The yellow flags of Cambridge Open Studios have come in for 2012. The doors are closed, and clean up has begun. If you couldn't make it, I'm sorry to have missed you, but let me see if I can re-create the experience for you in some small part.
A few questions and comments came up repeatedly. Let me share some of them with you.
(1) You're American? Where are you from?
I am originally from the US, and although I have been here for 13 years and now also hold British citizenship, I have failed to gain any sort of accent at all. I've lived a lot of places in Left-Pondia, mostly across the middle (IL, NJ, CA, IN, UT, and HI just for a while). Most recently I lived in San Francisco, and would like to claim it, but I don't know if 10 years is enough to make me from there. Thirteen years is not enough to make me from here.
(2) Did you hand paint these?
No, I bought vintage decals from a shut down pottery up north. I like the "found" quality of them. I also alter my mugs and such with "found" texture items, so I see this as consistent with my style. I think the work is still pretty distinctively mine. I might make my own decals in the future, but I'm waiting for a clear vision of what they should be.
(3) Do you do workshops/classes?
I never have because I never had the space. My studio is very small. We've got a new possible working space now, so it's not out of the question that there could be some hand building events in the future, but nothing is organized yet.
(4) You make jewellery? I didn't know you make jewellery!
Yes, I do. It started with making coloured porcelain beads, which I intended to sell to crafters, but I made a few samples to work out any problems, and never quite stopped. I'm now playing around a bit with copper and glass as well.
A little closer on a few of those.
... and some earrings. I ran out of the cards I display them on, so some are in little plastic pouches. More cards have been ordered.
Porcelain bead necklaces. I add other beads to add shine and take some of the weight out. My beads are still the main feature, I think.
More necklaces and some bracelets. Short on detail here, but you get the general idea.
I found this funky wire tree with grabby clip things, and snapped it up to make an earring tree.
I still sell beads. I even sold some today.
Thanks to everyone who came out to talk to me and see what I do. I really appreciate that you braved the weather, and came out to our little village just to see me.
There are still two weekends left of Cambridge Open Studios 2012. I'm going to go see other studios. I hope you go out and visit some too, if you are able.
First things first. I had to unload the kiln. New butter dishes made of Audrey Blackman porcelain. They're impressed with lace doilies I've acquired over the past few months, all soft-slab hand-built. I love throwing on the wheel, but sometimes hand building is the only thing that will do.
On this side of the room is older work. Crackpots, game pieces, porcelain jars, platters, fat folk, and so on.
This is in our conservatory, which was a building site 4 days ago. It's a big improvement over the tent I've used in previous years. Torrential rains are a lot more tolerable in solid construction.
See that white door through the window on the left of the image? That's the door to the actual studio, which as you can see, is open. I did do some jewellery in the display room, so it was a working studio today too.
Mugs! I just love to make mugs. There are too many on the display, but you can live with that, can't you?
This is the new work for this year. Face plates, butter dishes, soap dishes, and small people (down at the far end).
I expected low attendance for the first day because there is so much going on in town. The Olympic torch came through, there was something on Parker's Piece, and it seems like every village school had some sort of fete. I wasn't disappointed with my low expectations, but had a really nice time talking to the people who did come.
I'd worked so hard to get this already despite the heavy rains this year not allowing work to dry and the builders having delays that it was almost nice to have the enforced inactivity. I'm all rested up now, though, so some Sunday visitors will see a perkier me.
I'm open again on Sunday from 11-6, and the same again next Saturday and Sunday (14-15 July). I'm number 97 in your guide book.
The decals I use are vintage, acquired from a shut down pottery in the north of England. They used to be the sort of thing that would grace commemorative mugs and dinnerware. No more. I showed some of my work to the people I got the decals from, and they said they didn't mind the sacrilege. Their time is over, and they are glad the decals can have another life.
I know it's hard to gauge size here. They range from about 4 inches to about 12 inches across.
V9G is a clay body with quite an earthy look to it. I don't think it's the sort of thing that decals normally go on, but I'm not trying to make mass market items here. Each one is its own piece. Here, a decal of a scene of Victorian lovers has shattered, as have the flowers that surround them.
And again in a smaller version. It's very different on porcelain. I find myself looking at the white space more.
The faces are starting to form groups now. Us against them.
These Victorian lovers get to stay whole. Small.
V9G clay, a doily impressed when the slay was wet, dark glaze down in the grooves, clear glaze over it, and decals that coordinate with the browns. Medium.
Another in the same process. Alas, some throw lines from before the doily went on remain, and look like someone set a mug there. This one might not be for sale, but I like it other than the circle in the middle.
Small and flowery.
V9G, clear, brown, and green glazes. A trio of birds in the middle. Are they grouses? Medium sized.
Green and clear glazes, trying to give the flowers a greener garden to grow in. Small.
Same as above, but perhaps a more tidy garden. Small.