Sprigs!

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Wednesday was the day for bisque firing my designs for the new sprigs to attach to pots, so I spent much of yesterday making moulds of the newly fired originals to let me reproduce them. Some ratties, some cats and a hamster. Now I have to wait for the moulds to dry and be bisque fired before I can use them. I’ve left the details on most fairly soft because I want to be able to add sharper carved details once they are on the pot, although I went a bit further with the hammy as otherwise it was just a blob.

My moulds have all come out fairly well except for those for the ratty coaster, which I think will have to be used just to pattern the clay before I cut it out properly with a biscuit cutter. I’m sure there will be a way to make it work.

 

moulds

I’ve also had a big session making more of the orange slice tumblers because the first set turned out so well. They are very good practise at making consistently sized cylinders and also good practice at attaching clay sprigs, because there are five ‘orange slices’ attached to each one. Fourteen tumblers, 70 sprigs. Ergh.

Take care,

annettesig

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Looking forward

Quick update on what I’m up to. All the current ratty mugs are packed for the Midlands Rat Club show tomorrow.

I’m working on making mugs with pictures that stand out in relief, like the hare mug that’s drying in these pics.

The tumblers with orange slices on were made the same way, taking a mould from those dried slices you can buy at craft shops. They were glaze fired yesterday and I’m waiting for the kiln to cool down enough to have a look. That’s glaze firing #50, so I hope to get a decent video of the opening.

The ratty is an original for ratties to put on the next batch of mugs. I had already tried some, but they didn’t turn out right and ended up in my clay recycle bucket. The first ratty model wasn’t thin enough, and the curve of the mug adds bulk so it made the mugs really heavy and clunky.

That’s all for now. Take care,

Annette ๐Ÿ™‚

Preparation

I’m currently preparing for the next Midlands Rat Club show on Sunday 5th August. Ratty mugs are made, ratty incense burners at the ready, and a pile of other goodies to take along.

I’ve also been preparing to go full time with Parsnip Pottery, or at least as full time as life will let me. I’m resolved to keep up with my email, blog posts, email newsletters and facebook posts. Not sure it will be possible, but we’ll see.

Here’s a preview of the items I’ve made specially for the show. I intend to start work on more of these for my Folksy shopย as soon as I can.

Annette ๐Ÿ™‚

ratmugs

Ratty vases and mugs

Ratty oil burners

Ratty oil burners

Looking ahead

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hattonstandjun18

After a weekend manning my Parsnip Pottery stall at Hatton Country World in the sunshine (so hot that I caught the sun even in the shade), I’m looking forward to leaving work at the end of July, which will give me much more time to concentrate on learning and on selling pottery. There are still so many ideas that I don’t have time to try right now. I have begun to carve animals onto my pots and have some ratty and saluki ones waiting to be glazed, but I want to create relief models of some of my colouring book pictures and then turn them into sprig moulds so I can put them on pots or relief panels, sort of like the sprigs on Blue Wedgewood. Gonna be fun!

triss mug

Saluki prototype

catbowl

Cat yarn bowl

Keep on pottering on!

Bye, talk later,

Annette ๐Ÿ™‚

Ratties, drippy cups and slow going.

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We’re down to just five ratties here as of today. My last girl went to live with my daughter and her rats a couple of weeks ago, leaving me with just six boys. Then last night we noticed that Hashtag, one of the boys, was very off colour, so we took him into the vets this morning where he was diagnosed with bladder stones and a very full bladder indeed. The vets gave him some painkillers and then tried unsuccessfullyย  to dislodge the blockage with a catheter, then tried their ultrasound to see if that would help. When his bladder was still completely blocked we decided it was best to let him go whilst still under the anaesthetic. It’s always such a blow when they go downhill so quickly. Upsetting. This is why I need a break from ratties. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

On the clay side of things, I was hoping to do a bisque firing today, but most of my greenware is still not dry enough. Things seem to be taking weeks to dry at the moment. Three of the mugs I was going to fire had the handles cracking off too, so I bunged them back in the clay recycle bucket. I’ve got some vases and yarn bowls that I’m itching to get glazed but they just don’t want to dry out. I did get a few mugs through earlier in the week, trying a speckled clay and a drippy glaze effect. Very cliche, but fun. The sienna glaze I tried didn’t work too well as it pulled away from the rim of the mugs leaving a rough surface to drink from, but the blue glazes have done a really nice job. I used Amaco Textured Turquoise over Amaco Blue Midnight. There are five more to glaze, so I’ll use the same combo for those I think. The bare clay at the bottom looks well vitrified and I think has picked up a slight sheen from the glaze above

drippy

I’ve also bought a big stack of plastic boxes to transport pots to shows in, as we realised last weekend that cardboard boxes aren’t a great idea when the ground is damp, and it takes a long time to unpack and re-pack when there are several layers of pots in each box. This weekend I need to move my pots into the new boxes. 18 litre Really Useful Boxes – I think I can fit 12 mugs in a box and they stack nicely.

I picked up a nice little mirror on a wooden stand from a charity shop this morning to use when throwing, so I can see my pots from the side. Just ยฃ3.99, which isn’t bad at all. You might get to see it in action, because I want to make a process video to play on my stall next time we do a show. A bit of telly always brings people over.

OK, I’ll stop talking now.

Take care,

Annette ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

Craft Fayre in the snow

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So the weather could have been better. We were hit by what the media are calling the ‘mini beast from the east’ – the temperature dropped to around freezing just for the two days of the craft fayre, with a wind chill of six degrees and snow over ice on the roads, so no-one with any sense would decide to go out to a shopping village off un-gritted roads to spend their pennies.

Thankfully some hardy souls did come along, and we managed to recoup about half of the stand fee over the two days. Some of our fellow stallholders didn’t make a single sale all weekend, and we eventually all packed up at 3pm on Sunday rather than waiting until 5. My feet have never been so cold, even with double sockness.

hattonstand

hattonsnow

My husband completed my new super dooper mug stand late the night before the show, and it looked amazing so I need to show it off. Here you are.

hattonmugtree

I’m definitely going to try again, maybe at a warmer time of year, but this was a good trial run.

Thanks for reading,

Annette ๐Ÿ™‚

An exciting weekend

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Here it comes, the Easter Fayre at Hatton Shopping village, the one that I booked in a fit of enthusiasm when I first decided that Parsnip Pottery was going to be a real thing. It’s this coming Saturday and Sunday, two weeks before Easter and on the days when the temperature is expected to drop a few degrees after a relatively warm week. Better wrap up warm! Thank goodness it’s in a marquee.

Seven boxes of pottery packed, including a LOT of mugs because I’ve been trying to achieve perfect mugness over the past couple of months. With luck and reasonable weather we may make enough money and shelf space to let me carry on making and learning for another few months.

My amazing other half is busy making me some floor standing mug trees, just hoping he manages to get them finished in time for Saturday.

Wish me luck!

Annette ๐Ÿ™‚

Fun stuff

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I’m telling you, I had such a good holiday period. So much playing with clay, I made a load of mugs that are just now going through the kiln, a couple of teapots that are drying very very slowly because I’m so nervous that they will crack. Right now I’ve got 11 goblets in the bisque kiln. I’ve tried to make goblets before and they weren’t ideal, but I’ve got the hang of it now.

The first of the latest mugs are now on Folksy, so we’ll see if anything sells.

Parsnip Pottery at the MRC

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Today was the day of the Midlands Rat Club Christmas Show, with my first venture out for Parsnip Pottery. We had a reasonable day’s sales, although visitor numbers were depleted by the threat of more snow this weekend. Even Santa couldn’t make it as he was snowed in at home – you would think he’d be used to it!

dec17show

My display needs a little work, I’m sure it could look better than that, but the pots themselves were well received. The best sellers were not surprisingly the rat mugs and the rat ornaments. Thank you to all my new customers.

The next few days will be taken up by the updating of my website so I can sell online. Then I can work out how to post the pots without breakages. Onwards we go.

Take care,

Thanks for reading,

Annette ๐Ÿ™‚