Clarendon Park Summer Fair

Hi everyone,

Today is the Clarendon Park Summer Fair on Queens Road. The road will be closed to traffic, with stalls either side of the road selling gifts, food and other items, including a JKW stall! There’s also live music and other entertainment.

We’re open 11 – 5 so you should come and check it out, look forward to seeing you there!

£5 off for two weeks!

Hi everyone,

I thought I’d treat all my followers to some sort of deal, and have decided to offer £5 off everything for two weeks!

Now you may have noticed I don’t have an online shop – but I have a camera, a contact form, and a Facebook page! Take a look at the pictures in the gallery or on my FB page, and get an idea of the kind of thing I have – contact me telling me the sort of thing you want and I’ll send you pictures and prices of what I have, you can make a selection, and we’ll arrange pick up/drop off. Here is an example of prices and what’s on offer:

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Some bargains to be had – but for two weeks only, the offer ends at the end of Monday the 18th.

Contact me using the contact form, or message me on my FB page Joanne Kirsty Willars Ceramics and we’ll get the ball rolling :)

Plodding along and Woman’s Hour

Hello,

It’s been a while since I posted, so I thought I should let you all know what I’m up to. I’m working on building back up my stocks of certain things, as well as some new stuff – different ways of using the decals, and of course the wax! Today I went back over buckets of old glaze to see what is still usable. Glaze is basically powdered chemicals suspended in water, over time it settles and so needs a good stir every time you use it, and sometimes during use, so imagine how solid it was having not used them for at least a year – probably three! I glazed some stuff in one of the old glazes that seemed good and glazed a test tile with another that was a little questionable, we shall see how they turn out when they’ve been though the kiln.

Here’s some (slightly boring) pictures of works in progress:

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Today was a very interesting episode of Woman’s Hour on radio 4 entitled A Celebration Of Craft. It touches on the past, present and future of craft, craft as a hobby, craft as a job, craftism and features a designer-maker I’m a fan of – Donna Wilson. Well worth a listen: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05plght

Also, radio 4 has recently had a program by Jack Monroe (who is awesome anyway so worth a google) called Inconspicuous Consumption which is all about crockery collections. Mugs have things about them that are pros and cons, and everyone has a different checklist. This is something that I think about when making my mugs – finding the right one for you. At work I drink out of essentially a plastic cup (one work friend calls it my monkey cup) but it feels good in the hand, and feels really nice to drink from. Plus it’s a nice colour. So, yeah, Mbriki guys – I do like my monkey cup! Radio 4, crockery, and collections are all interests of mine so that plus Jack Monroe is a winning combination! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05n1dnx

I hope you’re inspired to make something or collect something! Or maybe just to stare at your mugs.

Rubber gloves and spotty decals

Hi everyone,

This week I’ve been on the potters wheel making some more storage jars and other things. I managed to slice my finger at work on Saturday (while trying to cut a sausage, good times for a vegetarian!) and I wanted to keep the wound dry and stuck together. The wheel would have totally ripped it apart again, but I wore a rubber glove and it actually worked ok!

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One of the weirdly glazed wax resist trials has come through the kiln and it didn’t really work. Look:

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Oh well – I’ll continue trying. It’s all because I washed it I’m pretty sure. Next time the glaze will be right from the beginning haha!

I’ve also been trying out some different ways of putting on the decals, like the storage jars. Spots made from a flowery decal. Should look good. I’ll be doing more of these soon so watch this space!

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So that concludes my updates for the past two weeks. I’m still working on a few commissions, so that’s keeping me busy. Hopefully next week my finger will be healed enough to spend a lot more time on the wheel. Keep sending me requests of more things to make – this week I was asked for salt pigs and storage jars. What do you want from me?

Wax trials continued

Hi everyone,

This week I’ve been reglazing the wax resist trials. Half of the batch went through the kiln, the results I discussed in the previous post. With the second half, I’ve washed the glaze off, left the mugs to dry for a week and reglazed with the same glaze – but watered down to the correct consistency. The results are a little odd – patchy and blobby! I’m putting them through the kiln anyway and we shall see. It’s definitely to do with washing the glaze off. While it is the kind of thing you should avoid, it isn’t unheard of. There could be a number of reasons, but undoubtedly it’s to do with impurities/dust type reasons effecting the absorption of the glaze. See below for a picture.

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I had a bit of a rummage around the shelves of my stuff in the studio on Monday and found these lidded pots. So they’ll be available to buy from now. They were a test into doing something a bit different with the decals. Revisiting them, I think I’ll do a bit more experimenting there.

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In other news – I have two or three commissions on the go at the moment. I’ll consider whatever you have in mind – doesn’t have to be something that I’ve done already, so if you want something ceramicy making please do contact me, I’ll see what I can do.