after three days of attacking the garden, order has been restored to some extent. the cowslips look much better with the patchy tufty grass cut and the hogweed removed.


the apple trees and the rowan are flowering too, and there are a few big cow parsleys.


yesterday I started to tackle the roof arch of my kiln. it has been sagging for a while and needed rebuilding. I took the top off and the insulating clay and perlite that covered the brick arch yesterday – a filthy job. all the metal has rusted, and everything was full of soot from my heavy reduction firings.


today I had to make a former to support the arch while I took it apart, so hardboard had to be purchased, and then my woodwork skills got tested severely while I worked out how to make a curved former which I could get into place, past the flue which sticks out into the roof.


a lot of nails and some glue acheived the necessary object, and I was able to dismantle the arch. the bricks had to be numbered before they were taken out, and laid out ready for the rebuild.


after the side support bricks had come out, the iron bars which support the arch proved not to be bent or weakened at all, so I am at a loss as to why the roof was sagging so much, unless the whole frame of the kiln has expanded. I am going to get slightly longer bars and a friend to help put the bricks back so hopefully it will be a better arch.


I have made some pots with a little of the orange clay that Antonio at Moreno Leon, the tinajeria in Torrejoncillo, gave me. its great stuff to work with, very tough and pliable. it seems to have a lot of gritty rock in it. I also want to try making a glaze, combining the clay with the encina (ilex oak) ash from my woodburner in Spain.


I have sprinkled earth from my finca onto the clay and rolled it in.


but my real job in the next few weeks is to make the rest of the pieces for the Salthouse Church installation.