summer should be the best time for making pots, but when the weather is good the three huge pieces of double glazing in the pot shed roof make it a little hot. however I can’t complain about that much this summer.

the lilies are just starting to open their buds; I have been vigilant against the lily beetles and there are four pots of healthy plants.

the last batch of pots which should fill the kiln for a second biscuit firing; stage one – I have plastered semi-liquid china clay on the surfaces which blends in an interesting way with the mess made by brown slip when joining, with a few finger prints added. my glazes really like this mix.

ready for the spout after a good slapping ….

four little bottles with shoulders. I had already been looking at Cycladic sculpture, which is where this spade silhouette shape came from, but a friend gave me a book on it, with some great images. the marble bowls and containers have wonderful texture, rough powdery surfaces, and craggy edges …

so I have gone back to making some bowls – these are cut out of the rolled out clay as discs, then put over a mould and paddled into a rough bowl shape, then pinched and generally squished upwards and inwards as much as the clay will stand (this is recycled for about the third time, so it doesn’t stand up to a lot).

another one with porcelain slip daubed over it. you can just see a vase with manganese oxide and sgraffito marks lurking in the corner.

then this bigger shallow bowl with a lot of china clay powder sprinkled onto wet porcelain slip

more finished pieces waiting to go into the kiln

already biscuit fired; painted with black iron oxide and scored;

this one painted with manganese – I have no idea what these oxides are going to do under my glazes – I just hope they don’t end up melting all over the kiln shelves.

I made a whole batch of these in a mix of the black clay and a dark stoneware to replace the big black bottle which cracked in the last firing. hopefully the mixture will give these a better chance.

I want to dedicate this post to my old friend Max Bell (not his real name) who sometimes commented here and was always encouraging. I was very sad to hearĀ  he died this weekend, after a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. far too young and with too much to do to go out like that.