Talk & Tips

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s a long time since my last post as I have been frantically busy. I do a run of mixed craft shows from October to mid December and last year I made a promise to myself to start making for them in August which I did. Earlier in the year I did a trade show which was okay but not fantastic and I get some gallery orders to start the year with then fast forward to August, almost all at once while I think my pre – Christmas planning is going well I had a lot of trade orders and a huge dinner service order which I had to put in front of making stock. I’m not complaining better to be busy than slack but there was a few times that the pots were still warm as I boxed them up and it would be nice to feel less rushed.

I make a wide range of work which is on the Potteryman site. Most of the shows have been in the South of UK and they range from an open house weekend  to large events like Wisley gardens which lasted 6 days. I am now doing a local festival in Rochester UK which celebrates Charles Dickens, I have just about got enough stock to do it.

I have noticed this year that people are starting to spend a bit more and along with my one off’s I have had increased sales of tableware. It’s nice owning a one off pot that adorns your house but if you can use it that’s what I call added value.

It’s also this time of year to plan for 2015, for the summer shows I first try for all ceramic shows or the more up market art shows; these you have to be selected for and often pay a fee for the pleasure. The problem is getting in, often they are over subscibed and often they only change a small amount of exhibitors each year and you get the idea that if you are well known then you are in. I guess when organizing an event you need some names to get the public through the gate -so no sour grapes!!!     I have applied for 7 or so shows with the thought that I will be lucky to get 1 or 2 – maybe my next blog will be oh I’m so busy I have 7 ceramic shows to make for – help. My mantra is, ” if you don’t apply you don’t get in”.

For all that read my blog have a great Christmas and if you don’t celebrate Christmas then just have a great time relaxing, chilling or what ever floats you boat.


You may have noticed over time how some glazes change in their application, for instance my tenmoku recipe hasn’t changed for the last 3 years but instead of the raw surface after application drying slowly it dries faster and the finished surface is very dusty which makes handling and decorating difficult. This can be cured by mixing Epsom salts (about 10 grams) in a little hot water and add this to the bucket. The glaze will appear thicker while the weight per pint will remain the same. This will only work if the glaze contains clay so if the recipe has none a small amount of bentonite (1%) should do the trick without altering the appearance of the finished glaze. If you use the brush on glazes this tip may also help because when you brush on glazes they need to be a thicker consistency to dipped glazes. To be on the safe side add the Epsom salts a bit at a time in case it goes too thick. I think Epsom salts are used if you have constipation so get ready for some comments from the chemist!!!

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