Keeping a pottery notebook and testing colour & texture


Something I couldn’t not do without at the pottery studio is my sketchbook – a record of glazes, processes, what works and what doesn’t. I’m a big fan of keeping note and have got into the habit of making keys for colour and texture.

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This is a colour wheel I made. I noted which colour is which, so if i find a shade/overlap of slip and glaze I love, I know what it is. Without this, I find it hard to choose which slips and glazes to use – they are stored in tupperware boxes, and the colour is written on the box but the wet slips only show their colour once fired – it’s like a lottery unless you have a key.

Texture tests! I made this because I want to be adding more texture to things, and i want to be nimble about it, rather than having to wait to experiment with a texture – I did lots of texture experiments all at once, and laid out each texture tool next to the mark it made. I’ll now print this pic out and wack it into my sketchbook.


Plantpots for Avocados

2015 has been the year where I said that every avocado I eat, I will try to grow a plant from its stone. So far, so good. They take a LONG time, but it’s worth it – lovely vibrant green leaves.

I have combined my Avo Project with my pottery making and now each avo will have a nice homemade pot as a home. Each pot has a few drainage holes and experiments with glazing brushstrokes.

I’ve given a few of these away, but will be saving the rest to display and sell at Totterdown Arts Trail later this year.


Pottery Mouth and Ceramic Teeth

Lucy Barfoot Tooth Pottery2 Lucy Barfoot Tooth Pottery

Making these little teeth in pottery class is incredibly fulfilling.

Sculpt 3 teeth a week > leave them to be fired.

Week 2 you have 3 teeth to glaze > leave them for their second firing. Sculpt 3 more teeth.

Week 3 you have 3 complete teeth. Glaze 3 more. Sculpt 3 more.

You get the jist.

Lucy Barfoot Mouth Pottery Lucy Barfoot Mouth Pottery2

Mouth pot! This gruesome mouth was part of a ‘Cornucopia’ project, where we had a brief to make a vestibule for our favourite food, to celebrate at the end of term party (and Potstop’s 20th birthday!) The finished piece also had to have a haiku inscribed into it, about that favourite food of yours.

So mine was a big mouth, it held fizzy sweets and sherbets. And now I’m left with a big mouth bowl.

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Lilac + Sun Yellow textured pots


Three pots here, plant pots (see those drainage holes) made by rolling clay out super-thin and using a pringles tube as a shape template. Playing with pattern here. Inlay again, and texture made by scraping clay out. Both took a long time, but this was the point – take time and make something with a lot of attention to detail. With pottery, I find this hard.

Lilac slip, sun yellow glaze, splattered on Copper Oxide with a toothbrush (needs more of this I think) and Matt Glaze on top of all that. This was a success! I’m finding out more glazings I like.




Fast pot making


I notice that everythig I make at my pottery class is fast fast fast. I have  few things on the go, I have a to-do list, I rush things and don’t look at the finer details, I want to get things complete. This is something I’ve been trying to change this term, but turns out, it ain’t working! Not planning m pottery sessions has left me twiddling my thumbs and time-wasting (something I find super-irritating) because I have no plan.

I think for me, the secret is within finding a way to have a plan, but to not rush within it. Don’t over-commit by starting lots of new things at once, but start the term with a few items in mind and devote the sessions to them.

LucyBarfootPottery   LucyBarfootPottery4

These two were made very quickly, by wrapping around a tube. I forget the name for this. The decoration on both did take a long time, using a technique called inlay. Lots of scraping away and digging out. If you don’t smooth it all down after, you get this scraped effect – see it below?

With both pots, I used transparent glaze, which looks crap! And dipped the bottoms in Tin White glaze, which looks equally crap! I like the patterns though. I took some of my drawings and translated it onto pottery, which was exciting. I need to find a way of drawing directly on rather than using the inlay technique though.

See, I’m all about the timesaving. The focus and time needs to be on building the foundations I think. That’s where the skill is.


These are both functional, wahey! One is a pen pot and the other, in the bathroom used for tweezers and the like.



I chucked some flowers in the honeycomb / seedpod pot I made, and voila – a vase!


Functional Plant Pot AKA Vase


Pots with Faces

Hi blog, long time no blog. Here I am! Around Christmas time I got very much into making pots with faces at my pottery class. A great excuse to get on the wheel for the majority of the 12-weeks of the class, with a few sessions of nose-making in-between.


My favourite facepot / pothead is this one above. I used crackleglaze and tin white glaze over the top of that, which is a no-no in the world of pottery, nothing goes over crackle! But it made a lovely texture and colour, not dissimilar to a duck egg.

LucyBarfootPottery  LucyBarfootPottery  LucyBarfootPottery

A few of the faces had feet, these were the most popular ones and flew off the shelf when I had a Christmas stall at the Picton Street Fayre to sell them all off.

LucyBarfootPottery  LucyBarfootPottery LucyBarfootPottery

My first play with terracotta, this chap wore his cactii perfectly

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3D, Pottery, Process

Pinch Pots

This blog might well be turning into my pottery log…. A new term of my pottery class has started and I had my first go at the humble pinch pot. A very quick and crude method of vestibule-making. A couple in this batch have fingermarks, which I think looked pretty good, I would like to try the same with a simple white and understated glaze.

I’m trying to get a good knowledge of glazes under my belt – I’m diligently making note of all the varieties of glazings I’m trying out. I have yet to find a combination which I love. I’ll continue with lots of complex scribbled notes in my sketchbooks until I find whatever it is I’m looking for.

I jumped on the wheel this week and made three quite well-centred pots. Not bad for not having been on that wheel for a good 5 months. Here are my pinch pots… I made holes in the bottom using my favourite tool, that’s so they they can become mini flower pots.



LucyBarfootPottery6  LucyBarfootPottery5  LucyBarfootPottery4  LucyBarfootPottery8


And finally, this wouldn’t be a pottery post without a mention of the teeth. I’m making a few every week, enjoying the three-step process,  with my pottery course once a week, each stage takes a week to complete, and I have many teeth on the go at once:

1) Sculpt tooth shape > leave to dry

2) Smooth tooth with wet sponge and fire > tooth gets fired in kiln

3) glaze the fired tooth > tooth gets re-fired

4) One complete tooth!


We have a project to complete this term – ‘Cornucopia: the Horn of Plenty’. This involves writing Haikus and creating a ‘fantastical form for fabulous foods’ for the celebratory feast to mark Potstop‘s 20th anniversary.

We’ll be inscribing the haiku on the form, and it will contain one of our favourite foods. I’m making a wide-open jaw, complete with teeth, holding fizzy sherbet-y sweets and a few gobstoppers. It’s going to be reminiscent of that bit in Beetlejuice when the bowls come to life.

Beetlejuice bowl

BUT less scary. This reminds me of wonderful Harry Belafonte. Remember the song in that scene – ‘Banana Boat Song (Day O)’? It’s a cracker. So I’ll ending this with his other mega-famous one – Jump in the Line. Bye!


We found a Poppy Field

Every year, when it’s June, the hunt for a poppy field was on. I used to make artwork with poppies and needed to collect hundreds of petals each year to keep the artwork/collection up. Now i’m officially over poppy artwork, but i still love the flower. So no more hunting for poppy fields, but if I happen upon on, it’s a great experience and photo opportunity.

I have lots of people emailing me to ask where I find the poppy fields, so here is a link to the map of where I found this one – right behind Failand Village Hall in Bristol.


3D, Pottery

A new love of Pottery

I have found a new love, and it’s pottery. Have competed a couple of short courses in it, at Potstop Bristol and plan to continue. I now find pottery inspiration everywhere, from shapes and curves to my crinkle-cut kitchen knife which I’m going to use to make patterns in the clay.

And one day, I’ll have a kiln at home, the whole shebang – it’s a new goal of mine. Here’s a couple of my makings. Little Vid I made using the GoPro, Crazy honeycomb vase (I think), cactus object/pot and the beginnings of the honeycomb vase. Must take more pics at Pottery!

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Lists, Thoughts

What I’ll miss, what I’ll not miss

So 2013 was nice! I was maintaining a good blog for the main part of this year, but then i went and got busy. I started a new business, Barfoot + Duggan. We make products for people who have a taste for eccentric designI have thrown my creativity into that somewhat, which is GREAT! I don’t want to stop this though, an have an aim to keep blogging forever! Whilst I get my arse into gear, I do use Instagram. Here’s me as an ice cream, from the Summer, when I got to DJ wearing this outfit, in an ice cream van. 

Anyway, in homage to a cheesy ‘End of 2013/beginning of 2014, I thought I would share this. Inspired by this: Nora Ephron: What I’ll miss, what I won’t miss. “In an extract from her latest book published in the Guardian earlier this year, writer and film-maker Nora Ephron, who has died, listed some of the things she liked and disliked about life …” So I thought I would write mine, non-exhaustive, and what sprung to mind just now.

I will miss:

Silly/crap jokes

people with bouncy walks

Waking up in the middle of the night really thirsty, and drinking a big glass of water (I love this so much)

I won’t miss:

The feeling of being  grumpy / grumpy people / moaners / moaning for no reason

Papercuts and knocked knees on the corner of the bed

The feeling when you forget something important


Wow mine’s crap compared to hers. Go and read Nora’s! Now!


Design, Graphics, Monsters

My Handwritten Fonts

Brill tool, Ifontmaker, for the Ipad. So simple and easy, and £4.99 at the Appstore. I really recommend it. I’m pretty happy with the fonts I made. Get Ifontmaker here.

Here’s the first two. They are in the public domain, so you’re free to use them for personal or commercial use. Click on them to be transferred to the page where you can get the free download of them.

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After I made those two, I thought I could have a bit more fun than just trying to make another font, which would probably turn out to be very similar to those two I’d already made, so I thought I could make a font of my monsters… Soon to feature on a Barfoot and Duggan duvet cover for children. This one’s called ‘Jumbo

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One more! This one’s called ‘BingBing’ and it’s a bit of a hairy one… only did the caps for this one, it took a crazy amount of time.

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I bloody love fonts. Here’s some great resources, which I use regularly for my design work:

And a couple of cool things: