Silver Pebble Workshop...... In a beautiful village with home made biscuits too... what more do you want?

I have been waiting for this day for a long time. I treated myself to a place on one of Emma Mitchells workshops to celebrate finishing my degree...... I had been invited to spend the weekend at Grayson Perrys " A House for Essex" but had turned it down in favour of this workshop so I had high hopes indeed...... and as you will hear Emma didn't disappoint....

We bought found objects and natural objects to use for our pendants.

We bought found objects and natural objects to use for our pendants.

We were welcomed into Emma's beautiful home with fresh coffee or tea or even a home made infusion. Lots of science of silver was discussed as well as parental blogging ( Penny Alexander had travelled all the way from The Peak District.) The other ladies were lovely and Emma is so generous with her knowledge ( her botanical wisdom is astounding ) and she was so enthusiastic about all the treasures we had bought with us to use.

Emma also has the best turn of phrase of anyone I have met and I could just listen to her talk for hours ( which after the workshop I did as we found we had lots of common ground so I was lucky enough to have yet more rosehip / goji berry tea....) Everything good is met with " thumbs" and a thumbs up sign, something which I am aiming to carry through to my own workshops.....

 

We made molds of our found objects, possibly one of my favourite things I have ever learnt and am planning to buy at least a ton of blue and white squish to make molds from...... 

We made molds of our found objects, possibly one of my favourite things I have ever learnt and am planning to buy at least a ton of blue and white squish to make molds from...... 

When we had made our molds and oohed and ahhed at each others wonderful intricate designs... ( one lady bought the most amazing antique lace with her which was so much more sophisticated than my creations but I am a simple soul....)  We were then let loose with the silver clay........

Emma showed us how to stipple and get the most from our impressions in the molds.

Emma showed us how to stipple and get the most from our impressions in the molds.

We cautiously rolled out the clay and had been told we had approximately ten minutes to get it pressed into the molds before it would dry out.... Ten minutes suddenly seems like a really short amount of time but we all got out impressions done and out 3 D creations secured. The pieces then went into the oven for 15 minutes whilst we relaxed with home made biscuits an tea infusions and of course endless conversation - only bought to a halt by the delicious anticipation of our makes coming out of the oven in what Emma described to me as "The leather hard stage"

Emma then took the 3D creations off to het little kiln and we all gathered around the hob in her kitchen to fire the flat pieces.

 

Emmas kiln is so sweet.... I wonder if I could sneak one of these in unnoticed.... I would have more kilns than pairs of shoes!

Emmas kiln is so sweet.... I wonder if I could sneak one of these in unnoticed.... I would have more kilns than pairs of shoes!

We all gathered around the hob and watched the alchemist at work......

Emma explaining gauze and how to get it ready for firing.

Emma explaining gauze and how to get it ready for firing.

The moment where the silver clay turns to silver.........

The moment where the silver clay turns to silver.........

We then polished our pendants and ooohed and aaahhhed again at how beautiful and intricate everyones designs were... 

My silver man.... I have yet to create the button but I will......

My silver man.... I have yet to create the button but I will......

My beautiful crab apple, found by chance this morning whilst walking the dogs anticipating the day........ Who would I meet? Would I fit in? What would I make? Had I got the right pieces? Oh look there is a lone crab apple.........

My beautiful crab apple, found by chance this morning whilst walking the dogs anticipating the day........ Who would I meet? Would I fit in? What would I make? Had I got the right pieces? Oh look there is a lone crab apple.........

Thank you Emma for an amazing day. I have learnt so much and best of all feel I have made a life long friend.

Open Access Clay Club

Today was the first Open Access clay club. This class is for those of you who wish to let your imagination run wild and you can create what you wish. I was so impressed with the wonderful creations made today I am sharing a few photos here. I will add finished photos after the glaze firing so you can see what these talented people did next.....

 

Beautiful screenprinted and layered bowl.

Beautiful screenprinted and layered bowl.

This is a Bird Bath made using crank clay. There is a screenprinted beetle inside and a little bird which is going to perch on the edge.....

This is a Bird Bath made using crank clay. There is a screenprinted beetle inside and a little bird which is going to perch on the edge.....

Wonderful planters which are going to have an interesting twist when finished.....

Wonderful planters which are going to have an interesting twist when finished.....

Open access is exactly that - my studio is open for you to have a go at everything - wheel throwing as well as handbuilding.

Open access is exactly that - my studio is open for you to have a go at everything - wheel throwing as well as handbuilding.

The most enormous bowl made on a hump mould with screenprint inside....

The most enormous bowl made on a hump mould with screenprint inside....

Ceramics on the Isle of Eigg

I am on holiday on the picturesque Isle of Eigg in the Scottish Small Islands.  We have seen dolphins and eagles and as I type the sun is shining. Yesterday we walked around the headland from Laig beach where we are staying to The Singing Sands cove. My daughter, aged 7,  was amazing at scrambling over the rocks and identifying which rocks would be slippery and which would be safe. All the while during this, at times treacherous walk, I was taking photographs of my small ceramic boats on the rocks, in rock pools, among seaweed for my Shipping forecast Project which is a book I am creating for my University degrees final major project. 

Welcome to Clay Club Blog

Many years ago I had a blog. It was called Just Herding Cats and was like a private diary of my families life. The trouble I found was that I spent so much time writing about my family and our life I sort of forgot to live it, so I stopped writing, forgot the password, changed email addresses 100 times and Just Herding Cats is now just out there somewhere floating about. It was set to private too so you might find it but you wont be able to read it..... Anyway what was all that leading up to? I am now braving a new blog - documenting bits and pieces I find interesting and hopefully sharing some of the happy times that happen at my workshops and with my ceramics.

You are welcome to comment, I especially hope to hear from people who have been to a class and are now sipping tea or eating crisps from one of their creations...... 

Welcome to my new home and I hope you will join me and my dogs and radio four in the studio soon.

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