Busmans holiday fares please

I have been on a firing course at Nic Collin’s Barn Pottery in Moretonhampstead Devon. This is my fourth  time there, I like being in the company of like minded people, I like the countryside and the dark nights.IMG_1006


The journey down was a long one but no problem, it was strange to see Stonehenge without a road beside it, roads can be grassed over.  I went down on the Friday before and arrived at 4 Pm. From then on time seemed to go into another world of day and night. There were fewer people this year so we all had to do more to get the firing done. I suffered a bit with the 10pm to 2 am shift, but did ok with the 2-6 am shift. The night sky on the first Friday was unbelievable I even saw a meteorite I thought it was a firework at first.




Nic had built a new kiln in the year that I hadn’t been there, a groundhog kiln and it was huge,as usual there were doubts about whether we could fill it. I hadn’t taken much but we need not of worried Chris had brought enough, about two years of production.



There were no problems at all , most of the attendees had done some woodfiring before,  the soda kiln is a quick fire type and that was wrapped and clammed up in 32 hours, all attention was turned to the big groundhog  it was amazing how much timber it ate. I managed to burn myself through the gauntlets that we were using, there is no pain like it. Eventually we were done, and on the last Friday we celebrated with a last supper and a party .



Saturday was the day that the soda kiln was opened, I had shock some of my pots had completely melted, this had happened to me before , I couldn’t believe it. The worst bit of all was, it had melted onto other pots. All my other pots in the kiln were bloated looking like small pox victims, I had one exceptional pot and that was it.


Learning to put things behind you is another facet of being a crafts person, deep breath, apologise to everyone who got an unwanted gift and go home hoping that the other pots in the groundhog were going to be good.



I really enjoyed my week .10390554_10204267494865277_2646241449554684809_n


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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