Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Aberystwyth International Ceramics Conference

If anyone is interested in going to the International Ceramics Conference on 3rd to 5th July 2009 in Aberystwyth (cost £166 inc. accommodation) CCGG has 3 spare tickets. Please contact Andy Nicholls 01841 520992 andrewnicholls517@btinternet.com for more details.

A Celebration of Wood-firing

A weekend workshop
Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th April 2009
Following on from the success of April’s “Salt & Soda” weekend workshop at the Whichford Pottery, just north of Oxford, this two-day event, supported by the CPA will feature practical master-classes, talks and seminars by several of Britain’s leading exponents of wood-firing. Guest potters already confirmed are Charles Bound, Svend Bayer, Nic Collins and David Garland. Places on the Weekend Workshop are limited, so early booking is advisable. Cost £125 (£100 CPA members). Lunches, coffee, tea and home-made cakes included.
To book a place, or to find out more, please contact the Octagon team.
Whichford Pottery, Whichford, Nr. Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire CV36 5PG.
Telephone 01608 684416. Email theoctagon@whichfordpottery.com

A new wood-fired kiln has been built at Whichford, in readiness for the workshop weekend. It was fired for the first time recently to cone 10 reduction and the fired results are very encouraging. It will be fired on the Saturday of the workshop weekend, (by John Jelfs) and opened on the Sunday.

The weekend, which is supported by the CPA, will be fun and informative with something for everyone interested in hand-made ceramics. Comments at the last Whichford workshop (Salt & Soda) included:

“Great venue, great programme and organisation”
“Lots of info and friendly potters to talk to”
“Absolutely wonderful! Kiln aspects as well as talks and demos made a rounded programme.”
“A total buzz from start to finish.”

This weekend also marks the opening of a major exhibition of wood-fired work (with a preview for workshop attendees) on Saturday April 25th. As well as the guest potters, exhibitors will include Ben Brierley, Ray Finch, John Jelfs, Adam Keeling, Jim Keeling, Stephen Parry, Phil Rogers, Robert Sanderson and others.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

For Sale

Potterycrafts Topworker kiln P5959, 6.2 cu ft, 3 years old, in very
good condition. Comes with two shelves, props, digital controller,
brand new spare set of elements. £950 ono.

B178 Millacron 11 cone drive wheel. 3 years old, in excellent condition as neither of us can throw! £300 ono.
Contact Craig and Cat for more details

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Report from Rosemary Cochrane

Dear CCGG Members,
It is a delight to keep in touch with you and when I heard you were holding your AGM in St Ives, with hot pasties followed by a tour of the Leach Pottery, I couldn’t resist asking if I could “tag along” and make it a weekend break in St Ives! Thank you so much for your group’s friendly company. I hope you will enjoy a short report I have compiled and which will be published in South Wales Potters’ newsletter in the future.

Combine an Indian Summer, B & B with a view of the sea, a plethora of art and craft galleries, exhibitions, paintings and pots to die for, time for the necessary indulgence of endless beach combing and sketching, fish and chips on the harbour wall, a garden haven of wonderful plants and even more wonderful sculptures, a restored museum and working pottery …. you’ve guessed? I could only have been in St Ives in mid October!
The Leach Pottery
It has been well publicised that The Leach Pottery in St Ives was rescued from neglect and semi dereliction by the Bernard Leach (St Ives) Trust. With help from the Penwith District Council they finally secured £1.7m for the restoration project. The original pottery and cottage are now listed buildings and the wood-fired climbing kiln is a scheduled ancient monument. The Old Pottery and Museum, new workshops and exhibition space were officially opened to the public earlier this year.

We were shown round the Old Pottery by Joanna Wason who, together with one of our group, Nic Harrison, reminisced about the days they had worked there. The clay store, throwing room, a small corner where the original Leach kick wheel still stands, seem to be just as they always have been. I could so easily visualize the space alive with turning wheels and wet pots. The old fireplace, where many a philosophy and glaze property would have been discussed, seemed to be whispering tales of some of the most important and influential potters of the 20th century who worked and visited The Leach Pottery. In an adjacent room the climbing kiln, built in 1923 and used until the 1970’s, stood quiet, with the flames and heat of past firings long gone. Imagine
the many thousands of pots which were unpacked from the chambers, many must still be treasured by their owners.

Jack Doherty was appointed Lead Potter at the beginning of the year and he talked to us about his own work in the loft studio. There he has set his wheel in the same place that Bernard Leach worked, under the window that looks down the road towards the town. The sense of part of the continuing tradition of studio pottery at St Ives clearly means a great deal to Jack. He produces his own pieces in porcelain for soda firing and has designed the soda fired standard ware to be sold at the Leach Pottery. The newly built ground floor workshop and studio has space for up to four potters and four MA students who will share their time between working for themselves and making pieces for the standard range. At present two MA students have been taken on.

The main and current Exhibition, The Bernard Leach Story curated by Emmanuel Cooper, was displayed in a new building dedicated to changing exhibitions. Another room was filled with John Leach’s pots, both his individual pieces and the Muchelney Pottery kitchen and table wares. Outside a timber walkway leads to the gallery and shop and it was a delight to linger on the wooden bridge that spans a gravelled space set out with planters and bamboos: a Cornish Japanese garden. In the gallery “Formed in Fire” showed new pots from eight kilns. The outstanding piece for me was a soda fired open form by Gail Nichols, rich with flashes of rich terracotta and tangerine surfaces and brown orange peel drifting into the inside of the bowl where a pitted, soft grey surface coated the concave sides.

Across the car park there are three new kilns: a small soda kiln a much larger one and a good sized kiln for stoneware reduction firings. The first results were, Jack Doherty reported, pleasing and the future results are anticipated with great enthusiasm.

Described as the iconic site for potters all over the world, the Leach Pottery in St Ives has to be on the “must visit “ list of potters and anyone who loves clay. I would have gone even without the temptation of the CCGG and a hot pasty.

Sutton Taylor and Michael Sheppard
The New Millennium Gallery was almost a last minute choice to visit over the weekend. But what a glorious unexpected treat was in store for us. Sutton Taylor’s lustre ceramics are for me the crème de la crème of this wonderful, complex glaze effect. Beautifully displayed in acres of quiet white space on two floors of this gallery, his large bowls, tall bottles and slab containers pulsated with vibrancy that only lustre can bestow. On the walls, near the pots, the paintings of Michael Sheppard hung in symbiotic elegance. As lifelong partners, the common creative inspiration of Sheppard and Taylor has been the love of Cornwall and the ever changing Cornish landscape. The juxta position of the lustre ware and abstract paintings was clearly not contrived in any way but was inspiring beyond description. I have to say that sometimes the amazing visual impact just takes your breath away and words are as impossible as they are superfluous. If I had sent you a post card it would have simply read: “Wish you were here!”
Rosemary Cochrane
Nov. 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008


And John and Jan Mullin’s Pottery
Back by popular demand, we will be returning to Svend Bayer’s studio for his annual sale, at which you should be able to acquire wonderful examples of work by this renowned potter at bargain prices. We shall also have the opportunity to see his remarkable wood fired kilns, in which his work is fired to cone 12 over a period of about four days. The pottery is at Duckpool Cottage, Sheepwash, Black Torrington, North Devon Ex21 5PW and is best approached from Highampton on the Holsworthy to Hatherleigh road, turning left to travel due north, passing straight through Sheepwash village square, continuing for about 1.5 miles to Filleigh Moor, grid reference SX 485086. Please aim to be there at 10.30 am.
Lunch will be at the Half Moon at Sheepwash 12.30 –2pm
There has been a change of plan in the afternoon. Clive Bowen is in France that weekend, so instead we go on to visit John and Jan Mullin’s pottery at September House, Parnacott , Holsworthy , Devon EX22 7JD For details of John’s work click here
Please contact Jenni Phillips on 01579 345860 or njphillips@clara.co.uk if you are intending to come. Please try to share transport where possible. If I can, I will link up those who want to share lifts.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"Shine" Christmas Fair

CCGG member Viv Robertson of Gweall Teag Ceramics will be participating in the "Shine" Christmas fair at Trelowarren Gallery.
This runs from Friday November 28th to Sunday 30th.
Further details from:-
shinefair@cornwallcrafts.co.uk tel: 0781 317 0612