Sunday, 29 March 2009

Hornsea Pottery Society

The weekend has been filled with wonderful new things to read.
During the first part of the week all my membership bits n pieces arrived to welcome me as a newbie to the Hornsea Pottery Collectors' & Research Society. 
It may sound a bit anoraky but it's great to feel like I'm now part of a group whose aims are to keep the spirit of Hornsea Pottery alive. I have really come to appreciate the groovy designs which they especially produced during the 60's & 70's and have started to gather my own small collection.

We used to have a lot of it in the family at one time with my uncle working there but most of it went to charity shops over the years as it went out of fashion. My collection is mainly bits of Heirloom & Contrast.

In joining the group I had access to buy one copy of the extremely rare and probably never to be printed again book called, Hornsea Pottery 1949-89, its people, processes and products. This is an amazing reference book with almost everything you'd ever want to know and look up about Hornsea pots. My appetite is definitely whetted for attending the AGM next week.

Open Studios - York

I had a few artists lined up to visit in York although only got to one studio because the weather was so foul. What with the wind and rain and the people I had selected seemed to be from one end of the city to another. Anyway the one I did see was excellent and had the most groovy flat filled with a collection of memorabilla and miscellany, (I thought I had a lot of stuff but this guy had packed rooms from floor to ceiling)!
The artist was Mark Hearld and he was doing print making, textiles & some ceramics, really loved his quirky pictures, some lovely lino cut birds and almost New England folk artsy scenes.

Finished off the trip in Borders and got some new books. I wanted the grow your own drugs book from the TV show. Some of the things look great and I quite fancy foraging for any ingredients I can get for free as the seasons come and go.
Also found this book on how to recycle sweaters and as I have been doing a bit of that recently this book will provide some new ideas to turn more old jumpers into new things.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Fresh from the kiln!

It was pottery last night and I had a few things ready to collect from the kiln.

• Firstly are some plaques and a vase with my Green Man designs.
• Next another flowery design which I made a mold of and created the plaque and 2 vases.

The glazes on these projects have been a bit patchy so I carried out some test tiles which the ones shown here are mostly different oxides, some with a glaze over the oxide.

• The next picture is a pencil holder and a pot to hold brushes, I quite liked the colour these came out.

• The final picture is a figure I did which is on the shelf waiting to go in the kiln. He is a bit tall and wobbly so fingers crossed he doesn't fall over and smash!

This weekend is York Open Studios so I'm hoping to go and see some of the artists and ceramicists at work, I hear there is a print maker worth seeing too so looking forward to being inspired.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Cupcake 2

The oven has been a bit poorly over recent weeks, the temperature has been well down on what it should be so I haven't done much baking.

However I did still make a cupcake. This is a pin cushion cupcake as inspired by the ones in Betz White's book Warm Fuzzies. Really easy to do just by wrapping scraps of fabric round each other into a bun shape and then decorating with a felt cherry & leaves.

Small cream jug

I had never tried one of the pre-formed molds at my pottery class before so I recently had a go with a small jug mold.

To cast the mold you use liquid clay slip poured into the mold. The mold is made of plaster this is because it has to absorb the water from the clay in order for the clay to set and form the jug shape.

Skipping all the other details in between like filling the mold and finally removing the piece from the mold, here are my during and after glazing pictures.
It's not perfect but it does hold liquid and pour quite well.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Fabric Flower Brooches

Where did the weekend go? I seem to have worked most of it!

Proper work is busy revamping the local food guide & directory which needs turning around at short notice. The nice things I made at the weekend were fabric flower brooches which are lined up ready for Ebay.
I found some nice scraps of material at the bottom of a box which I hadn't seen for years so used some of that and then spent ages deciding which buttons to match up with which fabric.
The result was about 18 brooches as seen here.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Bread with Pistachio nuts

I came across some recipes in a newspaper at the weekend for yeast free bread which sounded simple and tasty so definitely worth a try. The bread was black olive, sundried tomato, parmesan and pistachio nut. I had most of the stuff, I can never seem to find veggie parmesan so I used a mature cheddar and half green & half black olives. It turned out good, so quick to do and really was tasty. It went well with the lentil & coconut soup which I found the recipe on the Orangette blog.

The pistachio shells prompted an idea to make a quick mother's day card. I did think of making holes in them for some sort of wind chime but they were too hard and brittle to do much with.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Lochcarron Weaving Mill

Whilst in the Highlands I visited Lochcarron Weaving Mill which I hadn't been to before. I wondered if they sold any fabric and assumed they probably didn't and that all I'd see were the usual sweaters, kilts, scarves etc.
But how wrong I was, they actually had bags of fabric remnants for crafts and tub loads of other tartan pieces and off cuts of blankets in the most lovely colours and plaids. I came away with quite a stash of tartans!

The also had some very nice tweed scarves but I think I had spent enough!

Rabbits on Skye

Took a few days break with a trip up to Skye and managed to pack a few craft things to busy myself on an evening.
The main thing I wanted to complete were these 2 rabbit egg cosies based on a pattern I adapted slightly from Sew Hip magazine.