Monday, October 3, 2016

Moon Pictures

The new moon picture was taken in my garden earlier this year.  The full moon is from the Moon Watchers site which was forwarded to me recently.  It was taken by Carlos A. Perez and I think it should be shared widely as it is such a great image.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Anagama Fired Hanaire

Recently I had to find some photos of Hanaire for someone who wished to purchase a pot on line.  These are two of Estelle's that she made a long time ago that I still have in my collection.  All the colour is from the ash from the long firing and no glaze or other colouring has been used.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Special Anagama Effects

These two pots show some very special anagama firing effects.  The top picture shows the white edges that a very hot firing can produce although it does not always happen.  The blue/grey on the second pot is from carbon trap colours where the embers have come up against the pot during the firing.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Anagama Firing Effects

The top picture is of a large floor vase made by Estelle and fired near the front of our anagama.  It has a wonderful flow of ash which ended well before reaching the base and sticking the pot onto the shelf.  The other image is of a square platter of mine showing the flame patterns written into the clay.  This only happens with a long firing and very consistent stoking routines.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Close Ups of Anagama Firing Effects

These are close up photographs of the anagama firing effects we achieved from our kiln.  Not everything came out so spectacularly  More next time.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Two Round Images

The Chinese tenmoku bowl with the leaf is a wonderful example of this type of pottery.  I am not sure whether it is modern or ancient but I wouldn't mind owning it.  The sun picture is a still image taken from a TV screen.  It just seemed to be so unusual.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

More NZ Potters Work

These two works are by local or ex-local potters.  The small pieces are by Annette Bull from Clive who hasn't been potting for very long but is doing some interesting work.  The sculptural piece is by Liz Earth who used to live in Hawke's Bay but now lives in Waikanai in the Wellington district.  Liz has always done interesting although sometimes strange work.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

More from NZP Exhibition

Two more images from the NZ Potters Exhibition.  The sculptural piece with cranes is by Yi-Ming Lin from Leeston in the South Island of New Zealand.  It is one part of a group of three which made a beautiful set.  The black and white pieces are by Jenny Shearer from Paraparaumu Beach near Wellington.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

New Zealand Potters Exhibition

The New Zealand Potters held their annual exhibition in Havelock North recently.  There were some interesting pieces shown and it was overall a very good exhibition.  The top picture shows a group of luster pots made by Chris Dunn of Wellington, the second image shows work by Maureen Allison of Whangamata. Maureen digs her own clay and with only minimal processing creates her pieces and then wood fires them.  All potters should try doing this at least once in their potting career.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Slab built boxes are always a challenge to make sure the lids fit properly and are in proportion to the body of the box.  The white trinket box was a once only, very time consuming project.  It is in fact only about half the size of the anagama fired square box which is 19 cm. high and about 21 cm. between the handles although the photos make it appear otherwise.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Garden Lanterns

Having built the large anagama kiln it was good to be able to make larger pieces.  These two lanterns were among several I made and now stand in my garden. Just for fun I have added paper windows and put a light inside on a couple of occasions and they looked very Japanese.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Fun with Slab Building

Both these pieces were made with a combination of slabs and thrown pieces.  The top piece is an Ikebana container where the base has been thrown and the square cylinder added to form a tall container.  The storage jar is a slab built hexagonal shape which has been centered on the wheel and the gallery thrown from an attached coil of clay.  The foot ring and the knob are done the same way.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Slab Built Boats

These are just two of the many boat shapes I made.  Slab built things do not have to be flat sided - clay is soft and malleable so there are many occasions when curves can be incorporated into a piece, especially those made as flower containers.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Ikebana Containers

These two Ikebana containers could not be made in any other way than by using slabs of clay.  The top photograph shows a variation of two box shapes put together and it has been professionally arranged by an Ikebana teacher.  The polygon looks wonderful when used with a windswept arrangement of flowers and other material.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

More Early Slab-built Pots

These are some of my early glazed slab-built pieces.  The top vase is really two squares joined with applique strips added for decoration.   The three bottles show just a few of the many bottle shapes I used to make. I always loved the challenge of making bottles and maintained that the inside had to be finished to a high standard as, sooner or later, the piece would get broken and then your workmanship would be revealed.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Some of My Early Slab-Built Pieces

These two square slab-built glazed dishes are from some of my early work in clay.  The top platter was quite large and heavy and was difficult to glaze.  The smaller dish which was about 30 cm. square was much easier to glaze and really a much more useful.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Seeds on Green Ake Ake

I am glad I do not need to count the number of seeds on my green Ake Ake tree - there must be
hundreds of thousands.  Ake Ake is a small native New Zealand tree which also comes in a purple variety.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


My pomegranate tree did not have a lot of fruit this season but what were there were very lovely. Hope you enjoy these images.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Two Japanese Water Droppers

These two small water droppers were given to us while we were in Japan in 1978.  The top one is by Umeo Yamamoto  from Yunotsu and the other is one of Ohta-sans from Koishiwara in Kyushu. Water droppers are used to dilute the ink used for brush writing and painting in Japan.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Collected Pieces

The sculptured birds and the unglazed vase are by an Auckland couple who sadly are no longer together.  The birds are lovely and are often remarked upon by visitors.  The vase does not hold water but can be made useful by inserting a small jar inside and then it can be used for flower arrangements.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sake Cups

Sake cups come in all shapes and sizes it seems.  The taller one in the top image is by Hollis Engley a potter from Massachusetts in U.S.A.  I like the effects of the firing and also its shape.  The two smaller ones are modern Japanese sake cups by Kuroda San who, a long time ago visited me here in New Zealand and whom I was able to visit when I was last in Japan.

Monday, April 25, 2016


I was asked recently about Chinese "Stirred" wares that were claimed to have been abandoned because of the difficulty of mixing and firing two different clays mixed together.  Far from being abandoned it was developed in Japan as Neriage and in other places as Agate Ware.  The top picture is of a small Japanese bowl, maker unknown.  Zenji Miyashita made the drinking cup with blue and white decoration - a modern form of "stirred".

Sunday, April 17, 2016


Among the craft things we collected are several baskets.  These two are Japanese baskets used for small flower arrangements.  Both are lovely examples of Japanese basket weaving techniques and with a small water container inside look beautiful with just a few flowers.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


These two images are of a Chinese bowl shard.  Obviously there were a number of bowls stacked for the firing hence the ring where the foot of the next bowl has been placed.  The clay body and the cobalt decoration are interesting - I love the softness of the blue painting. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Two Tall Bottles

These two anagama fired bottles are in our permanent collection.  The top one is one of mine and the lower one is one of Estelle's.  Tall bottles like these are usually made in two or possibly three sections and the trick is to allow for drying shrinkage so the when the sections are assembled then there is no indication of where the joins were made.