I have been walking in Portugal for the past week. The sun was warm, the sky was blue and my mood lifted daily as the cares of the world
fell off me one by one. Well they would, wouldn’t they, in scenery such as this!
Whilst I was there I tried to find some local ceramics to buy but was frankly disappointed by the rather sad touristy things on offer.
I did, however, find one or two bits of interest. The fishermen of the Algarve still catch octopus in ceramic pots which are rather beautiful, especially once they have become encrusted with barnacles
Apparently the octopus like the cool, dark interior of the pots and take up residence, only to be hoiked out of the water after a couple of days before they can take evasive action. I am rather attached to octopus – they have always struck me as intriguing and with good intelligence. However, as the fisherman I was discussing this with pointed out, they can’t be as clever as all that as they fall for the same trick repeatedly!
The other thing that caught my eye was the interior of a bread oven. Over the past winter I have actually felt inclined to stick my head into an oven from time to time; it has not been an easy winter!
However, when I finally decided to do so what I found was really rather lovely: The roof of the oven had been domed by using simple terra cotta bricks and tiles. If it had not been for the discomfort of the angle to which I had to contort myself in order to photograph it I could have lain in this oven gazing upwards for some time!
So now it is back to work. I have one more week of holiday from teaching during which I have a huge list of things to do in the studio. This list includes preparations for the Open Studios, making additional work for Klaylondon and preparing for a visit to the Design Factory for a mentoring session. I also want to start trying out some of the treasures
that I have brought back from the amazing cliffs of the Algarve: I can hardly wait to be back in the studio on Monday morning.