Thursday, 11 June 2015

     This month has been busy in many ways. The first weekend I spent on the Isles of Scilly rowing in the world Pilot Gig Rowing Championships! Which was extremely hard, rowing in 4 races over 2 days in bad weather conditions.

This is us in the far, lighter blue boat.
Over taking the other boat!
There were 151 boats from all around the world taking part, so it was amazing.

Then I came back to St Ives, and back to work at the Leach! We have been working on a new porcelain range, which I have been helping to make. Kat and Roelof worked on the shapes and designs, then me and Kat have been throwing the pieces. I have done the milk jugs, creamers, small mugs and mugs. I has been good for my throwing, having to throw really thin and attaching handles to porcelain.

When I threw the mugs for the SeaSalt order they seemed a lot easier, after throwing the porcelain mugs. We also have a SeaSalt order this month, along with other orders.

I have also continued to do a lot of work on my own pieces. I don't have long until Hatfield now, so I have been trying to fire pieces that I want to take with me.  These are a couple of the pieces,  
Everybody  in the studio has been really helpful, looking at my work and giving me feedback and advice on what I need to improve or how to change the glaze slightly.  At the moment I am mostly focusing on lidded pots and Platters. 
We have also had a resident potter this month. Barry Krzyswicki from Denver. 
He stayed in the house with us, so we got to know him and he gave me lots of advice and shared his experiences with me. He also teaches in America, so Barry has lots of useful tips and can recognise mistakes or aspects that need improvement. 

Monday, 8 June 2015

Niklas Preukschat - May

So… after the Germans got those incredible results out oft the new kiln we didn't have to wait long until new plans to fire it appeared in our heads. But despite the results, the kiln didn’t quite fit to our expectations. The previous firebox design made it a bit of a task not to knock pots over and it was also a bit too small to reveal its full performance.

For the second firing we decided to go back to the roots, meaning for me to take down the steps, to rebuild the front wall and casting a sidestoke hole into the firebox as well as to brick up the chimney by a third of its height. Knocking bricks out of an already built arch was the probably most dodgiest part of that job…

first brick out

A new window brings light into that gloominess


If anybody is planning a banquet - we can supply the beaker. At least

Somewhere inbeteween that work, Nic and Sabine did let me having a go with throwing beaker for an order that came in. It was quite satisfying pushing my boundaries in throwing and at the end I managed to get some 25 beakers per hour done!

By mid of the month we got to the point of glazing the pots but the bucket for bone ash – ingredient of one of our glazes – had the guts to show us it was empty! Without time to order more, Nic headed off towards the butcher to get some freshly chopped bones. The dogs looked quite confused when they saw us burning those tasty, meaty bits of bones…

yummy +

= calcined bones

When it then came to packing the kiln, Nic and me wondered, how the Germans managed to sit in there all day long…
designed by Nic for tiny german fairys, not for Nic

The firing then went exceptionally well and there were even a few worries whether it went all a bit too well?


When that was finished we spent a few days in getting wood sawn and splitted and Sabine had a major firing for this years’ shows in Bovey Tracey, Rufford and Hatfield.

And what’s coming next?

It is now all getting very fast paced with Nic having an exhibition in London at the beginning of june, Sabines stand at the Art and Craft fair in Bovey Tracey and two more firings before we head off towards the ‘Earth and fire’ fair in Rufford at the end of June following 'Art in Clay' in Hatfield a weekend later.

And we got some wood delivered...

the chainsaw is running hot