In every generation craftspeople discover that they can't make a living making things by hand. William Morris was unusual in running a successful business, but C.R.Ashbee, after heroic efforts to set up a craft community in the Cotswolds, eventually gave up in the early years of the 20th century, undermined by competition from machine made … Continue reading CRAFT CONTRADICTIONS AND THE KELMSCOTT PRESS
My recent posts were about putting handles on cups and turning bowls, each of which made use of the appropriate technology. I went on to cups and saucers, which were thrown on the wheel and then turned, and as I was making them I started to wonder if was using the correct method.Throwing gets to … Continue reading THE RIGHT METHOD FOR POTTERY MAKING
The condition of the clay has to be just right for turning, not too wet and not too dry. I am waiting for these little bowls to harden off so I am writing about it before I do it. The usual description of the correct clay condition is "leather hard", which doesn't communicate much. "Cheese … Continue reading HOW TO TURN A FOOT-RING ON A BOWL
Attaching handles to mugs requires the right degree of hardness/softness in the clay, hard enough to manipulate without distortion, soft enough to get a good fix and to press gently into shape. My handles are extruded and attached with dabs of slip, so they can be fairly hard, so can the mugs. My rule is, … Continue reading ATTACHING HANDLES TO MUGS
I stopped for a bite to eat at Ruskin's Cafe in Museum Street, London, after a meeting at the Society of Designer Craftsmen and was pleased to see this maiolica tile panel behind the counter. I didn't ask where it comes from but it looks Italian, like the staff. Ruskin would have approved.
The birds stripped the berries off my fruit bushes in past years, so this year I spent a day putting up a fruit cage. I don't remember the pigeons being so predatory - that's one of the changes we've seen in this garden, along with the decline in hedgehogs and butterflies and the arrival of … Continue reading A FRUIT CAGE OVER REDCURRANTS