Here are some photos from after the Lockdown eased in April '21. The long winter came to an end and the we bright spring days were the perfect backdrop to teaching a record number of people to throw pots on the wheel. We were all enjoying a bit of normality alongside the challenging fun of spinning clay on the wheel. The flowering quince that grows over the kiln shed, is my favourite orange and inspired the glaze on the pots shown here.
I've been chuffed with the reactions that I've had from the new space at the end of the garden. It's a much larger space which makes for a more comfortable experience whilst being creative. (Unfortunately, mopping the floor now takes longer!) Nestled at the end of the garden is great for a natural setting. We all felt quite cosy last Tuesday whilst Storm Brenda was raging outside.
The problem of 'Climate Change' is something I care about and it is also probably important to everyone who comes to the pottery. So I'm pleased to report that the energy that fires the kiln (which makes the pots) is 100% renewable. I use a company called 'Peoples Energy' which, by the way, I can highly recommend.
This week has been very exciting as I've witnessed the building of the new Pottery Cabin at the end of the garden. During the Summer we cleared the site of two old garden sheds and have been getting used to a empty stage at the end of the garden. This week lots of action took place and we saw the new building grow steadily upwards until yesterday when we celebrated it's completion! There's still lots of work to do which is all rather daunting. But the aim is to move the Bushey Pottery Studio into the cabin after Christmas.....lets wait and see.
It's been a fun time in the pottery this Autumn. We've all been exploring a new way of working using the old familiar latex balloon. Everyone is familiar with using balloons to make models out of Papier-mâché but using balloons with clay is not so common. One thing has led to another and using the common balloon has been leading to some beautiful pieces made by class members. Take a look at some examples below including some work in progress.
The summer has brought with it some new ideas for the future of Bushey Pottery. I've decided to relocate the studio to a new site - not far away, just a short stroll down the garden path. It started with the feeling that it would be nice to have a slightly larger space which would mean class sizes could expand a little. My neighbours had a log cabin installed at the end of their garden earlier in the year and after taking a closer look I decided that this was the sort of space that would be ideal for the pottery. So after much careful deliberation the cabin is ordered and the task of clearing the space was underway. Two large sheds have always lived at the bottom of the garden and these would have to go. So this summer has been spent reorganising and literally raising roofs. The better of the two sheds was donated to a wonderful project at Aldenham Country Park and will be used for making handicrafts by people in the community. The other I didn't feel was worth keeping so was painstakingly dismantled by myself and my lovely son. It was an exciting challenge which included me putting a nail in my foot but lots of fun solving all the various problems that tend to arise when you try and do something the diy way.
Spring is well on the way and the vigour of nature is inspiring our creativity. We have been making plates in the shape of birds in flight, amongst other things. Chickens and birds that carry lights have also been popular. I've suffered several breakages in my home which has prompted me to get busy on the wheel again and produce some replacements.
I am trying a new Wednesday afternoon class for the Summer term and hope to give spaces for more people to enjoy being creative with clay. Ceramic Art London is on next weekend and look forward to being inspired by all the amazing work there as well as meeting up with a couple of my friends who will be selling there.
I am coming up to the first anniversary of Bushey Pottery. I started my first classes in January 2018. So it is a good time to pause for thought. Its been a busy time and I've learnt so much. So glad I took so many photos of the many pieces of work that have been made by students in the classes. I have many of the same students now that started with me in January '18 which is lovely as they now feel like good friends.
The pottery has changed in appearance as I decided to get rid of the large kitchen dresser at the beginning of the Autumn term. This helped make the studio feel lighter and increased the floor space. The shelving I added also meant more storage. At present I'm thinking of getting another shed to for walk-in storage outside but am still undecided on this.
My work in the community has grown with the monthly meetings with the Watford and Three Rivers Refugee Group. Making the Christmas decorations with them was lovely. Making extra to sell at the charity craft fair was also a highlight but exhausting.
Only a few days until Christmas and I've still got pots that need to find their way back to their makers.