An Essex raku

Last year we had a tile firing/making course at Sarah Yardley’s house in downtown Downham, this year a raku, this lady is a glutton for punishment.

Getting there proved hard, it took 5 hours to get to Dartford less than 30 miles,I eventually made it. I was wondering whether it was the river Styx not the Thames.



On Friday we made the kiln from a really nice clean drum bought at auction for a fiver. Itchy itchy fibre was fastened by buttons and wire, this was quite hard without the international space station’s locator beam. We swaddled it in bricks and were all set for a morning firing on Saturday.




Blast off at dunno, I lost track of time, it was taking about an hour per firing. Results were good and as usual the glazes were behaving like they had never behaved before, not never nohow.

I was lost in the moment that became moments

that became the day. There was a thunder storm and a downpour on Friday night, not to be out done Saturday night thought it would have one too. We sat under a very good gazebo stuffing our faces with chish and fips.


Vanessa took over the baton on Sunday and fired in her little factory made kiln, much quicker than the home made one. At about midday the thunderstorms returned and with avengance. There must have been three circling us and very loudly telling us they were near.Within an hour everything was flooded so we left for a curry.


Monday dawned bright and beautiful but it was time to leave.

Thanks Sarah and Rick for your hospitality, same time next year ???


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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