Newsletter - Anglian Potters

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Newsletter - Anglian Potters
Newsletter
Summer 2012
In this issue:
Nigel Edmondson
Doug Fitch
CCA Gallery
Ostinelli & Priest Workshop
AP Website Update
www.anglianpotters.org.uk
Chairman’s Report
Doug Fitch Day event
The demonstration day at Mundford,
was attended by many and enjoyed by all.
Some members at the end of the queue
were left with a modest lunch. I wonder
whether the ‘early birds’ had a rather
large appetite!!!
Selected Members
My congratulations go to Angela Mellor,
Anja Penger, Christine Pike, and Peter
Deans, who were successful at the April
selection meeting, and join the list of
Selected Members.
CCA Gallery, Cambridge
The Selected Members’ show at the
Cambridge Comtemporary Art Gallery
in April represented Anglian Potters
wonderfully well. I viewed it on the first
Saturday morning, and Colin Saunders
already had a teapot ‘red spotted’. See
page 6 for Colin’s report and Anja’s
photographs of the show.
Pottery in the Shires
Julie Houghton of Corby Kilns,
promoted this show in Burton Latimer
on 4 and 5 May as part of Craft and
Design Month. This new venture
brought together 13 potters and attracted
Editor’s Notes
Cover: Lidded vessel by Doug
Fitch Photo: Carolyn Postgate
It is difficult to remember now that
we have some May sunshine how
bitterly cold it was on the Sunday of
Nigel Edmondson’s demonstration at
Mundford. I hope that members who,
like me, were snowed in at home and
were unable to make the journey will
enjoy the article and photographs kindly
supplied by Liz Chipchase and Marion
Johns. It does sound as if those who
made it had a great time, as did the
participants of Ostinelli and Priest’s
many visitors but sales were modest.
Peter Cuthbertson, Dameon Lynn,
Katharina Klug, Jane Sanders and myself
were the AP members involved. It was
good to exhibit in Northants, and meet
some new potters.
AGM at Mundford
By the time this Newsletter is published
the AGM will have happened, but I
would like to thank all committee officers
for their service and support.
Victor
workshop later that same month. It is
amazing to see the different styles of
AP members showing through despite
all using the same basic construction
techniques.
I want to draw your attention to the AP
website update on page 13. Now that the
migration to the new upgraded website
has been completed, the log in method
has changed a bit, so we all need to get
used to the new system, which uses the
email address held on our membership
list. Another major change is that it is
now possible for all members to have
their own profile page, where they can
showcase their work to the public. If you
have any comments or need help, don’t
hesitate to get in touch with Geetha, our
Webmaster.
A reminder: don’t forget to let me know
about shows you may be involved in, and
I will give them some publicity. Don’t
forget, too, to send me pictures and short
articles if your summer holiday takes you
to interesting places and potteries!
Carolyn
Anglian Potters Newsletter Summer 2012
Chairman’s Report|Editor’s Notes|Committee
New Selected Members
Nigel Edmondson Demonstration
Selected Members at the CCA Gallery, Cambridge
Running a Gallery in Modern Times
Summer Exhibition at Emmanuel College
Doug Fitch at Mundford
Two Bits of Good news from Norfolk|Members’ Websites
Ceramic Helpline|Benefits of Membership
Website Update
Ostinelli & Priest Workshop
Members’ Shows
My Favourite Tool|Book Review
AP Clay Stores
For Sale|Diary|Membership Fees|Advertising Rates
Frank Logan
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 17
Page 18
Page 19
Page 24
Contents
Owl – Ostinelli & Priest workshop
New Selected Members
Angela Mellor
Anja Penger-Onyett
Peter Deans
Christine Pike
This year we have four newly selected members:
Peter Deans, who makes functional ware, lovely
jugs, bowls and goblets. He started his career
in pottery in New Zealand and has a lot of
experience in throwing pots.
Angela Mellor, who works with slipcast bone
china and produces delicate vessels so that the
light shines through. She spent some years on the
other side of the world in Australia, where she
completed her studies and started developing her
current work.
Christine Pike, with her intricately sculpted work
of human and animal figures. Christine trained
and worked in soft sculptures and has in the past
worked as a designer of puppets and
bears for several companies.
Anja Penger-Onyett, with her sculptural
work and ceramic jewellery. The
Elemental sculptures are assembled
from individual ceramic elements and
the Meteorites are hollow spherical
shapes glazed in reduction-fired glazes.
The ceramic jewellery is made from
simple geometric shapes also glazed with
reduction-fired glazes.
Congratulations to our newly selected
members and many thanks to the
Selection Committee and to Carolyn
Postgate for sorting out the venue!
Anja Penger-Onyett
Selected Members Secretary
Nigel’s pot in a landscape – a slide from the laptop
presentation
Marion Johns
Like all our demonstrators, Nigel
brought along an assortment of his
favourite tools and since he works with
coarse textured Craft Crank clay these
tended to be on the large side. Thus,
he uses lengths of saw blade rather
than a serrated kidney to scrape back
and texture his work, a pizza cutter for
cutting slabs to shape, wooden battens
for tapping seams together and kitchen
scouring pads to smooth off edges.
Favourite tools
Nigel began his demonstration by
assembling one of his slab built
landscape pots. The sides of these are
made from slabs that have been placed
over a former of plywood bent to give
a gentle curve to the clay. These two
curved sides are joined together with
strips of clay some 3 inches wide using
slip made from dried, reconstituted and
sieved crank applied with a slip trailer.
The edges are tapped together with a
wooden batten, checked for verticality
and then placed on a slab of clay that
will form the base. The outline of the
pot is marked on this and then the
base slab is cut approximately 5 mm
larger all round and drainage holes are
punched out. The base and pot are
scored, slipped and joined together and
the extra 5mm of clay is drawn up to
form an angled lip that will not retain
water. The top of the pot is then cut
to give a pleasing curve and the whole
pot is textured, first by scraping back
with the saw blade and then by lightly
polishing with a rubber kidney to
soften the effect. A central panel is then
decorated in Nigel’s distinctive manner.
He uses a combination of texture and
colour on this panel to give the effect of
rock strata. The colour is applied with
a sponge and is basically a white slip (1
part ball clay:1 part china clay) to which
Scarva high firing colours may be added.
The texture is provided by a variety of
means including: impressing the clay with
a volcanic rock, wiping on soft clay with
a palette knife, attaching small balls of
clay (Peter Beard’s clay body, which is
very white) or thin rolls of crank clay to
emphasize the appearance of strata.
Marion Johns
Liz Chipchase
It was unfortunate that Nigel Edmonson’s demonstration day coincided
with the only substantial snowfall of the winter in our region. Happily,
in spite of the conditions, Nigel managed to make the journey from
Cumbria to Mundford and was joined there by some 40 determined
Anglian Potters from around the region. As is usual in a crisis, everyone
rallied round to make the best of things. By 10.30 the car park entrance
was cleared of snow and ice, an austerity lunch had been obtained from
the village shop and the chairs were arranged so that even without a
projector and screen we all stood a fighting chance of seeing Nigel’s
presentation on the laptop.
Nigel’s current work concentrates on the production of pottery for
the garden. This may take the form of pebble pots, slab built plant
containers or large sculptural pieces all decorated with texture and
slips and enhanced by careful placement of Sempervivum plants. It is
interesting to compare this work with some of his earlier pieces where
the decoration was heavily influenced by Moorish architecture and tiles.
In those cases decorative slips were used in strict geometric patterns
on smooth clay surfaces to give very formal controlled-looking pieces,
quite unlike his current work. His change in style was influenced by his
move to the Lake District where the landscape captured his imagination
and he decided to incorporate it into his pots. Thus the texture and
stratification of rocks, the muted colours of the vegetation and the
towering silhouettes of the surrounding mountains are all reflected in
his work.
Marion Johns
Nigel Edmondson Demonstration
Similar but rather less extensive
decoration is used on his pebble pots.
These are constructed from two shallow
bowl-shaped slabs formed over hump
moulds joined together with a coil of
clay. The coil is smoothed on the outside
using a wooden batten and the closed
pot is then centred on a banding wheel
so that two concentric rings marking
the foot of the pot can be applied.
Drainage holes are then cut within
Marion Johns
Marion Johns
Marion Johns
Building a snowman on the football pitch at Mundford
Marion Johns
this area. The pot is turned over and
re-centred on the banding wheel and a
circle of clay, equivalent in diameter to
the size of a 1 litre flowerpot, cut from
the middle. The inside edge of the coil
joining the pots can then be smoothed
out to complete the seal between the
two halves. The outside of the pebble
pot is textured as before and decoration
applied. Nigel had a series of half-circle
templates of different sizes and used
these to mark out a pattern radiating
from the central hole. He pressed pellets
of brown or white clay into the pot to
highlight this pattern and flattened them
by gently beating with a batten resulting
in a mosaic of clay circles. After biscuit
firing the decorated areas of the pot
are painted with a mixture of iron and
copper oxide (2 parts iron to 1 part
copper) and this is then sponged back
to leave the oxide in the crevices of the
pattern.
Constructing a pebble pot and a slabbed vessel
Finished pebble pot, detail
Liz Chipchase
Nigel’s passion for texture is particularly
apparent in his ‘monoliths’, tall columnar
pieces that look as if they might be hewn
from a rock face rather than built up
from clay. In essence the ‘monoliths’ are
built using much the same techniques
as already described and because Nigel’s
kiln is of limited size the larger ones are
built in sections that can be joined after
firing. Painstaking application of clay
layers and the use of many texturing
techniques results in pieces whose
natural appearance is emphasised by the
plants that cling to little pockets and
seams in their surface. In some cases the
clay surface is an actual representation
of Cumbrian geology: Nigel recounted
that on one of his walks he found a
particularly toothsome rock surface half
way up a mountain and felt compelled
to return with a rucksack full of clay
to make some impressions of this. It
was our good fortune that to a man of
such determination an East Anglian
snowstorm was no deterrent.
Liz Chipchase
Selected Members at the CCA Gallery, Cambridge
Anja Penger-Onyett
Anja Penger-Onyett
Anja Penger-Onyett
For at least two reasons it shouldn’t be
me attempting a review of this Selected
Members’ show at the Cambridge
Contemporary Art Gallery in Cambridge.
Firstly, as one of the exhibitors, I’m too
personally involved. Secondly, I only saw
the show on its final day after much of
the work had been sold.
However, it does need saying that
Anglian Potters put forward some very
good work in a prestigious gallery and
that this was in no small way due to the
efforts of Anja (who, until recently, was
not even a selected member!).
Whether the public was aware that the
show was of our specific group I don’t know. There was certainly no AP banner. Perhaps to regular visitors – those already familiar
with some of our members’ work – the gallery seemed much as usual.
Public there certainly was! Surely Trinity Street must be one of the busiest thoroughfares in Cambridge for actual pedestrian
numbers. For me it was an experience to see a ‘machine for selling art’ working flat out. (See Anja’s article on the CCA’s use of
electronics in the running of a busy gallery on the opposite page.)
There were no red spots. It was wrap and go. I understand from others that what I saw of the display was only of the particular
moment I visited. Because of the turnover, all was in a state of flux: what was in the window one day would be in a glass case the
next. Yet there remained an overall sense of display and good labelling and definition between artists.
Somehow, amongst all our pots, were paintings! The gallery’s eggs were obviously not all in one ceramic basket! Perhaps, as the
paintings were hung at eye level, the pots tended to be positioned either high or low.
At one point I found myself looking
down on to a group of four dishes
impressed with leaf patterns, and I
did appreciated their quietness, their
simplicity and ceramic qualities. In
contrast I found some other work far
too sophisticated, as if every trick in the
artistic handbook had been used. But is it
for me to offer such opinions?
Thinking about the show and this review
it struck me that the world we potters
inhabit is such an interesting one. Our
concerns are with little scratchings and
squeezings, bumps and hollows, rough
bits and smooth bits, which are of such
importance to us that they can raise such
strong responses. We are fortunate in our
association, with its exhibitions, meetings
and newsletter, because it enables us to
emerge from our cocoons, air our beliefs,
and listen to those of others.
Colin Saunders
Running a gallery in modern times.....
I have been doing this job as Selected
Members Secretary for a while now
and in that time I have dealt with a few
galleries. I thought I would tell you what
was different about dealing with the
Cambridge Contemporary Art Gallery
(CCA).
In times of ever-rising printing and
mailing costs, the CCA completely avoids
sending anything out by letter. No Private
View invitations to be printed, no letters
to be sent. Instead, anyone who is on
the mailing list gets an email Newsletter
announcing the upcoming exhibition
and giving the names of all participating
artists. You can click on each individual
artist’s name and a new page opens,
which gives information like the artist’s
statement and a few pictures of their
work (see picture 1). Again you can click
a button which then shows more of the
work of that artist or even better, the
pieces that are actually being exhibited
(see picture 2). That is if the artist takes
pictures of the work which is going to
be delivered to the gallery in the next
few days! Knowing me and some other
potters the pieces might still be hot when
they end up in the delivery box! I have to
admit that can be a bit cumbersome, but
if it is possible it ends up as an online
catalogue giving up-to-date information
including prices etc. Maybe someone at
the other end of the world falls in love
with one of the pieces and buys it over
the Internet???? Everything is possible.
The use of the Internet doesn’t end here.
If artists are lucky enough to sell pieces
of their work, the gallery reimburses
the artist directly by bank transfer. No
cheques! And we all have to get used to
that, don’t we?
I don’t think the CCA is very unusual
in doing all this. I haven’t met this
procedure before but I have to say I do
like it!
Anja Penger-Onyett
Selected Members Secretary
Summer Exhibition,
Emmanuel College
Entry forms for the Summer Exhibition
at Emmanuel College will be sent out
by email (or post to those who haven’t
supplied an email address) around the
end of the first week in June.
If you haven’t received a form by then,
contact Jackie Watson on 01603 261 951
or email [email protected]
Picture 1
Picture 2
Heather Graham
Top left: decorating tool.
Above and right: The
hollow rim of the puzzle
jug; hole piercing; after the
collapse!
Below left: a selection of
glazed bowls
Carolyn Postgate
Carolyn Postgate
Heather Graham
Heather Graham
Heather Graham
Another highly successful AP Demonstration day! Where
do they find all these potters who are willing to travel from
the far reaches of our fair land and venture into darkest
East Anglia? These brave folk risk their sanity by entering
the land of the Anglianus Potterouties; a strange tribe who
spend most of their days playing with mud. Even though
Doug had travelled from deepest Devon this must have
been quite daunting for him!
Doug proved to be a skilled thrower, an entertainer and a
pyromaniac! I like the way that he bases many of his pots
on the English Mediaeval style. It’s always good to have one
eye on the past.
Doug digs his clay from a field in front of his studio. This
was a new one on me; I thought that clay came in plastic
bags from Shotley or Rampton!
Doug set about throwing (with consummate ease) a puzzle
jug. These were intended for use in inns and public houses
as a humorous drinking challenge and are a centuries-old
tradition which still survives today. I began to get quite
concerned when he filled the just-thrown jug with water
to prove that it worked! We were all way ahead of him at
this point as we know that you have to fire clay to make it
waterproof! The ensuing flood was to be expected!
Heather Graham
Doug Fitch at Mundford
Heather Graham
John Freeman
Heather Graham
Carolyn Postgate
Heather Graham
Heather Graham
Heather Graham
Heather Graham
His second pot was a Harvest jug used for beer or cider
at that time of the year. I was disappointed that he didn’t
bring any Devon beer or cider in order for us to test one
of his fired Harvest jugs!
The short videos from Doug’s daily blog were interesting,
especially the one that gave a whole new meaning to
‘throwing’ pots when we saw his method of dealing with
rejects!
We had another really enjoyable day spent in the
company of a potter who made it look easy with his
relaxed, carefree approach. However, at the same time
he engendered respect and an appreciation of a real
craftsman at work.
Left: decorating a tall jug
Anton Todd
with a glazed example below.
Right: Harvest jug being
slipped and decorated, with
finished jug below.
Below middle: flame-drying
a vase and audience
participation to decorate it.
Kilns for ceramics
New and second-hand equipment
Kilns and furnaces serviced and repaired
Potters wheels – pugmills
Essex Kilns Ltd
Tel 01621 869342
email [email protected]
www.essexkilns.co.uk
10
Two bits of good news from Norfolk
Congratulations to Michael
Wickwar, a recently-joined
Anglian Potter, who has
been awarded the Medal for
Excellence for 3D Creative
Craft by the City and Guilds,
for his imaginative ceramic
creations. This prestigious
award recognises the
achievements of students who
produce exceptional work,
and show a true journey of
progression. Michael reckons
that, although it is not exactly
a Masters in Fine Art, it is
more than he ever hoped to
achieve, but also recognises
that he “has gone from
being a rich builder to a poor
ceramicist”!
At the Lion Awards evening
at The Round House in Camden he was
also awarded third place in the Lifetime
Learner awards.
With the encouragement of his tutors
and fellow potters in AP, he will be
concentrating on his ceramic sculptures
and looking forward to taking part in
more exhibitions.
Congratulations also to Michelle Daniels,
an Anglian Potter with a wealth of
experience, who combines her creative
life with teaching at Wensum Lodge.
One of her Raku vases, inspired by
her travels in Thailand, features in the
Reviews section of the latest Ceramic
Review.
Jackie Watson
Members’ Websites:
www.angelamellor.com
www.brendagreenart.co.uk
www.cathydarcy.com
www.ceramicsbuyanja.co.uk
www.corbykilns.co.uk
www.christinepike.com
www.getfiredup.org
www.heathergrahampotter.com
www.helenhpottery.co.uk
www.helenmartino.co.uk
www.iangeorgeceramics.co.uk
www.janburridge.co.uk
www.janehollidge.co.uk
www.jjvincent.com
www.johnmasterton.co.uk
www.judsonsinfrance.com
www.katharina.klug-art.com
www.lolaswainpottery.com
www.madeincley.co.uk
www.
madelainemurphyfinetableware.com
www.maggygardiner.com
www.mariamcullumceramics.co.uk
www.obypottery.co.uk
www.patsouthwood.co.uk
www.potterycourses.com
www.potterycourses.net
www.richardbaxter.co.uk
www.robbibbyceramics.co.uk
www.rockwellpottery.com
www.rowanhumberstone.co.uk
www.stephenmurfitt.co.uk
www.susancupitt.co.uk
www.suffolkstoneware.co.uk
www.swaffhampotter.co.uk
Contact the Editor if you want to
add your site to this list.
SHORT
COURSES
Form, function and family – wheel thrown porcelain
Chris Keenan
31 August – 3 September
Decorative ceramics with sculptural press moulds
Kate McBride
14 – 16 September
17 – 21 September
Raku – making, decorating and firing techniques
Tim Andrews
14 – 18 October
Throwing functional pottery including cookware
Alison Sandeman
26 – 29 October
A creative approach to ceramic tableware
Sandy Brown
30 November – 3 December
Tim Andrews
Making bowls with vitreous slip decoration
Carolyn Genders
For further information and a list of all our short courses, visit our website www.westdean.org.uk/college
West Dean College, West Dean, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 0QZ ,[email protected] 0844 4994408
New to West Dean? Get a 10% discount when you book by phone. If you pay in full online you will receive a 5% discount. Prices already adjusted.
11
Ceramic Helpline
Selected Members to contact:
Alan Foxley: handbuilding,
reduction firing 01799 522631
Colin Saunders: mould-making,
transfers, slipcasting
01379 588278
Victor Knibbs: electric kilns,
oxidised stoneware, modifying
clay bodies
01480 214741
Deborah Baynes: raku, salt
glaze, stoneware, earthenware
(reduction & oxidised)
01473 788300
Beryl Hines: general, raku,
earthenware
01473 735437
Usch Spettigue: raw glazing/
single firing
01473 787587
Margaret Gardiner: salt / soda
firing
01279 654025
Sonia Lewis: high-fired ware,
porcelain
01353 688316
Angela Mellor: bone china
paperclay and slipcasting
01353 666675
If you are willing to give advice
and be added to this list, please
contact the Editor.
Benefits of Membership
Amongst the many benefits of becoming a member of Anglian Potters is the
opportunity to show your work in the ‘open’ exhibitions. We recognise that for those
who are just starting out as makers, and are still finding their way in terms of skills and
knowledge, exhibiting can be a daunting business. Is my work good enough? Am I
ready to show what I make?
Friends and family may be encouraging, but possibly biased in their views (or even
just being kind) so may not be best placed to offer you the advice you need. You can
of course visit one of our exhibitions and make judgements on the standard of work
of your fellow members. If you think, “I could do better than that”, then maybe you
should try!
Another option is to use the support offered by some of the Selected Members who
willingly offer help and encouragement to any member seeking advice about their
work. These reviews are informal but can offer guidance on how you might progress
your skills or might suggest areas to which you could give further consideration. The
outcome should help you decide if you are ready to expose your work to a wider
public. The best time to arrange a review is at one of the demonstration days, when
there will be more selected members present. A short meeting just after lunch is the
usual pattern.
The Selected Membership provides Anglian Potters with a broad knowledge base, and
those willing to give advice on many skill-based areas give their contact details in the
Newsletter.
Members who are looking to apply for Selected Membership are also advised to have
a review of their work prior to making a formal application. This can be arranged
through the Selected Members Secretary, Anja Penger-Onyett
Applications can only be accepted from those who have been a member for at least a
year and have shown work in the annual open exhibitions.
As a guide, the qualities the Selection Committee will be looking for will include:
• Demonstration of competence and employment of relevant
skills/knowledge.
• A personal approach that is not directly derivative of another
maker.
• A good understanding of any functional aspects, and how
they might relate to the overall form.
• Evidence that aesthetic consideration have been given to the
form, surface decoration where applied, (including glaze) and
finish.
• A commitment to contribute to the broader activities
organised by Anglian Potters.
Ray Auker
Vice Chairman
The members’ profile page on the new website
12
AP v2 is up & running!
Thank you for everyone’s patience and co-operation during the wait for this upgraded version of the
AP website.
• The objective is to allow the latest news and events about AP members and their work to be
available immediately to everyone.
• It gives Anglian Potters a professional showcase for the public and potential members.
• All AP members can now login and update their profile description and images if they want their
work to be publicly viewable.
• All suggestions and feedback for improvements are always welcome.
Login
• Login instructions have been emailed to the email address registered with the membership
secretary. Those with no email will receive their username and login instructions by post.
• Password: please remember to change your password upon first login using the Account tab
in Edit My Profile, following the password rules. You can also request a login reminder for
username or password reset.
• To change your registered postal or email address, please contact the AP Membership Secretary.
Members Suite
Upon login, the Members Suite menu will be available on the left.
Important Info – provides you with all the necessary instructions
and details about what you can do from the Members Suite menu.
Member News – any announcements or news for the members
will be posted here by Committee members.
Submit an Article – If you have any news you would like to share
with other members, you can submit an article to be approved and
published.
Edit My Profile
New and Existing Profiles:
• Online help is available if you hold the mouse over the blue (i) buttons.
• Your public profile information is stored under each of the various tabs.
• Please complete all relevant information about yourself, your work and your studio details.
• Each profile is allowed 1 profile image and 3 portfolio images.
• Please note the Studio Location address can be different from your AP Members Address.
• Updating your Studio Location address will not automatically update your AP Membership
Address on the Membership list.
• To save your profile, click on the Update button at the bottom of each page.
• Please save (Update) each page as you complete it to ensure that you don’t lose any data, especially if your login session times
out while you take a long time to update.
Existing Profiles:
• Your public profile will be updated immediately.
• You have to logout to be able to see your own profile via the Gallery.
New Profiles:
• If you want to show your work to the public, use Edit My Profile page to update your profile, fill in Yes under Approval Tab
so that it will be reviewed by the Committee.
• When logged in, you cannot view your own profile under Gallery or Awaiting Approval. It is only viewable under Edit My
Profile.
• Once approved by the Committee, your profile and photos will be public for anyone to view your work on the Gallery page of
the website.
• You will be notified by a Committee Member if any changes are required to your profile.
• You can use Edit My Profile at any time to view your profile.
• If you don’t want your profile to be public, you don’t have to do anything.
For all queries, feedback and suggestions for improvements, please email [email protected]
Geetha Alagirisamy
AP Webmaster
13
Saturday 11-Sunday 12 February 2012
Make no mistake: Paul Priest knows what he is doing. Behind
the fund of anecdotes and laid-back manner lies a formidable
talent that has helped Ostinelli & Priest carve out a special
niche in the world of contemporary clay sculpture. Art school
trained (“but I’m fully recovered now!” he says with a wicked
gleam), his years of drawing human and animal forms have
resulted in a fund of instinctive knowledge that informs his
work, rather like a pianist whose fingers move automatically
over the keys in response to a familiar piece of music.
Paul certainly knows how to work an audience, and if he
strays too far and too long from the topic at hand, his partner,
Gaynor Ostinelli, is there to steer him gently but firmly back
on track. That said, the workshop I attended in Woodbridge,
on one of the coldest days of the year, was fun – with a
capital ‘F’!
The Ostinelli/Priest technique involves the laying of thin
sheets of clay over a bubble-wrapped armature. The result is
quick, intuitive, and impressionistic, with a strong sense of
movement. Under Paul’s hands the clay is rapidly transformed
into a bull, a dog – even a human head.
I came to the class with no pre-conceived ideas of what I
might create but there were plenty of books and images
on hand to inspire us. I elected to attempt a dog since I
Liz Chipchase
Ostinelli & Priest Workshop
Frank Logan
Liz Chipchase
Liz Chipchase
particularly admire the way Paul makes
his canine beasts look wild and comical
at the same time, and I wanted to see if
I could capture some of that same spirit.
At first, things did not go so well and
I was struggling with my head study
of a no-breed mutt until Paul came to
the rescue and, with a few deft touches,
adjusted my lump of clay into the full
14
figure of a seated dog. This is very much
the Priest philosophy: to ‘go with the
flow’ and respond to the direction of
the clay. What starts out as a dog might
end up as a pig or a hare: to use another
musical analogy, his method is more akin
to freeform jazz than classical music.
Many people elected to attend an
Ostinelli & Priest workshop in order
Liz Chipchase
Frank Logan
Frank Logan
Frank Logan
Liz Chipchase
Opposite page top: Mary Wyatt’s bird; a parliament of
owls; a head built up over its bubble wrap framework;
Jubilee dog.
Above: workshop participants; Cathy D’Arcy building her
armature; Don Quixote and Sancho Panza(?); boar’s head.
to loosen up their sculpting style and
become freer in their work; myself
included. It was a little daunting at first
just to plunge in but I soon overcame my
apprehension and it was very satisfying
to see my piece come together quickly,
once I had got myself into Paul’s
method of working. Like all the most
experienced potters and sculptors I
have watched, he manipulates the clay
with a very light touch, hardly using any
pressure at all. While my own efforts
were more heavy-handed, I was still able
to appreciate how the thin layers, sliced
with a wire from a solid block of clay,
result in beautiful and surprising textures,
which can be enhanced once biscuit-fired
with judicious applications of colour.
A one-day workshop may be a hostage
to fortune in that the hopes and
expectations of students to go home
with a finished piece can so often be
met with disappointment. The pressure
of learning new techniques in a limited
amount of time might well result in
failure if the tutor isn’t able to give
sufficient attention to each person, but
we were blessed to have both Paul and
Gaynor to guide us and everyone was
able to complete – or nearly complete
– at least one animal during the session.
Due to the popularity of this ‘taster’
workshop, Ostinelli & Priest have agreed
to run further workshops in future,
the first of which will be devoted to
making a cockerel in their distinctive
style, sculpted over a turned base (bases
will be supplied). If you are interested in
attending, please contact Frank Logan
on: 01953 688353
Christine Pike
15
16
Members’ Shows
Pottery at the Priest’s House
The pre-Reformation Priest’s House at Easton on the Hill, near Stamford, is one
of the National Trust’s smallest and most unusual properties. The building houses
a comprehensive exhibition on the now extinct process of mining and preparing
the hard limestone slates from the neighbouring village of Collyweston, from which
they take their name. Collyweston slates still cover the roofs of many of the oldest
buildings – from cottages to castles – in this part of the country.
Pottery exhibition
This summer the Priest’s House will
be open to the public every Sunday
afternoon during July and August. In
addition to the existing exhibits there will
be a special display of the work of Pat
Armstrong, an accomplished potter who
lives in the village.
Easton on the Hill is 2 miles from
Stamford on the A43 Kettering Road.
Open Sundays in July and August
2-4.30pm.
Entrance is free. All are welcome.
Angela Mellor
Open Studio Exhibition
‘Coastal Light’
Stephen Murfitt
Stephen will be taking part in
the Cambridge Open Studios
for all 4 weekends in July at ‘The
Workshop’, 18 Stretham Road,
Wicken CB7 5XH
Everyone welcome!
Tel. 01353 721160
Open 11am-6pm
8-23 September
The central exhibition venue will be at
Yarrow Gallery, Oundle from 15 September-6 October, with a private view on 14
September. More information is available
at www.openstudios.org
Melanie Max – Paintings
Lorraine Allan – Jewellery
Open Weekends
July 7/8; 14/15; 21/22; 28/29
Opening Hours 11am - 6pm
17
My Favourite Tool...
I use a lot of ribs in my work to remove
throwing rings – I prefer to have a
smooth surface as it brings out the
curves of a form for me. I use a steel
kidney, but I cut a lot of my own shapes
to get the curves I want. I think this
Debenhams card still has points on it!!!
Madelaine Murphy
Book Review
Photograph your own
Art and Craft
Sussie Ahlburg
£16.99, 144 pp
A&C Black, London
I have to confess a special interest in this
book, as the author has photographed
my work, and has included a few
photographs of my pieces as illustrations
of different aspects of photographic
techniques, so I might be predisposed to
favourable comments!
While this is not a book that will give
you a deep grounding in the technical
details of photography, it does give a
good overview of many of the issues
associated with making images of your
own (or other people’s) work. The
author covers the choice of medium
(film or digital), cameras and lenses, at
a level that would at least allow you to
18
ask the right questions when buying
equipment from a photographic shop.
She then moves on to the nitty-gritty
of taking photographs of craft objects,
starting with camera settings, depth
of field and exposure, and then taking
the reader through the issues of
lighting, composition, backdrops etc.
Recognizing that not everyone will have
access to photographic lighting, she also
covers photographing work outside and
using natural light and backgrounds.
She discusses using interiors for ‘lifestyle’
shots, showing work in context, or with
other complementary styles, and also
working with models – perhaps more
useful for textiles than ceramics. One
chapter covers the variety of 3D work
– glass, fabric and leather, silver and
other metals, ceramics, jewelry and lamps
and lighting. Further short chapters
discuss 2D work, photographing work
at exhibitions and trade shows, and
finally commissioning a professional
photographer.
The book is illustrated with hundreds of
photographs of many types of object,
often different views of the same object,
but with different camera settings,
different lighting conditions, different
angles. Each chapter has these practical
examples, all taken by the author. For
me, these photographs are the strength
of the book – it is so much easier to get
an understanding of the possibilities
for an image by seeing these examples,
rather than reading a weighty manual of
camera instructions (my digital SLR came
with a 600 page manual and a DVD of
instructions!).
John Masterton
Brick House Crafts operate from 5,000
sq ft premises in Essex. They are pleased
to confirm the continuation of their 10%
discount scheme to members of Anglian
Potters on raw materials, clays (up to
1/2t) and hand tools. Lessons available
on an hourly basis together with City &
Guilds Level 2 & 3 courses (100% pass
rate to date). Contact Mary or Maureen
Tel: 01376 585655
www.brickhouseceramics.co.uk
from the Potterycrafts range
Products carefully chosen especially for dedicated craft potters.
You don’t have to be making a living from your pottery
but if you are serious about ceramics then the
Studio Selection is for you.
19
For Sale
Fitzwilliam Wheel
Wooden cabinet, fibreglass
splash tray. Large amounts of
clay can be thrown with ease.
Low noise and vibration.
In good condition
£800
Throwing bats (large)
included if required
Pugmill
Horizontal pug mill
in good condition
£250 approx
6 bags white earthenware clay
(superwhite AW23) £30
Contact Sue Bruce
e: [email protected]
t: 01394 384865
FREE
to a good home!
A set of gas burners which
were used to fire a very large
gas kiln (40 cubic feet, I think! ).
Also a gas ‘pre heating’
torch with pipe and connections for propane cylinders. I
will be happy if a potter can
put them to good use and
therefore they are free for anyone who would like to collect
them from my studio.
Contact Stephen Murfitt
Tel. 01353 721160
‘The Workshop’ 18 Stretham
Road, Wicken, CB7 5XH
For Sale
A large quantity of
commercial slip moulds:
Vases in assorted sizes, some
suitable for garden use
Bud Vases, Urns & Pots
Animal Figures (Domestic and
Wild)
Kitchen Clocks & other Clocks
Lamp Bases
Figures & Indian Figures
Christmas Decorations
Bowls (assorted)
Birds & Oil Burners
Tankards & Goblets
Mugs, Teapots & Plates
Horses (carousel)
Fantasy Figures
Cards & Picture Frames
Bathroom sets
Angels, Fairies & Clowns
Please telephone Tina Thurman
on 01284 827281
Diary Dates 2012
Potters’ Camp:
8-12 August, Shotley
Summer Show:
18 August-5 September
Emmanuel College, Cambridge
Elizabeth Smith:
9 September, Mundford
www.crafts.org.uk
Selected Members’ Show:
25 September-22 October
Reunion Gallery, Felixstowe
Alan Parris & Billy Byles:
21 October, Mundford
www.aylesfordpottery.co.uk
Christmas Show:
17 November-16 December
All Saints’ Church, Cambridge
Membership Fees
Ordinary £27 – half year £15
Joint £45 for two people at the same
address – half year £25
Institution £50 for a college or workshop
– half year £27 (details on application to
the Membership Secretary)
Student £10 for full-time ceramics
students – proof of status is required
Advertising Rates
Price per issue, 4 issues a year
Full page w 18cm x h 26.8cm
Half page w 18cm x h 13.4cm
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1 column w 5.7cm x h 17.6cm
1 column w 5.7cm x h 8.8cm
Leaflet inserts (350)
Landscape vessel by Nigel Edmondson
Photo: Liz Chipchase
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1 August 2012
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