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’s my pinch pots… I made holes in the bottom using my favourite tool, that’s so they they can become mini flower pots.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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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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!

 

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:

Wedding Decor – balloons and paper sculptures

I’m delighted to have been asked to assist with a wedding of two great friends, looking after the decor side of things. It’s a great project for me, and we’re at the stage of deciding on all the different elements of decorations needed, moving into testing some things.

I’m going to be giving this Crepe and Watercolour flower tutorial a bash. How great would huge, huge paper flowers look, suspended up high, along with some of these giant balloons I found over at

Just found from my ‘balloon research’ how it’s simple to make two toned balloons.

And if you were ever interested in how balloons are made, like I am. There you go!

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The above is another installation, this time made with what looks like loadsa different shaped and sizes balloons. The artist is Piraja Maharaja and the blogger is Lauren Ann Lane. It’s brill and has sparked off lots of ideas for balloon decor at this wedding.

What did we do before Pinterest ay? It’s been so useful to collaborate with people over that in really defining what kind of decor is wanted at this wedding, testing our ideas and tutorials, pinning different colour palettes and texture inspiration. You can follow me on pinterest if you like. My favourite board is the ‘Things I Could Be Doing Instead of Sitting Here’ board. Never fails to inspire me to get off my bum and MAKE.

Did you know that my sister is a wedding photographer? She lives all the way in New Zealand but is looking for weddings to photograph here in England. She’s such a pro at it, so is her man – they’re a husband and wife photo team. 

And finally, here’s a blog I wrote two years back about another wedding I helped coordinate the decor for. This was for a lovely family who I used to nanny for.

Jay Z’s ‘Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film’ + Abramović

Here is something new from Mr. Carter.

And some notes I made whilst I was watching it. This is the first thing in quite a while which links back to my fine art degree and provoked a reaction. I’m not for or against this piece of work from Jay Z, but that’s usual of my mediator demeanour in life: never quite taking an opinion (I try to see that as an asset!) So here’s what came to me:

Marina Abramović – hugely respected performance artist. Recently lots of hype from her ‘The Artist is Present’ performance piece in 2010 at MOMA. 736 hours, each sitting 30 minutes long of sitting opposite someone, (any spectator). Huge time and emotion investment. Imagine staring into so many different people’s faces for that long, that often.

Jay Z’s newest music video, shot in one day, nicking the performance piece from Abramović, but being friendly with her – she appears a few times in the video, mostly head-butting Jay Z and staring into his eyes, adding some weight to the interactions – everyone else seems to be showing off.

I wonder if Jay Z paid to use Abramovićs’ creative idea?

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Everyone looks so excited at the end, that’s nice. Like the end of a really good gig where everyone’s wanting to go and carry the party on, like it finished too early. ‘people’ include the general public as well as Jim Jaramusch, Judd Apatow, Jemima Kirke and Alan Cumming. Which is great. Everyone, come along – just like Abramović did for her performance piece.

It’s out of the box for rappers, which is great. I like that. But it’s sneaking into the box of performance art, and making it another consumable, you-tube-able, quick-fix of art. No space to be bored, bang bang bang. “I’m a celebrity!” The excitement of seeing a rapper compared to the stillness of an artist staring into someones eyes for 30 minutes and seeing what happens.

Jay Z’s video shoot looks like a lot of fun, I wish I was there. He’s got this crazy cult following, that triangle shape he makes with his hands, which his crowd copies and shows him. Bet he loves that.

That’s it really. Just some thoughts. I don’t know if I like it or not. Do you?