Thursday, December 26, 2013

Seasons Greetings to All

Seasons Greetings to all.  These two pots from our anagama were made by Estelle and both have some very special colours and effects, none of which could have been predicted.  With only the long firing to produce the colours I can only marvel at the results of anagama firings.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Some Larger Pots

These are two of Estelle's pots from our anagama kiln.  The round pot of about 300 mm. diameter was made without any trimming.  The pot is very light having been made from a straight cylinder and then filled out from the inside.  The floor vase was about 420 mm. high.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Five Small Anagama Fired Pots

Here are five small anagama fired pots now at Everyday Needs in Auckland.  The three at the top are kakehana or hanging flower vases.  They have a small metal loop at the back from which they hang. The other two are small vases from the first firing we had of our anagama.

Friday, December 13, 2013

More Pots at Everyday Needs

These are two more pots at Everyday Needs.  Also I would like to tell you that my book has now been published and I have contacted those who expressed an interest earlier.  I will put more details on my blog later.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Some Pots

These are two of Estelle's anagama fired pieces which I have had stored for a long time.  Recently Katie Lockhart of Everyday Needs in Auckland took these two pots and a number of others to sell in her shop or use in her Interior Design business.  If you are interested in them you will now need to make contact with her.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

From the Car Park at Newstead Abbey

The old red Government post box near Newstead Abbey is an unusual sight these days and I was intrigued with the pattern a car tyre had left in the snow in the car park.

Friday, November 29, 2013

More Pictures of Snow at Newstead

The icicles hanging from the rafters of the Tea House at Newstead show how cold it was there last March.  The little stone bridge over the stream was too slippery to walk over so remained pristine with its snow cover.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Japanese Lanterns

Here are two more lanterns from the Newstead Abbey Gardens.  The one on the small island is interesting but I think the large one amongst the trees is beautiful.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Japanese Garden at Newstead

The snow seemed to enhance the Japanese look of the Newstead Garden.  Not having seen a Japanese garden in winter I can only compare these photographs with photos I have seen in books.  I am glad we do not have snow in my town of Hastings in New Zealand.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Japanese Garden

The Japanese gardens at Newstead Abbey were quite magical in the snow.  The little tea house with its lovely round window had been sensitively placed and maintained. I am not sure how often it may have been used or whether it was just for decoration.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Snow at Newstead Gardens

The snow between the stones of this path at Newstead made a beautiful pattern.  The waterfall was moving fast enough not to have frozen although it may look as if it had in this photograph.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Newstead Abbey

In March I was taken to visit the Newstead Abbey Gardens.  These pictures show the Abbey and the Chapel but not a lot of the snow that was quite thick at the time.  More pictures of the lovely gardens to come.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

More from Inside Southwell Minster

This is another view inside Southwell Minster and another stained glass window.  I love the pattern of the framing within the window.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

From Inside Southwell Minster

The bronze eagle at Southwell was made in 1503 and was the property of Newstead Abbey.  At some stage it was hidden in a lake but some 250 years later was rediscovered when the lake was drained and acquired by Southwell Minster.  The internal doorway was also very old and really charming.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Mouseman

At some stage there was a fire at Southwell Minster and the furnishings were replaced by Robert Thompson (1876 - 1955) .  Robert was known as the Mouseman, or Mousy, because of his now famous signature of a carved mouse on his furniture. Here are two examples from Southwell.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Interior of Southwell Minster

The interior of Southwell Minster was spectacular and my photograph does not really do it justice.  The deeply carved stoneworks in the Chapter House show a wonderful observation of Nature and great dexterity in stone carving.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Southwell Minster

Two images from Southwell Minster, the  so called, 'mother church' for the county of Nottinghamshire in the UK.  Much of the cathedral and the artifacts it contains are well over a thousand years old. Both this wall hanging and the mosaic floor (which is now displayed under glass) are among these very old items.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Scaracen's Head Hotel, Southwell, UK

We had lunch at this old pub in Southwell with all its marvelous history.  The top picture is of the pub today with the second picture giving the history.  The third image is of the arrest warrant (which was on display at the pub) for Charles the First, King of England with the signatures and seals of those involved.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"The Heron Migrates" a book by Bruce Martin

At last the manuscript I have been working on for so long is nearly completed.  Jill Webster has done a marvelous job of the layout and it is just about to be taken to the printers.  I already have some firm orders but would like to know whether some of you would like a copy as the larger the print run the lower the unit costs will be.  Please email me if you are interested and I will advise you of the price and mailing options as soon as possible.
Just a short quote from the introduction to give you an idea of the book's content.  "This is a merged document of Estelle's and my diaries of our visits to Japan, the building of the Kamaka Anagama, Sanyo Fujii's visit to New Zealand and the following joint exhibition with him in Osaka in 1984.  It also contains notes on building and firing a full sized anagama kiln and some of our experiences while in Japan and while working with a large anagama kiln."  And lots of photographs.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Last Images from Hardwick Hall

The picture of the living room shows modern lighting and furnishings but these rooms must have been very hard to keep warm.  The huge tapestries, like this one depicting peacocks, were hung on the walls to help keep out the cold draughts.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Queen's Bed

One of these two beds was perhaps Queen Anne's bed, used when she was staying at Hardwick Hall.  Most probably the blue one but the other bed with the wonderful wooden chest was also luxurious.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Kitchen

The kitchen at Hardwick Hall was a real showplace.  This was the larger of two stoves and the copper pots and pans were so very clean and shiny.  I wonder at what date the kitchen was last renovated?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Recording History

The document store room at Hardwick contained records from when it was built in the mid 16th. century.  Records of building progress, visitors and guests, purchases and staff appointments.  The platter, which was on show in the main hall, is somewhat mysterious.  It looks as though it may be Islamic but no details were available.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Downstairs at Hardwick

These instructive white china plates are probably not nearly as old as the blue and white Chinese vases shown in my last blog.  The kitchen and servery for Hardwick Hall were just as interesting as the main house upstairs.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hardwick Hall, UK

These two Chinese porcelain vases were in the main hall at Hardwick.  This National Trust property was built by Elizabeth, The Countess of Shewsbury in the mid 16th. century.  It would be interesting to know how old these vases would be.