Over the past few months I have waffled on a bit about a number of different sources from which I have received material to include in my vessels. This week, I have decided to give you all a rest from waffle and simply update you.
The material was given to me by the gas men working in the road outside our family home. I have begun using it and the results so far are great. I have only made small so far but will be going large any time soon hopefully in time for Handmade in Kew
Meanwhile, given that I cannot stick to anything for too long I decided that for the material brought to me from Ashtead Clay pit A Man Walks into a Studio and . . . I decided that I would change the design a bit and go all cylindrical. The finished pieces are great and I think there will be more of these too before I arrive in Kew Gardens.
So that’s it for a bit, folks. Next Sunday I leap on a plane and fly west for a few weeks. Vancouver, look out, I am on my way! I will blog again in October. Hope you can bear to get by without me.
Cambridge, a summers day, sunlight filtering through willow trees – get the picture? Well what else would one do but take a punt and go up the river to Grantchester for a picnic in the meadows? It simply has to be done. And so we did it. Despite the cross wind, which made the punting awkward even for hardy boating types, we got to the meadows and settled down to share our feast. The punt was tethered by its pole but not tethered enough it would seem as, only a few olives into the hors d’oeuvres it gently drifted from its resting place and took off across the river.
Enter the nephew – a strapping young lad – who leaped to his feet, plunged into the river and recovered our (un)trusty vessel. Everyone was full of praise. delighted that our return trip to the city was no longer in jeopardy and handing him an extra piece of sausage for his troubles. I, on the other hand, was staring at his legs. He was covered in the most exquisitely smooth looking clay!
In a flash the cheese had been removed from the safety of its sandwich bag and I was down on all fours in front of my nephew’s feet. The next thing I knew, his father took pity on him and, in order to prevent the embarrassment of having your aunt scraping the mud off your legs with a butter knife, said father grabbed the bag and hot-footed it down to the river bank returning with a deliciously glutinous mass; cold to the touch and wonderfully squashy.
I am reliably told that in the Cambridge University Engineering Department, the mathematical models for soil are categorised from gravel to sand to silt to clay. At the two ends of the spectrum they decided to develop mathematical behaviours for ‘Granta Gravel’ and ‘Cam Clay’. To be honest, this may be of huge importance to the world of soil mechanics but as far as I am concerned I am simply agog to know how it is going to behave in my kiln.