Summer is a time of plenty, for some reason a time of plenty of work,someone said don’t give up yer day job, I didn’t and now I’m all day job and nothing else.

My apologies to my reader for not doing a post for a while.

News; I went on a tile making and firing course at a Facebook friends lovely house and massive garden in Essex. A county that I don’t often visit but should more often, I think it may be the Dartford crossing that puts me off.

I arrived after getting lost in Grays and had a hell of a job to get out of it, Grays is a spiders web,it’s very hard to leave the weave.

On the Friday afternoon we loaded the kiln ,luckily that had already been made so it was just a matter of painting my 5 tiles and Popping them in the kiln.Our tutor for the weekend was ( trumpet fanfare , in big American accent, Mr………….Toneee………Mugridge ) never heard of him, I had slightly but only because he’d been on Restoration Home, telling them about bricks and discovering tudor buildings.

Tony and Vanessa in the fire pit

Tony and Vanessa in the fire pit

IMG_0193IMG_0179The kiln burnt pallet wood and lots was stoked into the firing pit which sloped up to the kiln,this went on into the dark.With hardly any light pollution it was a star gazing night with a near full moon. We saw shooting stars and satelites plus all the constipations. Sarah our host had provided us all with fish and chips,which was very nice,last time I had that I was 12 years old. Eventually we went to bed in our tents, I had pitched mine on an ants nest so didn’t get lonely in the night.


Next day dawned sunny and bright after some breakfast we broke open the kiln, can we can we. My tiles that were red, came out grey.This was very interesting we had just replicated a medieval kiln very very smokey and with a reduction. So that’s why all those medieval pots are grey ( possibly ) will have to fire another one up to see.  I had to leave early Saturday evening so watched the second kiln being made and left.My thanks to Sarah and Rick Yardley for being such generous and lovely hosts.


I havn’t had much time to make stuff, so it has taken me ages to fill the kiln ready for the next firing, I think I built the kiln a trifle too large. With time off next week I will be firing it up to 1100, there is green ware in there too so will have to be very careful not to take it too quickly. I’l keep you posted.


About timbartell

I was born in a flat in Lambeth the name of which was, Wedgewood house,China walk estate.I'd forgotten this until recently,it dawned on me the significance of the names after I had become interested in pottery/ceramics.I think of myself as a potter in the most practical sense,making pots for people to use.I have never had any formal training,I took it up when the table tennis class was full.My first flat was in the same road as a pottery centre, Elmwood pottery, the best in London, 18 sessions a week and a real community. I love my craft and bore everyone with it, so am grabbing this chance to bore more people via this blog.There may be the odd interesting item, here's hoping.
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