Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Shelfies Four

The platter in the top picture is one that I made and is now in one of my "groupies" collections.  The lower picture is of a wonderful collection of items in my granddaughter's home. Her baby is due any day now so I think the shelves may soon contain some baby pictures.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Seasons Greetings and More Shelfies

Seasons Greetings and Every Good Wish for 2015.  These photos are from a friend who not only has a marvelous house also has a wonderful collection of pots, paintings and photographs and some beautiful Japanese furniture.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Shelfies Two

The top picture if from a friend and shows some Kamaka pots in her collection and some wonderful old books.  The lower picture is of my sideboard with some of our collection of fish plates, a large dish by Len Castle and a tea set by Kumao Ohta from Japan.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Recently I was sent a picture of a shelf of pots which my friend described as a Shelfie as opposed to a Selfie. I thought it would be a good idea for my blog and would like you to participate.  Please send me an email with an attached photograph of a shelf in your home.  Not necessarily of pots but a small corner you enjoy.  No details will be published and I do not promise to use all photographs sent.  Here are the first two.

The top picture is from my friend and the lidded pot on the right is by Edmund de Waal. The other picture is of my overcrowded shelf showing a small square plate by Kenneth Clark Pottery and a round mishima platter by Tatsuzo Shimoka.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Red Manuka

This red manuka is flowering beautifully this year.  From a distance it always looks smoky but close up the colour is brilliant.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Flowers from My Garden

This year my spring garden has been beautiful.  We are now approaching summer and have already dried out badly and not many flowers are blooming any more.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Wildflowers and Sculptures

The recently held Wildflower Sculptural Festival in Hastings was wonderful with beautiful wildflowers and fabulous sculptures and art works.  The top photograph is of a very small fraction of the garden. The owls are by Tony Kale and were quite irresistible.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Garden Colour

My paulonia tree does not do very well but this year there are some lovely flower bracts.  Flanders Poppy's grow very easily and happily self seed each year.  The ceramic display at the Tower of London is really spectacular although commemorating such a sad event in world history.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Manuka Bud and Flower

A couple of close-up pictures of the buds and flowers on my manuka bush taken recently by my son, Craig.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Blossom Time in New Zealand

The dark red cherry blossom does not hold its colour very long before fading to a softer pink.  The other picture is of a very small flower I found in the grass - one I had not seen before.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wood Carvings

The little Bee carving was a trade mark of the cabinet maker who made the fittings for St. Matthews Church in Hastings.  There are supposed to be seven of them in the church but I could only find this one and, even then, I had to have help to find it.  The grape carvings on the pew ends is in response to the very large wine growing areas of the region. I am not sure whether the church is celebrating the wine or the commercialism.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Inside St Matthews Church, Hastings

These windows were donated to the church by the Vogther family of Hastings.  The lectern reminds me of the ones I saw in Britain last year.  Wonderful art!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Refurbished Church

Recently I was given a conducted tour of the refurbished St. Matthews Church in Hastings, New Zealand.  They have made a wonderful job of strengthening and repairing this 100 year old building.  Actually the oldest wooden part, which is to the right of the concrete structure in the upper photograph, is over 120 years old.  Inside the two parts blend together so well that they appear almost seamless.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Close-ups From the Garden

My son Craig has been staying with me and spent some time photographing things in my garden. I am not sure just what he took but they make interesting images.  I hope you will also enjoy them.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Helen Mason

It is with great sadness that we hear of the death of Helen Mason who died on August 22nd. aged 99 years.  Helen did so much for pottery in New Zealand with her writing and editing of the New Zealand Potter Magazine as well as helping young potters to get established. These two pieces of Helen's have been in our collection for many years and are used regularly as they are so fit for purpose.

Friday, August 15, 2014

More on Rice Straw and Other Markings

The top image is of Fujii Sensai wrapping a tokkuri (sake bottle) with straw before firing it in the Kamaka anagama.  The ring bottle is one of Estelles with hidasuki markings.  The platter is one of mine but the markings are fire marks on the clay through the constant flow of the fire over the clay during the very long anagama firing.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Hidasuki Rice Straw Markings

This quite large floral container was fired in our anagama using rice straw as a separator for three small pots placed inside.  We found that New Zealand rice grass produced these lovely hidasuki colours that are very similar to Japanese hidasuki effects.  We found the New Zealand rice grass growing on our property on the West Coast which was lucky as it does not seem to grow around here.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Another View of Old Barn

This view of the old shearing shed is from the other side - I must keep watch for a day when they are shearing when the place is open and there is some activity.  The top picture is of my old acacia with a rainbow appearing right behind.  The colours changed so quickly that I nearly missed them.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Interesting Old Buildings

It would be wonderful if old buildings could tell their history.  The old house has some remarkable detailing and it is a shame that it has been left to become derelict.  The shearing shed is still being used and, although quite old, is in good condition.  I will try and photograph the other side sometime when the lighting is suitable and post on my blog.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Early Slab Pieces

To fill some cold winter days I have been writing up some notes on slab building techniques.  To illustrate some of the possibilities I photographed these two pieces from the days before we started firing the anagama.  Unfortunately I am no longer making pots so that it is not always easy to show how the slab pots were put together but pictures like these may help.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mid Winter

Mid Winter sunrise is always enjoyable as it usually indicates a sunny day even though it may be cold.  And the camellias make for wonderful flower arrangements - I especially enjoy these white ones.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fast Cars

The other day I read that there were still about two hundred of these E Type Jaguars in New Zealand.  They are seldom seen on the road but this one was parked in Havelock North Last week.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

In The Garden

Just a couple of pictures from my garden.  The sasanqua has nearly finished flowering but this bud with the rain-drops caught my eye the other morning.  My stepping stones have been in place for a long time and the grass has thickened up so much that the stones now appear to be sunken into the ground.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Early Spring

It is not quite the shortest day in the Southern Hemisphere but numerous blossoms are already out.  The small white blossom with the red buds I think is a hybrid seedling from two other flowering trees in my garden.  The pink blossom is called Geisha because of its lovely perfume.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Autumn Fruits

One thing about autumn is all the lovely fruits that are available - apples, persimmons,mandarin and feijoa.  The top picture is of the last of the Chinese Quinces before they fell off the tree.  They are remarkably large and have a wonderful perfume.