Our Flora day belated post

First of all I would like to apologise for the late post. We had a busy weekend this week and visitors to the studio on Sunday for the first time in what seems like an age. So if you will forgive me just this once I'm doing our weekly #blog a couple of days late this week.

So, our busy week started on #Monday morning with the opening of our latest #bisc #kiln. It was full of some very exciting stuff, like Tess's latest addition to her punk fish collection, some test mugs I have been preparing and The Goddess lantern I've been working on. She still has not got a name yet, names of these deities often spring to mind while I'm working on them, but this gorgeous creature has not told me her name yet! Any ideas are definitely welcome.

As you can see from this photo there are also letters for our new signage that we hope to be in place before our #openingdate on #May the 20th.

There will be a bit more decoration added to most of these items using #underglaze, then they will be #glazed and fired to 1101 degrees C (cone 03) with a 30 min soak.

I would like to mention here that we have been having a few problems with our commercial clear glaze crazing. Especially on the #terracotta #mugs. To solve this problem, we have engaged in a bit of research, over the last few weeks and asked a few questions of fellow friends and potters. Nige Edwards and Duncan Ayscough, your help has been invaluable, thank you!

#fyi We have developed a modified glaze and firing schedule that now enables us to put our mugs through the rigorous, freezer to hot water test, without any glaze crazing and a beautiful smooth glossy finish to our wares. Part of this process involves bisc firing to a much higher temperature than we had previously done. This collection of stuff has been fired to 1030 degrees C. It will then get a glaze firing to 03 and held there for at least 30 minutes. Here is a pic of the mugs post glaze. What do you think? I really like the toasty colour of the #rawclay.

(link to product)

As you can probably imagine, Tuesday was a day of intense decoration and glazing. Tess had orders for many of her Herb/Plant sticks that needed to be got on with and of course the looming reopening date, means there is much making to be done in all areas of the studio. Including some rather snazzy spoon rests that came in as a birthday present request from a very organized customer! (3 weeks in advance)

Tess's #throwing and #trimming skills are coming on in leaps and bounds now and she was able to turn some brilliant examples in no time at all. What great attestment to her persistence and determination to learn, and of course to her excellent teacher! LOL (link to product)

The making of #Herb/Plant sticks sounds simple, but it is in fact, quite an involved process to get them right! They might look like chocolate right now but there is a long way to go, to turn this little lot into the little beauties on the website. Good luck Tess xx (link to product)

Thursday saw the loading of the glaze kiln and some wall painting in the Ope, which will become the entrance way to the studio for event. We have patched up the dodgy plasterwork as best we can without making it look all shiny and new. We have given it all a good coat of white paint and hope to do a bit of our own style graffiti art on it. Watch this space as I'm sure something interesting will happen with the both of us going working on it.

#Friday saw us take a bit of a break with a nice #walk along the #coast path with the #dogs. This always refreshes our #creativity and blows away any cobwebs, especially when it blowing a hooley, like it was last Friday! However, we did come across a fairly large amount of snails on the pathway on this occasion. One of whom was particularly bright in colour, does anyone know what sort of snail it is ? we haven't seen many like it for sure.

Seeing such a large quantity of snails in one place, prompted us to ponder on the name given to a group of snails. We discovered that a a group of #snails is a rout, walk or 'escargatoire'.... we just love the term 'Escargatoire' don't you?? There will have to be a plate made with an #escargatoire theme. The rest of the day was #business as usual, where I continued working on some #beer #tankards for a commission and Tess got on with her #mosaic #tiles that she is working on.

(larger than pint size beer tankard)

#FloraDay would have been last saturday. However, for the second year running it has not happened because of the pandemic. Very sad for us as we have not yet had the privilege of experiencing this festival. We arrived in August 2019 and the #Pandemic hit our part of the world in the early part on 2020, so Flora day is something we are yet to appreciate.

Not to be put off by any old Covid though, the #HelstonTownband played an impromptu flora song at 7am saturday morning and we merrily opened the kiln door to the sound of it with thanks to Tali's alarm call, alerting us to the banging #drum. This must have been a good #omen as some lovely stuff emerged from the warmth of the cooling kiln entrance.

With the emergence of the stuff from this firing, Tess was able to set up the shop including a giveaway tile painting session to celebrate our opening on the 20th of May.

Tali of course took complete advantage of the situation, getting involved with the #photo shoot and making herself centre of attention, as usual, can't help but adore her. (link to products)