Back to the Earth


"Like a pig in mud"

said someone

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Well the summer is finally here... or was!  Now writing this on the only day it has rained in days!  But over the last week or so I have been arms deep in clay and toes! Recycling the growing barrel of trimmings and  worshoppers practice pots that has been sat in my studio for months groaning by the sheer weight of mud and abandonment on my part. It's a job i've been putting of for way too long! But I have to say it has been a huge amount of fun.

My Guide to reclaiming the mud

My recycling methods are pretty primitive to say the least, I'm saving for a pugmill in my imaginary extra saving pot.  But in the mean time my tools are; 

- Old Pillow Case

- Rope 

- Two rubber buckets

- Tap water 

- White vinegar

- Wooden boards

- Huge quantities of the Sun 

- Power Drill & Paddle Bit

- Two pea size guns  

The process is fairly easy; 

Stage 1: Have a big rubber tub of clay with a polite message to everyone to chuck their slops, trimmings in. 

Stage 2: Let it sit for days and try not to catch its eye! No don't do this! Recycling regularly is a much better idea! 

Stage 2: Cover the dry clay scraps in water and a little white vinegar - Helps the clay remain nice and sticky and stretchy,  the acidity in the vinegar helps break down the clay a bit and makes the studio smell like a chip shop, especially when the kilns on. 

Stage 3: Remove the resting water that separates from the clay and get your guns on a Powerdrill make sure it is powerful enough (500w) is good enough and you have a solid paddle Bit to get in amongst all the clay.

Stage 4:  Make two holes in the top of your pillow case, thread through soft rope so that you have something long enough to hang, or make a pully from. Fill the pillow case half way up with the sloppy clay. Hang pillow case up so that the water drains out, I use a rubber tub and have suspended my pillow case from my old Kick Wheel which weighs a tonne - You will need a strong ceiling or something that can take the dead weight of the clay for a long duration. Depending on how warm your studio is the water will take prob about 4-6 days to get most of the moisture out. The clay will still be very wet and sticky but by then most of the extra water will have reduced out through the pillow case. 

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Stage 5a: Wait for the British rain to stop and quickly run out like a boots advert into the tiny glimpse of sunshine, check for rain and if their isn't any lay the wet clay onto plasterboards, or wooden boards and spread it 2 inch thickness. Let the sun do the work. 

Stage 5b: If it is a really hot day the water will draw out of the clay quite quickly to airate the clay, prod the clay with your finger tips as if you were making Focaccia bread. When the clay gets a little firmer you will be able to peel the clay away from the board. It will still be sticky on the top side like an uncooked pancake, flip the clay over and repeat. 

Stage 6:  When the clay is to a dryness that you can mould it, it may still be quite sticky, make little arches (Like little lochness humps) these allow the air to get under and over the clay and will quicken the process. Again let the sun/heat do the work have a cuppa and a sunbathe. Might as well run up to the Portuguese for a custard tart!   (see top pics)

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Stage 7: When the clay is firm enough to mould into a ball, it is ready to wedge. For this you will need a strong bench or heavy stool. I have a wooden stall I use, grab a piece of calico or a wooden board and wedge the clay as you would ready to throw. I am still working on my Japanese spiral wedge but they still look a little snail like! 

Stage 8: Hit the wheel! It is an amazing feeling giving the clay multiple lives, it maybe one of the lucky pieces that find its form fired and glazed and in someones hands. The best feeling is that nothing goes to waste! And it's also good on the pocket to! 

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There are many ways to recycle clay! But this is the one I love the most! 

Frome Independent Market

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These are the markets I've got lined up so far in sunny somerset! I am delighted to have a suitcase stall at the bustling Frome Independent Market. I'm very much looking forward to meeting some new faces and hanging out with the regular makers. Please come and say hi and share with me all your locally produced finds. I will be selling my new summer range of Home Thrown Ceramics, including lemon squeezers, sip cups and jugs. 

1st July 2018

5th August 2018
 

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Join the Mud Throwers Club

Looking for some Mud Therapy - New friends and an opportunity to be creative whilst eating nibbles and sipping cold beverages in the sunshine? Then get in touch! 
 

Summer Dates for Beginners Mud Throwers Class

Thursday Evenings - 6.30pm - 9.00pm

4 week course - Model Making, slab building, coiling,
pinch pots, glazing &  basic wheel throwing techniques. 

 

June 7th - 28th 2018 = £100  

July 5th - 26th 2018 = £100  (5 places available) 

August - Taster / Pop Up Events

September (Holiday for me) 

October - 4th - 25th = £100 (6 places available)

November - 1st- 22nd = £100 (6 places available) 

December - 29th of November - 20th Dec = £100 (6 places available)

*Full time students 20% off*

Happy rolling in mud! Let me know how you get on! 

Gem x

Spring Healing


“Goods for the soul” 

Two Palms

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Hello All! Sorry I have been a little absent, 2018 is proving to be the year of change, bringing a few unplanned events, moving home and replacing my old banger for another old banger. Sometimes life throws us some unforeseen dodge balls, but change should always be welcomed. 
 

 I took a well overdue long weekend off this week to venture back to my home town in  Bristol to stay with my folks. I always treat it as a mini  retreat, an opportunity to slow down, walk the dog and relax. I have been dying to visit Sidonie Warren's beautiful new concept store - Two Palms, situated above Papersmiths in Bristol to peruse the lovely array of gems on offer and to see my ceramics in their new home. On Friday my mum and I ventured up to Clifton Village, the sun was beaming throughout the airy upstairs store, welcoming in the spring breeze, softly bellowing the incense of the newly lit Palo Santo wood, its fair to say we didn't want to leave. Kristin the shop assistant was so lovely and knowledgable and helped us find the perfect stones for mum's vertigo, a smooth piece of Jasper and a light bouncing Amethyst. It was such a pleasure to see my ceramics placed amongst such beautiful healing gems and stationary by People I've Loved which never fails to make me laugh and say an inner "Yes! That is so true!"  Our homes are now calmed by the smell of our Palo Santo wood branches, each of our palms now have a little gem that we can call our own. If you haven't been yet make sure to take a visit. And yes I did pick up a pen or two in Papersmiths, it would have been rude not to! Haha xx

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Frome Independent Market

It's hard to believe but it will soon be Birks (Birkenstocks) and Potting outside weather. Which means also Market Days!  

These are the markets I've got lined up so far in sunny somerset! I am delighted to have a suitcase stall at the bustling Frome Independent Market. I'm very much looking forward to meeting some new faces and hanging out with the regular makers. Please come and say hi and share with me all your locally produced finds. I will be selling my new summer range of Home Thrown Ceramics, including lemon squeezers, sip cups and jugs. 


6th May 2018

3rd June 2018

1st July 2018

5th August 2018
 

Join the Mud Throwers Club
 

Looking for some Mud Therapy - New friends and an opportunity to be creative whilst eating nibbles and sipping cold beverages in the sunshine? Then get in touch! 
 

Summer Dates for Beginners Mud Throwers Class

Thursday Evenings - 6.30pm - 9.00pm

4 week course - Model Making, slab building, coiling,
pinch pots, glazing &  basic wheel throwing techniques. 

May 3rd - 24th 2018 = £100  (1 space available)

June 7th - 28th 2018 = £100  (4 space available) 

July 5th - 26th 2018 = £100 

*Full time students 20% off*

Excited for the promise of warmer days, potting outside and sea swimming. 

Gem x

Springing into 2018

“I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else” 

Pablo Picasso

 

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Hello all it is the first day that it really feels like spring so I thought I would share with you what Home Thrown Studio has been working on in the new year.  I took some time off from the studio in early January to have some time to reflect on 2017. During this time i've taken some time away from the computer and back to the bookcase for some page turning off my favourite books, one being Picasso's paintings & Sculptures.

Picasso's late work in ceramics under the hot sun of southern France has refocused my attention towards a more playful response to clay and vessel making. This year I am focusing my attentions in expanding my ceramic ware  collection and working on a new project with funding from AUB that will see some new designs being used for home  decoration.  As Picasso's quote above I'm pretty sure it will start in one direction but come summer will have turned into something else entirely. But I am excited about what may come of it! I am currently in the experimental stages but promise to share with you the progress as it unfolds. 

Time for Tea - January is all about kicking back and reflecting on the year gone by! Oh and drinking copious amounts of hot beverages! (Wine at night) 

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It's been pretty cold in the studio this year and I really wished I had shares in tea, fresh coffee and biscuits as i've consumed a lot of all three not forgetting the frequent strolls to the fresh pretzel hatch that has just opened up the road. 


Inbetween throwing, I've been taking some quiet time out reading some lovely books whilst sipping tea from my trusty sip cup! 

These are my current top reads; 

Wabi Sabi Welcome by Julie Pointer Adams

Picasso Painter & Sculptor in Clay by Marilyn McCully

Urban Potters Makers In The City by Katie Trediggen

David Hockney by David Hockney 

A variety of sip cups in all sizes are available at the click of a button on my webshop
 

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Join Our Home Thrown Mud Throwers Club

It has been a great start to the New Year welcoming lots of new
mud throwers to the Studio, we are now booked up until the beginning of May, but please get in touch if you are looking for some therapeutic mud making fun, we would love you on board. 
 

Summer Dates for Beginners Mud Throwers Class

Thursday Evenings - 6.30pm - 9.00pm

4 week course - Model Making, slab building, coiling,
pinch pots, glazing &  basic wheel throwing techniques. 

May 3rd - 24th 2018 = £100 

June 7th - 28th 2018 = £100  

July 5th - 26th 2018 = £100 

*Full time students 20% off*

 

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I hope you have all had a great start to 2018, and are excited about what it may bring! Better get back to the potting!  Gem xx

 photo captured - Medium Format / potra160 - Clemens Majunke

photo captured - Medium Format / potra160 - Clemens Majunke