New work

I have been busy making, to sell at an Open House on the 1st November, 20 Morella Road, SW128UH and for a commission and a birthday gift. Here is what I have been up to.

As usual I have been working with the clay which gives a toasty appearance when fired. This is a new shape I tried which is mostly hand made rather than thrown. This shape is called a Pilgrim’s Flask. I have also thrown a number of crumble dishes which a friend had commissioned with names on. This led me to do an experiment in the effect of slip on this clay.

fullsizeoutput_174cHere is the first with just glaze and below, with slip and then glaze. The effect is more muted. Not sure yet which I prefer.


I also added the same drawing to a tall shape which I would like to develop.

fullsizeoutput_173eI made some little porcelain dishes which I intended to luster and decided to try it on the brown as well. The effect is rather nice, but luster work requires a third firing so I don’t think I will be doing this very often.

The item I had to really work at was a birthday present. The birthday girl had said she liked the work I had done on Octopus. Well that was some time ago and in Earthenware. I bought 2 bags of white stoneware that they use a lot at the studio and began work. Because I don’t have glazes to use on white clay I made two whole bags worth of octopus themed pottery.  Dishes, colanders, pots with lids and hidden octopus inside, large bowls with coral and octopus, octopus on blue, orange – I went octopus mad! The big dishes and the birthday present had the ends of the coral lustered to you got a highlight of gold. Here is a selection. Do follow me on Instagram – #morellapotter  for videos and more pictures.


Kiln surprises

The latest kiln was filled with glazed work of the type I have been doing for a while, so there should have been no surprises. However, something very strange happened to the inlaid dishes. I am always rather impatient by the time I get to glazing and filling a glaze kiln. Usually it has taken at least 3 weeks to get to that stage and I am keen to see them fired and completed. Th inlaid dishes were supposed to look like the work in the last kiln – an iron reactive transparent giving an orange toasty look to the clay and contrasting nicely with the while inlay.  Here they are –

IMG_4443All I can think is that I went mad and glazed them in the white I was using elsewhere!

Aside from being careless with some wadding so one small bowl is ruined, the rest of the kiln worked well. Was rather nervous about a very big bowl but thrilled with the results.

A lot of the kiln was filled with octopus bowls. Almost got them out of my system now. The next kiln will have some lidded pots with octopus but I am going to develop the patterning a bit more. Very pleased with the little Matcha pot, but it took me so long to make I will have to find a faster way to make it. Here it is with the coffee canister. Think I will have to work on my photography skills as well!!IMG_4448






Latest kiln results

Very pleased with the results on the iron reactive glaze on these inlay plates. Worked exactly as I hoped. Rather annoyingly one of the smaller plates has two blue dots on it. Somehow a speck of blue glaze has transferred from another pot.

The carved pasta bowls looked nice in the main. Carving and stamping distorts the clay and no matter how I try and reshape you still get distortions. It is more noticeable in the larger pieces – the cups are fine. Very please with my pouring bowl and the flasks I made. All pour really well.

I keep the tall one in the fridge filled with water. The clay holds onto the cold much longer than glass which is nice in this hot weather.

I am making a birthday present for someone and they said they liked the Octopus work I did some time ago. My heart sank when they said that as they take so long to paint and it isn’t something that comes easily to me. However, the white stoneware used at my new studio turns out to be exceptionally easy to throw with and my new studio colleagues had  great ideas for getting a very smooth finish for painting on. I ended up enjoying making it and made more than I needed for the gift. I am going to do a luster firing to add gold to the coral for the special dish.

The one with holes in is a Collander! The outsides are slipped to looked like sea urchins, the idea coming from the real world where the octopus hide in shells and carry them around to reuse.

New kiln load out

My first big kiln load at the new studio is out. Mostly turned out as they did in the old kiln I used, so at least that is good. I was using up a lot of glazes that I had ,pre making my own. You need to do a lot of testing of new glazes and I don’t have the time to do that as the sale is on the 3rd June. Once that is out of the way I will get going. Still got a few failures and all three tea/sake pots had issues. One didn’t survive as the lid stuck and chipped badly as I was getting it apart. The glaze on the best pourer is too thick, so it doesn’t break nicely.

IMG_7705The blue green glaze was lovely again and my new technique for applying it gave me some great pattens.

The salt chicks were a mixed bag. I think the big ones -2 pounds of clay, are too big and I prefer the little ones. Some of the glaze mixes gave great results – at the bottom where you cannot see them!

All the new batter bowls/pourers turned out nicely

Will post some other photos soon.

New studio

So, I have moved into the Kiln Rooms Peckham. Got everything in and organised but had a week in Wales booked, so only started yesterday. Seems as if I have forgotten everything! Any way….. decided to throw examples of most of the things I want to make long term in both clay types. I have the old favourite College Buff, which I generally glaze white so you can see the speckled sandy colour coming through, and a new clay Burren, which has iron speckles in it. Of course when you are starting from scratch you realise – too late-  things you have forgotten. So this morning I woke up with the thought – ‘Oh I should have thrown a chuck yesterday’. That led to a lot of hair drying this morning!! ( of the chuck!!) Anyway, two mornings work now drying.