The difference between the amateur and professional maker is that the amateur spends more time in the studio, or rather, professionals spends a higher proportion of their hours in activities other than making. For me, that’s planning, designing, glaze calculations, selling, packing and dispatching, looking for new exhibition opportunities, networking, visiting exhibitions, reading, bookkeeping and admin.

I’ve been developing new glazes and planning a range of standard tableware in stoneware, which doesn’t produce many interesting pictures, but here’s a successful glaze test getting just the right shade of turquoise and just the right surface texture. It’s a line blend of stains and copper oxide. Since you ask, the best one is No. 4.


I said that there were only a few traditional studio potters in Ceramic Art London last week and that there was more innovation than ever. Not surprisingly, some potters are unhappy about it. Eddie Curtis (above), a potter for forty years, and by no means conservative in his work, just missed selection and has written a long post on Facebook expressing his annoyance. He is leaving the Craft Potters Association (CPA) in protest.

Phil Rogers, a potter in the Leach tradition, who was for many years a leading figure in the CPA also writes about his disillusionment and explains why he left several years ago, feeling marginalized.


We went with my nephew to the Natural History Museum, and while his parents took him to see the dinosaurs we looked at the Darwin Centre, the extension that houses the research labs and Cocoon, which explains the science behind the collections.

This case was next to an introduction to the great naturalists whose collections are in the museum – Darwin, Wallace, Sloane, Banks and Cheesman. When you have several million items, the next task is to classify them, and we were invited us to have a go on the things in this vitrine, which was like the Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge. It was attractive and amusing as well as instructive, so I took a few pictures.