my father loved so much and to visit Hannafore point in Looe where his ashes where scattered. Such a beautiful place and fitting for the final resting place of an old Pirate, as my dad apparently refer to himself!! No surprises there then, for those of you who know me. lol

So, I'd like to end this post this week with a big thank you to my newly discovered step brother Nick,cousin Laura, and my Auntie Sue for being so helpful, and freely filling in the blank parts of my family history.

(St Georges island from Hannafore point, Looe (R.I.P Dad).

Looking forward to a very interesting future.

Best wishes and

Happy Beltane blessings

from Tess and I.

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