Saturday, 7 September 2013

Ceri Shaw - Start at the beginning

I am 6 months into my Apprenticeship with Sasha Wardell and have been getting to grips with the many idiosyncrasies of Fine Bone China. Sasha taught me at Bath Spa Uni and has always been  generous of her time and knowledge.  My Apprenticeship is part time as I juggle family life and a 2 year old alongside my precious time with Sasha.

Here are a few pictures of the things I have been up to. I'm so happy to be useful and muck in with some of the basics of running a studio.

Clearing the Sinks

Recycling waste slip into soft clay for mould making

From this....

                                                                              ... to this...

And finally... soft clay for mould making.

Interspersed with this I have also been making additional plaster moulds where old ones are wearing out and preparing models (from existing moulds) for teaching.  I've found that slip casting is not as easy as it looks and can be frustrating, but I think I've cracked it now and regularly produce cast pieces for Sasha to decorate.

But there's lots more that Sasha includes me on; discussions about courses, galleries, exhibitions as well as exciting developmental projects in the pipeline.  I came with her to Ceramic Art London earlier this year (just after I'd got the apprenticeship) and it was lovely to be able to meet Lisa Hammond and some of the other trustees who came to the stand and introduced themselves. Sasha was also part of the Walpole Crafted Mentoring Programme last year and its been interesting to see some of the changes to the business as a result of her mentor's input.

Next time: A bit of Me: Turning on the lathe, Carving, Mould Making, Casting.  In the next couple of weeks I should be doing some decorating on cast pieces.  I'm definitely excited to see how that turns out.  Water Erosion... scary!!! 

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

An Update from Anastasia Simmons

I'm half way through AaP apprenticeship with Jeremy Steward at Wobage and having recently moved into a cottage on site I am fully absorbed into ‘potting life’. It’s been a hectic, but inspiring and rewarding few months with the summer courses and a trip to ICF at Aberystwyth. 

The summer courses play a big part of the potting year at Wobage – although a lot of man-hours go into the prep of each course, the courses themselves are really vibrant and exciting. I have especially enjoyed the guest demonstrators - Antje Ernestus, Niek Hoogland, Nic Collins and Steve Parry demonstrating on the final Jar Making Course, starting tomorrow.

Jeremy had been invited to build and fire a kiln at the ICF. Having invested a lot of time in the prep work for the construction of the kiln at Wobage and with the help of Penny and Jack (two 2nd year students from Cardiff) we managed to build, pack, fire, unpack, dismantle the kiln in just 5 days – no mean feet! The pots Jeremy got out looked really great considering it was the first firing of a new kiln with unsalted bricks and a lot of the pots sold still warm! We also got a bit of time to go to a few lectures and demonstrations. The whole experience was a really valuable lesson and I learnt a lot about brick laying and arch former carpentry (namely with the carpentry that I should stick to clay and not wood!)

Check out a few photos from the last few months…

Take a look at my blog for updates on my own practice:-

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Fleen Doran 2 years on

I completed my year-long apprenticeship with Micki Schloessingk two years ago on the Adopt a Potter Scheme. It was fantastic training for me and gave me all the skills I needed to set up as a potter. I have since continued to work at Bridge Pottery and for the past year I have enjoyed my post as Studio Manager at Bridge Pottery. Since my apprenticeship I have also ran evening pottery classes and set up as a self-employed happy potter :) I am now relocating to the Forest of Dean where I will continue to pot and run workshops.

Thanks to everyone who supports AAP! Having been an AAP apprentice myself I can say its a brilliant scheme and I am now enjoying my new post as Trustee.

Here is a pic of my stall last week at Art in Clay Hatfield