I made a mini-swan
I made a mini-swan
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.
New batch of vases coming right up. Trying the same thing over and over to perfect the technique. These vases are getting thinner and thinner and I like it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
A 69th birthday present for my Dad, a wise head, taking inspiration from Easter Island statues and Imhotep. when you put your hand on his head, it’s like receiving wisdom of luck. Shame he looks like he’s crying though, but thus is the unpredictable nature of glazing and kiln firing!
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.
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.
My first play with terracotta, this chap wore his cactii perfectly
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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 design. I 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:
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!
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.
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‘
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.
I bloody love fonts. Here’s some great resources, which I use regularly for my design work:
And a couple of cool things:
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!
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.
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?
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?
Shambala is soon and Duggan and I are going to be performing very strange voodoo rituals and giving away voodoo fortunes.
Talking in tongues, wearing leather capes with glitter, multi-coloured, terrifying, silly, costumes.
Today I made the fortunes. Inside each tiny jar is a tiny fortune, some glitter and powdered paint.
Pour out the contents, blow a puff of colourful, glittery cloud, find out your fortune.
It’s going to be fun.
Here are some of the fortunes:
Getting some of these illustrations done, rather fun today in the sunshine. I’m illustrating some of the words in the jokes, usually the punchline. Things like ‘Breasts, bum fruit, his poo was on holiday, it is dead, eek, free and kiss a potato really hard.’ All are shit jokes made up by kids. All the words I am making using nicely sharpened pencils, coloured graphite and viscous watercolour paint.
Q. What do you call a snail with no shell?
A. It is dead.