Welcome to my news page which I keep up-to-date with any significant information about me and my work, such as exhibitions for example. You can find more detailed and regular updates on how I work on social media. You can access them through my website or go directly via my Instagram or Facebook accounts.
 
This news page started its life in autumn 2016 when I was required to write a blog during my MA degree course in Ceramics at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, UK. Thus, going back you will find many blogs chronicling my artistic developments along with more personal observations made during those two years. 

New test tiles

This is trying out my new Mayco design liners and a black clay. Wanting to see how the design liners and underglaze work on black clay and also see what the three new design liner colours look like once fired to stoneware oxidation. Testing out how the underglazes will come out after firing. This is before glazing. And there results are rather mixed. Firstly, the clay body colour is a dark brown and not black. The underglazes don't really work. They cover properly and subsequently look rather dirty. However, the design liner work better than anticipated. Even the black lines on the dark clay create a subtle but rather nice effect. The white lines on the dark tile works well. The white liner,

Surface decoration test on mug

The first mug out of a set of eight that I've thrown on the wheel and am using to try out patterns and different surface decorations. This one is a bit different from the other mugs. I used a Superwhite clay, which in previous tests has proven not to come out white but a grey buff colour. The first stage of decoration was using a shellac resist technique on greenware to create a textured pattern around the bottom of the mug. After bisque firing I used black and white underglazes and a black design liner. I gently rubbed back the black underglaze to accentuate the texture of the resist pattern. The white lines have been scratched into the black and grey areas. I retired the mug in a bisque fi

Further surface painting trials results

Based on my first surface painting trial done on a large slab I now how the finished glazed little test tile. There were also fired in oxidation to about 1270ºc. Unfortunately, I wasn't very careful when rolling out and cutting the tiles so they have warped during the firing. However, as my main aim was to test different surface decoration patterns this isn't too important. The colour combinations are not necessary my favourite choice as I used the premixed slips we had in the studio. I will mix my own slips in future. Of all the tiles this seems the most successful to me. The pattern I used it loosely based on a pattern I have come across researching Pueblo pottery. I have used layers and p

Surface painting trials: first result

So, after a bit of a wait the first test tile based on the surface decorating techniques I picked up by watching the video online by Erin Furimsky has come out of the glaze kiln. I am very pleased with the result. The colours are a bit dark but that is partly because of the colour of the clay body. The decoration on zigzag strip in the centre was added after bisque firing by painting on underglazes and using the black Mayco Design liner for the black lines and dots. I think it needed the black outline on one side to accentuate the zigzag pattern. It's a good start!

Pinch pots

Maybe I should try out making some pinch pots for decorating. I just want to see how my decorating style sits on much more organic pots. Also, pinch pots have always been a bit of a challenge to me as they always flare out when I make them. These are only small and will need a bit more refining when they've firmed up but I'm quite happy with them. I'm also trying out a different clay: a porcelain stoneware.

Exhibiting: Northern Potters

I have been a member of Northern Potters - West for a few years. It is a good opportunity to meet likeminded local potters with very different backgrounds. We meet about four times a year to exchange information, discuss what is coming up locally and organise exhibitions. And sometimes it is just simply a good opportunity to have a chat over a pint of beer. This year marks the 40th anniversary of NPA and we start it with showing our work in PR1 gallery at the University of Central Lancashire. This exhibition is running from the 7th to 24th February. I was pleased by the feedback I got at the opening by people telling me how good my work looks and much I've come along during my MA. Of course,

Mono print trial

Wanting to try how to mono print onto clay by painting slips onto a plaster mould and then pressing a piece of clay into it. Well, this didn't really work at all! As is obvious from the photo taken after the print attempt, most of the slips just stuck to the plaster mould. Only a minimal amount of slip got transferred except for some of the textures, which I didn't want. I think I should have done a bit more research. Next time I'll either have to prepare the plaster mould in some way or add a layer of slip as a sort of binder or choose liquid clay.

Further surface painting trials

Trying out different patterns using coloured slips and underglazes. I applied paper stencils on three tiles to mask out any slips. Then I used a hair dye applicator bottle as a slip trailer to apply different patterns in coloured slips. Next all pieces were covered with a layer of slip or underglaze. Then another layer of detailed decoration was added. This was again covered under another layer of slip or underglaze. I tried to remove the paper strips carefully. The tiles were left to dry slightly before I used a metal kidney to scrape off the top layer of slips to reveal the patterns made. In some cases where there was a bottom layer of underglaze overlaying layers came off. That was not my

Underglaze surface decoration: Result

In order to fix layer of applied underglazes I put the dish through a second bisque firing. Then I sprayed it with a clear glaze and fired it to about 1260-1270ºc in oxidation. Somehow the glaze didn't melt properly and it sits as little droplets on the surface. Probably the glaze didn't get hot enough as this dish sat in the bottom of the kiln. Thus, I have had it refired in oxidation to about 1280ºc, making sure that this time it sat in the top of the kiln. The result is much better. However, I didn't put enough glaze on the dish in particular on the out/underside which is feels a bit rough where it hasn't had enough clear glaze. The colours have come out darker than expected but I do like

More clay trials

So, I've now done more tests on eight different sorts of clay. Horizontally each line is one sort of clay. Vertically the left column is fired to ca 1140ºc, the central column in gas reduction to ca 1270ºc and the right column in electric oxidation to ca 1270ºc. As expected, the grogged porcelain sample at the top is the whitest. I am astounded how dark some clays go when fired in reduction. The red and blue underglazes keep their colours quite well even in the higher temperatures and seem to be more affected by the change of clay colour than temperatures.

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