Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sven Bayer's Sheepwash Pottery

It was lovely to meet Svend and see his workshop, kilns and pots. He was building a very large East Asian type anagama of a type I had not seen before and it will be interesting to see if his work changes when he has a firing. I will show you some of his pots next time.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Devon Countryside

When I was in England last October the Devon countryside was like the top image which was taken at Svend Bayer's pottery at Sheepwash. About six weeks later the snows came and the second image was taken at Shebbear Pottery by Rosie Bowen and sent to me. I was so lucky with the weather right throughout my trip with only two wet days and lovely mild autumn temperatures.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Large Pot and Old Slate Roof Tiles

This lovely large pot of Clives was waiting to be fired and I wonder what sort of decoration he may put on it. Before I left I visited their toilet and couldn't resist photographing these moss covered roof tiles out the window. I was reading recently about words and names and it would seem that these tiles would be "Collyweston" slate from a now abandoned Devon quarry. The word also means such things as 'nonsense'; 'out of square'; 'askew'; 'crooked', 'not straight or level'; or even meaning 'in the opposite direction'. I wonder why it got all these meanings?

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Couple of Clive's Pieces

I hope Clive doesn't mind me showing these pieces - I did not ask but just took a couple of photos of some of his things that were around. His work was mainly very practical and useful domestic wares. Being in the old English earthenware and slip decorated tradition, they reminded me very much of Michael Cardew's early work.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kilns at Clive Bowans

Clive had at least one other kiln but this old bee-hive kiln was fascinating - I have always wanted to build a round kiln. The flue was multi-purpose and, I think, served all of Clive's kilns.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Clive in His Workshop

Clive is a very well respected traditional English slip-ware potter making a wonderful selection of very usable table-wares. Clive and his wife Rosie live in an old but very lovely stone cottage but, as I did not want to intrude on their privacy, I refrained from taking photos of its interior. Rosie was busy preserving autumn produce and the aroma of quince being cooked was just wonderful.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

On the Way to Clive Bowen

It was great to travel through the winding lanes on our way to Clive's Shebbear Pottery. In New Zealand there are no tree-lined lanes like in England and I would hate to have to travel them regularly. David had a SatNav so was able to find his was quite easily. Essential equipment for such places.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pots at the John Leach Gallery

John's pots often had a lovely toasted finish on the outside from the wood firing and only glazed on the inside. I would have liked to have spent a longer time just looking. The news from Japan is extremely saddening. Some pictures from Mashiko, and the opportunity to assist, can be found on I had always thought I may be able to take shelter in my anagama in case of an earthquake, but seeing a picture of Ken Matsuzaki's kiln puts me off that idea. Please contribute if you can.

Monday, March 14, 2011

John and David

As we all are, I am sure Bernard would have been shocked and devastated by the news of the very large earthquake in Japan. All my friends in Japan are safe but, I think they are all somewhat traumatised. John Leach is a much bigger man than Bernard ever was and these pictures show just a little of his pottery complex.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

John Leach Pottery

John is the son of David and Bernard Leach's grandson,. He welcomed David and myself to his Muchelney Pottery and we had a very pleasant time looking at his kilns, facilities and Gallery in Somerset. ( His work is all high fired in a three chambered, wood fired kiln and comes with a distinctive 'toasted' finish. More pictures to come.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wells City

A comment from Hollis saying how lovely it was in the city of Wells made me think that these two images may confirm his opinion. Unfortunately we did not have time to explore and these pictures were take while walking from the car park to the Cathedral. The old houses and the streets were all beautifully kept and very clean.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nearby Wells Cathedral

I am not sure of the date that this Medieval gate was built but I am sure that many many interesting historical characters have passed through it. The moat was lovely and actually gave a very calming effect before we entered the Cathedral.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Interior of Wells Cathedral

The ceilings and stained glass at Wells Cathedral were breathtaking and have to be seen to be believed. I would like to show more pictures of this Cathedral but my journey is only about the half-way stage and so, except for a couple of images of the city, I must keep moving along.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cathedral at Wells

This plaque giving the dates of the construction of Wells Cathedral shows its amazingly early beginnings. The scissor arches were apparently a first for this type of support for such a large structure. They were very beautiful.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wells Cathedral

The pattern of chimneys at the Vicar's Close was fascinating - no earthquakes here. The front of the Wells Cathedral was very beautiful but it has not always been like this. David sent me some pictures showing this view when the two towers were not built and, I guess, before the Reformation, when the frontage was gilded and painted in very bright colours. The BBC has just shown a programme called "Romancing the Stone, The Golden Age of British Sculpture" and the first programme was centred around Wells Cathedral.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Setting out to go to St Ives

We are off to St Ives! David Binch of Oakwood Gallery ( collected me from Mike and Annie's place and we set off through the New Forest, our first stop being Wells. Please indulge me in my interest in another cathedral but our visits to four potters before reaching Cornwall should be interesting for you. We visit Johnny Leach, Clive Bowen, Svend Bayer and Lisa Hammond before reaching St Ives.