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Spring 05 newsletter

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Spring 05 newsletter

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									     Spring 2005
     Newsletter
Inside


•   Build a momentum
    wheel—feel the
    force
•   Inside Primavera
•   City & Guilds
•   Ceramics calendar
•   Gilda Westermann


                 1
COMMITTEE 2004/2005                                        —Thrown by the Editor—
PRESIDENT
Lady Sainsbury                                  In my early days of potting at evening classes I hit a metaphorical wall. I had
                                                no control over glazes or firing, and even having ware at the right state of
CHAIRMAN                                        dryness to work from one week to the next was touch and go. The only
Victor Knibbs
8 Nightingale Way, St Neots,Huntingdon,         option seemed to be to set up at home.
Cambs. PE19 1UQ. 01480 214741
                                                So I read a lot of books, cleared some space in the shed, built my first kiln
VICE CHAIRMAN                                   from a recipe in Ceramic Review, bought a table-top wheel and got stuck in.
Frank Logan
Burbage, Thetford Road                          Hardly anything survived my first firing, except my enthusiasm to improve. I
Coney Weston, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk          now understood dunting and the explosive force of steam, but shudder to
IP31 1DN. 01359 221323                          think how much quicker I could have progressed with more guidance.
SECRETARY
Susan Cupitt                                    Then I joined the EAPA and through demonstration days, talking to people
62 Humberstone Road, Cambridge CB4 1JF          at potters camps and not being afraid to experiment, I started to progress. I
01223 311937. susancupitt@waitrose.com          mention these early fumblings with clay simply to remind us how educational
TREASURER                                       EAPA can be.
Rosemarie Cooke
13 Biggin Lane, Ramsey, Huntingdon, Cambs       In this issue of the Newsletter, we look at how to make a cheap momentum
PE26 1NB. 01487 813835                          wheel, City&Guilds as another way of learning about working with clay, the
cooke@rosecooke.freeserve.co.uk
                                                state of UK ceramics as seen through the eyes of one of the country’s
EDITOR                                          leading galleries, and the various hints and tips gleaned from Gilda
Mark Boyd                                       Westermann, a fine exponent of that most enigmatic of materials, porcelain.
24 School Close, Gamlingay, Sandy,
Bedfordshire SG19 3JY. 01767 650904
mark.boyd@rspb.org.uk                           If you stop learning, you stop living, there doesn’t seem
                                                much danger of that for the EAPA.
MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY
Tony Pugh

                                                            —–Chairman’s report—–
Vine Leigh Cottage, Main St, Wardy Hill, Ely,
Cambs CB6 2DF. 01353 778462
tonypugh@onetel.com

PUBLICITY SECRETARY
Penny Hayes                                           Christmas exhibition                 Potters Camp 11-14 August
The Four, Chapel End Way, Stambourne, Essex
CO9 4NT. 01440 785688                           The All Saints exhibition, despite its    Plans are well in hand for this
PHayes2074@aol.com                              familiar look, was well received by       popular and enjoyable event.
                                                the visitors, and although numbers        Jerry has booked Rob Bibby, who
EXHIBITIONS ORGANISER                                                                     will lead decorating workshops,
Carolyn Postgate
                                                at the Private View seemed fewer
5 Whitwell Way, Coton, Cambridge CB3 7PW        than usual, those attending were          together with all the regular
01954 211033. carolyn@clara.co.uk               enthusiastic and sales good.              activities, including the Summer
                                                Rosemarie and Arnold Cooke                Social Communal Meal on
SELECTED MEMBERS                                                                          Saturday evening. This is open to
SECRETARIES                                     accepted the Essex Kilns Prize on
Liz Smith and Graham Smith                      behalf of their son David. The            members not attending the camp.
14 Oakfield Road, Long Stratton, Norwich        mulled wine and minced pies
Norfolk. 01508 536526                           served by Dorothy and Tony Pugh                      Name and logo
Landmarkplanning@hotmail.com
                                                went down well!                           The Committee has not yet formally
Margaret Gardiner                                                                         made the change as we need to
Glebe House, Great Hallingbury, Bishops         The new store arrangements                make all necessary arrangements
Stortford, Herts CM22 7TY
01279 654025. magsgardi@yahoo.com
                                                worked well, but the working party        that will lead to a smooth
                                                was small and ageing! I thank all         changeover. Watch this space!
GENERAL COMMITTEE MEMBER                        who helped with the setting up,
                                                                                              Committee discussions
Brenda Green                                    especially the regular stalwarts.
Hardys, School Lane, Gr Horkesley, Colchester
Essex CO6 4BL. 01206 271019                     Sales were lower than last year’s,        There were lengthy debates at the
                                                but the loss was modest and well          last Committee meeting concerning
WEBSITE                                         within our means. Special thanks to
Harvey Bradley
                                                                                          both Exhibitions and Selected
                                                Janet Tebbit, Rosemarie Cooke             Membership. It is difficult to
29 Meadow Rise, Billericay, Essex CM11 2DT
01277 659281. harvey@the-eapa.org               and of course Carolyn Postgate            summarise the wide ranging and
                                                who made it all possible.                 diverse opinions expressed. It
EVENTS ORGANISERS
Jerry Finlayson                                                                           seems we need to be all things to
Mill Farm Barn, Wades Lane, Shotley, Ipswich           Hatfield 5-7 August                all men. Members join our society
IP9 1EG                                         Margaret Gardiner is working hard         with different expectations and
01473 788423                                    for us and has arranged for a stand       motivations, we all want different
Frank Logan (address above)                     again this year. We have decided          outcomes, and I feel that we do
                                                to open this to all membership, and       quite well really.
                                                I would encourage members to
    Front cover: Copper-fumed raku by           consider submitting applications. I
    Pat Armstrong, from our Christmas                                                                          Victor
                                                really found the experience of being
    show. Photo Mark Boyd                       part of this show most exciting.
2
Christmas show                                          Ceramics calendar
                                   EAPA Demonstration Day, Steve             Art in Action
Images from our Christmas Show     Harrison, Mundford Village Hall,          Waterperry Gardens, Nr Wheatley,
at All Saints Church, Cambridge.   March 27                                  Oxfordshire, July 14-17
Top, Susan Tutton; middle, Penny                                             www.artinaction.org.uk
Hayes; bottom, Janet Tebbit        Potfest South-West
                                                                             Potfest Scotland
(detail). Pictures MB              Washinpool Agricultural Centre, Easter
                                   Compton, West Bristol, April29-May1,      The Agricultural Centre, Crieff Road, Perth,
                                   www.Potfest.co.uk                         May27-29 www.Potfest.co.uk

                                                                             EAPA Summer Potters
                                   EAPA AGM and demonstration day,
                                                                             All Saints, Cambridge, 9-31 July
                                   Helen Martino, Mundford, May 22

                                   Clayart                                   Potfest in the Park
                                   The Old Coachhouse, Llanrhaeadr Hall,     Hutton –in-the-Forest, Penrith, Cumbria,
                                   Denbigh, May 21-22                        July29-31, www.Potfest.co.uk
                                   clayart@brookhousepottery.co.uk
                                                                             Art in Clay
                                   Appledore Visual Arts Festival            Hatfield House, Hatfield, Hertfordshire,
                                   Appledore, Bideford, Devon, June 2-5      August 5-7, www.artinclay.co.uk—includes
                                   www.apledorearts.org                      EAPA stand

                                   International Ceramics Festival           Potfest in the Pens
                                   Aberystwyth Arts Centre, July 1-3         Skirsgill Agricultural Mart, Penrith, Cumbria,
                                   www.internationalceramicsfestival.co.uk   August 5-7, www.Potfest.co.uk

                                   EAPA Selected Member selection            EAPA Potters Camp, Shotley,
                                   meeting 17 April, Cambridge.              August 11-14, contact Jerry
                                   Contact the Selected Members              Finlayson for details
                                   Secretaries for more detail
                                                                             Ceramica Cymru The Old Provisions Market,
                                   Potfest Peak,                             Carmarthen Road, Llandeilo,
                                   Bakewell Agricultural Centre, Bakewell,   Carmarthenshire, September 23-25,
                                   Derbyshire, June3-5, www.Potfest.co.uk    www.ceramica.org.uk

                                   Earth and Fire                            Ceramics in the City
                                   Rufford Country Park, near Ollerton,      Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Road, London,
                                   Nottinghamshire, July 1-3                 September 24-25
                                   www.ruffordcraftcentre.org.uk             www.geffrye-museum.org.uk

                                   Tredegar House Contemporary Ceramics      EAPA demonstration day, Paul
                                   Fair, Tredegar House, Newport,            Scott, Mundford, October 9
                                   Monmouthshire, July 9-10                  (provisional)
                                   ceramics@artwks.co.uk
                                                                             Oxford Studio Ceramics 2004, October 29-
                                                                             30, www.oxfordsc.co.uk

                                                                             EAPA Christmas Show
                                                                             All Saints Church, Cambridge, 19
                                                                             November-11 December

                                                                             The 9th Southern Pottery and Ceramics
                                                                             Show, The Maltings, Farnham, Surrey,
                                                                             November 19-20

                                                                             For a full updated list, see
                                                                             www.studiopottery.co.uk/
                                                                             html/events.html

                                                                             Below—Naked raku vessels, exhibited in
                                                                             Metropolis, Royal Birmingham Society of
                                                                             Artists in 2004. Expect similar work from
                                                                             Elizabeth Bond at Hatfield
                                                                                                                              Elizabeth Bond




                                                                                                                                  3
               —Primavera, a different tradition—
                                                                                      from local buyers, but we also still
                                                                                      attract many Europeans, especially
                                                                                      the Dutch, Belgians and
                                                                                      Scandinavians. We also have quite
                                                                                      a lot of customers from London who
                                                                                      make the trip especially.


                                                                                      So are you saying that it’s a tough
                                                                                      business to be in?
                                                                                      If this was my only source of
                                                                                      income, it would have folded after
                                                                                      9/11. No question. But it’s more
                                                                                      than that to me. It’s a passion, but
                                                                                      it’s also something to do with my
                                                                                      life. I have seen some terrible
                                                                                      things in the world, and Primavera
                                                                                      makes many people very happy—
     See Primavera gallery at Kings Parade, Cambridge, or on the web at               that’s the buzz for me.
     www.primaverauk.com

                                                                                      How do you decide on the mix of
                                                                                      works to show?
    There are few places in                How long have you been running             We don’t see a problem with putting
    Britain that combine high-             the gallery and how has it changed         slightly whimsical pieces alongside
    quality applied crafts and             commercially in that time?                 more serious artworks. We don’t
    accessible fine art as well or         I (JW) am in my sixth year here.           need to be pure in that sense. After
    as famously as Cambridge’s             The 9/11 bombings in 2001                  all, that’s how they will end up in
                                           stopped Americans coming and that          people’s homes. We don’t live in
    Primavera gallery. Where                                                          white cubes. We also like to have
                                           has seen a detrimental impact of
    else could you sell alongside          probably around £150,000 a year            works of very different prices
    Bernard Leach, Lucy Rie and            on sales.                                  together—one piece may cost £6
    the best of current                                                               next to another for £2,000. We like
                                                                                      the light touch that comes with this
    ceramics? Mark Boyd spoke
                                           Does that mean most of your sales          arrangement—it’s not random. We
    to the proprietor, Jeremy              are now local?                             all spend hours arranging pieces.
    Waller, and Gallery
                                           Many are from East Anglia, and
    Administrator Janine                   from repeat visitors. When we show
                                                                                      Does this mean you reject the
    Pocklington about the                  new work, there is a flurry of activity
                                                                                      art/craft divide?
    gallery’s work, philosophy
    and the state of the
    ceramics industry.


    What are you looking for from
    artists?
    Something a bit different. We stock
    work by Walter Keeler, Steve
    Harrison, Lisa Hammond and Jane
    Hamlyn, for example, so customers
    can compare the best salt and soda
    ware, so we are unlikely to take
    more vapour ware.


    Do you think reinvention by existing
    artists is important?
    Yes, but we are always seeking
    new artists. Sometimes, though, we
    prefer a steady seller to someone
    who keeps changing direction.                                           Part of Jenny Hale’s display of raku creatures

4
                                        It’s funny how a little thing can
                                        make the difference. Our domestic
                                        pottery wasn’t selling at all until we
                                        introduced a buy-two-get-one-free
                                        offer. Then they started flying out of
                                        the door.


                                        If I wanted my work to appear in
                                        Primavera, what is the process?
                                        There isn’t really a process. We
                                        encourage people to talk to us and       more from the same artist
Absolutely, but people need the         then take it from there—we don’t         themselves. Nick Mackman’s raku
functional things and the aesthetic     require artists’ statements and that     animals are a case in point. One
things, and there is no reason why      sort of thing, but many more formal      lucky family seems to be collecting
one gallery can’t sell both—we          galleries do.                            an entire ecosystem!
have 19th Century paintings, 18th
Century clocks and even a               We usually buy the work outright,
collection of Bronze Age, Celtic and    rather than have it on a sale or
                                                                                 What do you think is the state of
Anglo-Saxon jewellery. And we sell      return basis. If you came to us as a
                                                                                 ceramics in East Anglia?
mugs. Why not?                          new maker and we liked your work,
                                        we may buy, say, 20 mugs to start        I (JW) travel across the country
                                        with. If they sold well, we’d come       looking for work to sell, but I think
Is that a problem for any of your       back for 100. Because our trade          local associations such as yours
artists?                                has peaks and troughs, we know a         are extremely important. We sell
                                        long way in advance when we will         some of your members’ work and
If they didn’t agree with our           need stock. So our regular               are keen to work with you in the
philosophy they wouldn’t be             suppliers get to know when they          future.
represented here, and it can be a       have to be busy.
struggle with some of the top
names. Grayson Perry, for
example, doesn't like the craft         Who is selling well at the moment?
element of our stock. Edmund de
Waal was initially reluctant to have    All sorts. We had a very good
his work here, and I struggled to get   Christmas period. Robert
Rupert Spira’s work as well, but        Goldsmith’s domestic ware is
now his best work is on show here.      selling well, and we have several
                                        families of makers who all sell
                                        through us. Lawson Rudge, and his
Grayson Perry claims to be very         children Dillon, Lawson Jr and
proud to be a potter.                   Keza, for example. Mary Rich,
                                        Philip Wood, Tony Gant and               The EAPA and Primavera Gallery
Yes. I have had him sat here trying     Richard Batterham all sell well.         are actively exploring an EAPA
to persuade him to sell his work        Quite often we find people are           exhibition. Expect more details later
through Primavera but he won’t          bought a piece, like it, and then buy    in the year. Words and pictures, MB
budge yet. I haven’t given up, but
partly the decision for the artist is
commercial—especially when they
are famous enough to attract big
private buyers. We charge the
public the same as the artist would
in a private sale, but obviously take
our commission. But people should
be ok with our approach—their
work will all end up alongside the
trappings of someone’s home.


How are ceramics faring against
other crafts here?
Well, jewellery sales drive
everything – the ceramics, the
glassware, the lot. I suspect
paintings are becoming more
popular again. Ceramics are steady
sellers throughout the year, but we
couldn’t survive on them alone.
                                                                                              Peter Hayes’ raku disk


                                                                                                                         5
                            —Free wheeling low roller—
                                                                                     Position the frame




                                                                                     Arrange suitable tubing, such as 50
                                                                                     mm square section steel, into a
                                                                                     shape for a stable base, and weld it
                                                                                     together. Remember that this base
                                                                                     will need to support up to 200kg
                                                                                     concrete, so it needs to be strong.




    Momentum wheels have a long and           Remove the wheel itself, by any
    living history, and are still the wheel   means possible. Unbolt it if you
    of choice for some top potters,           can, but cut if needs be. You need
    including Svend Bayer and Walter          to end up with enough of the hub to
    Keeler. They rely on using the            weld a base to.
    momentum of a slowing wheel, the
                                              Remove the hub and check that it
    spin from which has come from
                                              runs smoothly                          Weld a frame to support the hub
    kicking or a stick. All momentum
    wheels have one great
    advantage—their silence. This one,                                               Weld the hub of the wheel to the
    made by Jerry Finlayson from an                                                  base frame. This forms the working
    idea of Rob Bibby’s, has another                                                 heart of your new wheel.
    plus—its cost and simplicity. With a
    bit of scavenging this wheel cost
    three bags of readymix concrete,
    and took four hours to make.

                                              Remove the brake assembly and
                                              check that the wheel rotates freely
                                              and quietly. If it doesn’t, choose
                                              another wheel. It isn’t worth
                                              replacing the wheel bearing.
                                                                                     The hub and stand welded together
    First find your wheel                     Cut two holes in the tyre for
                                              concrete, either with a fancy hole
    First find a suitable donor car, in       saw drill attachment or with a sharp
                                                                                     Weld locating bars on to the wheel
    this case a dead Citroen BX. The          knife (lubricate the blade with oil,
                                                                                     rim so that your second road wheel
    larger the tyre, the heavier the filled   washing up liquid or even water for
                                                                                     will remain in place.
    wheel and the more momentum it            an easier cut. That’s why you get
    will have, and hence the more             more punctures when it’s raining.).
    throwing you will be able to achieve
    with each spin. Make it too big,
    though, and you will find your knees
    get in the way.

    Remove the road wheels (the bit
    with the tyre attached). Note that
    except in some inner city areas it is
    customary to ask the car owner for
    permission first.
                                              Cut holes in the tyre for concrete     Supporting pegs welded in place

6
Bolt the road wheel to the hub            bucket with more readymix, and           Frank Logan preparing to spin
                                          spin the wheel to make sure it is
                                          centred. Raise the concrete above
                                          the walls of the bucket slightly and
                                          level the top while spinning it
                                          slowly. Getting this right is key to a
                                          stable potting platform.




Bolt the road wheel on to the base,
with the holes in the tyre facing
upwards.

Mix approximately 100 kg readymix
concrete to fill the tyre. You will
need to funnel the mix into one of         Bucket to form wheelhead
the holes, watching the other one to
make sure you can see when the            While this mix is still wet, place a
tyre is full. A suitable funnel can be    bat on top and centre it. Push 8 mm
created from a discarded traffic          metal rods into the concrete so that
cone. This could be a three-person        they protrude slightly lower than the
task: one to cajole concrete through      thickness of the bat. These will
the funnel (poking with a stick may       locate your throwing bat but not
be required), one to keep the funnel      stick into the base of your pot.
located in the hole, and one to bash
the tyre all the while to encourage       Bat-holding pegs
the concrete to flow.

Add a second road wheel, located
on the small bars, and fill this in the
same way.




                                          When it is all dry, remove the bat
                                          and the yoghurt pots, and find a         Victor Knibbs, mid pot
                                          suitable, smooth stick (a broom
                                          handle or heavier) to drive your
                                          wheel and enjoy the silent
                                          pleasures of throwing by
Fill the wheels with concrete             momentum.                        MB


You may choose to add a third
wheel at this point for extra             This wheel is very heavy, even
momentum, but be careful of the           when dismantled, so make it where
height—you still have the                 you intend to use it—and note the
wheelhead to add.                         lack of drip tray. It should be
                                          weatherproof.
For the top wheel, fill yoghurt pots
and push them into the holes in the       Set the wheel hub directly into a
tyre to make circular locating points     concrete base to avoid welding.
for your spinning stick. You will
have either to fill the pots with         Instead of using welded locating
concrete or tape them down to stop        pins, you could Evostick joining
them floating out while the concrete      tyres together.
sets.                                                                              Frank forming in a hurry
                                          A larger, single wheel from a truck
Line the top road wheel with a            could have similar momentum (this        Momentum wheel tips: use water
plastic bag, pushed into the central      being a function of the mass of          generously to get the most from
hole, cut the bottom off an old           theconcrete and the speed of             each spin; use several slower spins
bucket and pop it on top. This will       movement), but would be best             rather than try to do everything on
shape your wheelhead. Fill the            propelled by kicking.                    one—it’s less tiring; start the spin
                                                                                   with a kick to reduce back strain.

                                                                                                                          7
                  —Potting with a limited alphabet—
                                                                                         first competence and then
                                                                                         expertise. The danger is that
                                                                                         without innovation and continual
                                                                                         thought it can become stale.
                                                                                         Westermann doesn’t fall into this
                                                                                         trap. She recognises both the value
                                                                                         of developing that expertise and the
                                                                                         risk of over-refining her forms. This
                                                                                         seems to have driven her current
                                                                                         change, but having already seen
                                                                                         how her work has developed at
                                                                                         shows over the past four years or
                                                                                         so, it will be interesting to see
                                                                                         where she ends up.

                                                                                         Gilda Westermann now works
                                                                                         exclusively with porcelain, the
                                                                                         Audrey Blackman formula for
                                                                                         thrown items and smaller pieces,
                                                                                         and Royal (a mix of Audrey
                                                                                         Blackman and Special) for larger
                                                                                         slab platters, other flatware and
                                                                                         anything that needs handles. She
                                                                                         wouldn’t use the Special porcelain
                                                                                         on its own because of its soapy feel
                                                                                         and shortness – in the pastry
    I presume that New Guineans with            Gilda Westermann is German and           sense. She likes the feel of
    their 11-letter alphabet feel as            comes from a tradition of                porcelain at all stages but doesn’t
    expressive as the Armenians with            apprenticeship and production            always use it to display its famous
    their 39 letters. After all, it is not so   throwing in Germany and Ireland.         translucency – some of her
    much the components as their                This background, where arts and          dramatic slabware is nearly 1 cm
    combination that matters. And so it         crafts are more firmly split than in     thick, but still with the purity of
    is with pottery.                            England, both helps and haunts her       porcelain.
                                                work. As she said herself, “I needed
    Gilda Westermann, who                       time to get rid of other people’s pots   Porcelain is notoriously difficult to
    demonstrated her skills in February,        from my finger tips.”                    work, especially to a potter used to
    probably works with the most                                                         stoneware. It shrinks by 20% from
    limited range of materials of any           During her talk before                   wet to fired, it has an exceptionally
    potter I know: two clays, one glaze,        demonstrating, she showed that           strong plastic memory, has little
    two lustres, one firing regime. But it      pure white porcelain had not always      tolerance between translucent
    works.                                      been her material of choice,             maturity and shelf-ruining
                                                terracotta and reduced stoneware         stickiness, can produce
    Gilda Westermann has made some              made an appearance, including the        astonishingly sharp edges, and
    of the most elegant white porcelain         use of overlapping tenmoku and           drinks water on the wheel like it’s
    vessels of recent years. Her tall           celadon glazes. Several times she        going out of style. But porcelain is
    white bottles, in particular, have a        talked about an idea fading away,        beguiling, and clearly Gilda feels it
    refined grace that is rarely                and I had the distinct impression        is worth its shortcomings. More to
    matched. They are not, however,             that her current work was itself         the point, she seems prepared to
    refined to death. A slight undercut         transitory.
    to their base, a free-looking spiral in
    their neck and a clear glaze helps          The high elegance of her tableware
    lift these above the norm.                  and teapots of a couple of years
                                                ago has given way to a freer
                                                approach, but one still firmly rooted
                                                in the functional. I may be doing her
                                                a disservice, but some of her
                                                current work feels caught between
                                                two strands – the high quality
                                                domestic ware and more sculptural
                                                pieces that could sit comfortably in
                                                a minimalist loft apartment.

                                                The repetitive nature of production
                                                throwing allows potters to develop
8
                                        comes to putting handles on mugs
                                        and jugs, the line is again
                                        important. She pulls them and then
                                        attaches them firmly to the
                                        leatherhard pot – getting the right
                                        moisture level is key. Then she
                                        smoothes the joint to make the
                                        handle appear to continue the
                                        same curve as the main form. It is
                                        in such attention to detail that
                                        elegance lies.                            Marianne Toogood (above) and Trudi
                                                                                  Cullum (below), examples of work from
                                        As well as the tips she voiced, more      Carolyn Genders’ well-received course,
                                                                                  Sources of Inspiration, run at West Dean
                                        could be gleaned from watching the        College, Sussex.
                                        way Gilda worked. For example,
                                        compressing thrown bases with
                                        either fingers or a sponge, and
                                        avoiding sharp angles in bases all
                                        help the drying clay to move and
                                        reduce its stresses.

                                        Turning is also a useful way of
                                        reducing the stresses on a base,
                                        but if the base is already rather thin,
                                        scraping it with a metal kidney in
                                        several directions will again reduce
                                        stress and hence the likelihood of
                                        S-cracks. When turning her tall
work with them. On being asked          bottles, Gilda uses a biscuited
about the dreaded S-crack, for          chuck and separates the pot from
example, her response was               its chuck with a ring of foam rubber
“welcome to the club.” Warping in       to prevent marks.
the kiln was also something that
she had to work with.                   All her work is biscuit fired to
                                        10000C, and glaze fired to 12800C
Her throwing style was                  in an electric kiln, with some
conventional. She started with          platters and other hump-moulded
small pieces – mugs, tea bowls, a       pieces getting a third gold lustre
small bottle – and gradually            firing to 8000C. The glaze – a
increased the size. Porcelain won’t     common transparent one – is
stand as tall as a grogged clay, but    applied by dipping, and when
she manages to throw 90cm tall          applied thinly didn’t move in the
bottles in one piece. She has made      firing. One useful tip here: to reduce
a few larger forms from two pieces      the likelihood of glaze pooling at the
in the past, but found that the join    bottom of a pot she would dip it in
had to be very carefully formed to      water before dipping it in the glaze.
prevent failure. Coping with firing     The wet areas of the pot then take
failures seems to be part of life for   up less glaze.
the innovative porcelain worker.                                                          QUALITY KILNS
                                        It all goes to show that much as we              FROM YOUR LOCAL
To get the maximum lift from            may love variations in colour and                 MANUFACTURER.
porcelain, Gilda compressed the         surface texture, sometimes, as we               Spares, Repairs, Service
base and the rim as she worked.         Editors say, less really is more. MB            Contracts, Kiln Furniture
This allowed her to control the form
as it rose. She tended to finish a      www.g.westermann.freeuk.com                Essex Kilns Ltd, Woodrolfe Road
thrown piece in three sections –                                                      Tollesbury, Maldon, Essex
bottom, middle and top – rather                                                               CM9 8SE
than working on the whole form the
whole time. Much of her shaping                                                          Tel No.01621 869342
was done with a long metal kidney                                                        Fax No. 01621 868522
– an easier way of following a line                                                      www.essexkilns.co.uk
than with her fingers alone.
                                                                                     ESSEX KILNS for second hand
This sense of line is important in                                                    kilns, wheels, pugmills and
her work, and is something she                                                         miscellaneous equipment.
emphasises by drawing and                                                               Tel No. 01621 869342.
painting to help seeing. When it

                                                                                                                             9
                                            —It’s a social thing—
                                                                                              beginners have access to degree-
            The main ceramics room at Cambridge Regional College
                                                                                              level facilities and equipment.

                                                                                              The main studio contains nine
                                                                                              wheels, a pug mill (taking three
                                                                                              people to operate) a very stable
                                                                                              concrete-block wedging bench and
                                                                                              plenty of bench space. There is
                                                                                              also a large damp room—essential
                                                                                              for part-time courses—and an
                                                                                              external covered area for kilns.
                                                                                              The three large electric kilns can
                                                                                              swallow a lot of work, but therein
                                                                                              lies one of the main problems with
                                                                                              courses—the lack of individual
                                                                                              control over the firing cycle.

                                                                                              In theory, students should be able
                                                                                              to set up their own workshop as a
Mark Boyd




                                                                                              result of the level three course. In
                                                                                              practice, most will still lack the
                                                                                              space and may still want the
            These days it is unusual to hear of      a GCSE. It covers handbuilding,          comfort and company of a well-
            an education establishment               throwing and plaster mould-making.       equipped facility.
            investing in any form of craft, let      Level three, is the equivalent of A-
            alone ceramics, but that is exactly      level, and carries UCAS points.          I spoke to two EAPA members
            what Cambridge Regional College                                                   about CRC. Both had progressed
            (CRC) has done with a new                The assessment of this course            through the level three course but
            teaching facility launched last          requires students to make: one           continued to come back to pursue
            autumn. Mark Boyd went to                lidded container for pouring, with a     their own ideas. When asked why,
            investigate CRC and its City &           handle; one large sculptural form;       almost uncannily they both said “It’s
            Guilds courses where he found            one wall or floor piece; a set of at     a social thing”. We all learn from
            several EAPA members.                    least three functional domestic          one another in this game, and with
                                                     vessels; one mould-made set of           the usual class size being 12-16
            Whether you are new to the world         small decorative objects; and a          students, there is plenty of scope
            of ceramics or an established            portfolio of samples. So the             for peer-to-peer learning.
            professional, the hardest thing is       syllabus must cover throwing,
            knowing how to start. And if you are                                              Find out more about City & Guilds
                                                     hand-building and mould-making in        on the web and about the full range
            already a professional, what advice      a range of sizes, but that it isn’t as
            do you give to newcomers? The                                                     of ceramics courses at CRC from
                                                     restricted to particular sizes of        Lizzy McCaughan at
            sheer versatility that clay offers can   vessels as it used to be. In short,
            be intimidating to beginners.                                                     lmccaughan@camre.ac.uk or
                                                     the syllabus ensure that students        01223 418549.
                                                     receive a good grounding in
            Unfortunately, many of the ways of       different techniques rather than find
            learning about clay are themselves       themselves entirely at the whim of         The large new PotteryCrafts kiln
            intimidating – cost, availability of     an individual tutor.
            lessons and space are just some of
            the issues that many people              In this case, the course leader,
            struggle with, and this is where a       Lizzy McCaughan, leads the art
            good ceramics course can help.           design elements—including
                                                     sketchbooks—and handbuilding;
            City & Guilds offers an easy way in:     Paul McAllister and Matthew
            it is structured, one evening a week     Blakely cover thrown stoneware,
            and courses last for up to two years     sculpture and plaster moulds. One
            and are at a range of levels.            of the students told me that the
                                                     course benefited from a variety of
            City & Guilds courses come in three      tutors, one very hands on with clay,
            levels. Level one, a taster, is one      another less so.
            day a week for a mere five weeks in
                                                                                                                                      Mark Boyd




            the summer. Level two is one             Next year, CRC will run ceramics
            evening a week for a year, and is        courses ranging from GCSE level
            roughly the academic equivalent of       to degree level. This means that
10
          Miscellany                              EAPA clay stores                       Ceramic Helpline
Hurry!
                                                 Clay from Valentines, Staffordshire.
IWCAT 2005—get your application into the                                                Having a bit of bother that your
Tokoname Summer Ceramic Workshop by              An inexpensive source of
                                                 clay for Association members.          supplier can’t resolve? Why not
the end of February. Forms are available at
www.japan-net.ne.jp/~iwcat                       Phone to confirm availability.         contact one of these members who
                                                                                        have agreed to share their
                                                 All now will be sold in 12.5 Kg bags   expertise? You’ll find their contact
                                                 with the exception of paper clay.      details in the membership list.

                                                 Special Fleck stoneware                Allan Foxley - handbuilding & reduction
                                                 £5.00 Firing 1150oc -1300oc            firing
                                                 Red earthenware £3.10 Firing           Colin Saunders - plaster mould-making
                                                 1080oc - 1140oc                        Victor Knibbs - oxidised stoneware,
                                                 White B17C stoneware £4.40             electric kilns, modifying clay bodies
                                                 P2 Porcelain £6.65                     Jackie Plaister - slip decorating
                                                 Firing 1220oc - 1250oc                 stoneware
                                                 Royal porcelain £8.50                  Deborah Baynes - Raku, stone/
                                                 ES5 Stoneware Original                 earthenware (reduction & oxidised), salt
                                                 £6.50                                  glaze

EAPA at Oxford
                                                 ES130 White earthenware                Mary Baulch - very basic throwing and
                                                 £5.80                                  glazing, electric kiln
Three out of the six potters selected for the
CPA Associate Member stand at Oxford             Audrey Blackman porcelain              Beryl Hines - general, earthenware,
Studio Ceramics were EAPA members—               £9.85                                  Raku
Margaret Gardiner, Juliet Gorman and Kate        ES40 Handbuilding material             Usch Spettigue - raw glazing/single
Phillips. Find out more about the show at
                                                 £8.50                                  firing
www.oxfordsc.co.uk
                                                 ES50 Crank £5.85                       Tony Eeles – paperclay
Pottery and Ceramics Fair,                       TS Flaxpaper clay ES200                Erica Mattingly – some woodfired kilns
                                                 £6.00 per 5 Kg bag                     Margaret Gardiner – salt glaze
Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury,
Buckinghamshire, 2-3 April 2005. If you want                                            Sonia Lewis—high-fired ware including
to sell your wares at this new event in a        ROGER PHILLIPPO                        porcelain
National Trust property, check out               The Old Bakehouse,
www.waddesdon.org.uk and ring Kim Hallett                                               If you are willing to give advice, and
on 01296 653240. Stands cost £100-170 for        Harston,
                                                 Cambridge,                             are willing to be added to this list,
the weekend.
                                                 CB2 5NP                                please contact the Editor: Mark
Sculptural Ceramics Workshop                     Tel: (01223) 870277                    Boyd 01767 650904.
The Burnside Gallery, Brodick, Isle of Arran,
29May-3 June 2005. Explore the creative          DEBORAH BAYNES
use of hand-building techniques and the
exciting potential of paperclay with tutors
                                                 Nether Hall,                                    Directory
Cathy D’Arcy and Mary Pritchard. Contact:        Shotley,
The Burnside, 01770 303 888                      Ipswich,
mas@theburnside.com                              Suffolk IP9 19W                        Fine art books
                                                 Tel. 0473 788300                       Rodney Hunt
Spiral Gallery                                                                          Long Row Cottage, Sudbourne
Kate and Michael Carpenter have just             LEN KNOWLES                            Suffolk IP12 2AT
opened a contemporary jewellery and crafts                                              01394 450238
gallery in Debenham, Suffolk and are keen        4 Fairview Avenue,
                                                                                        10% reduction to EAPA Members
to make contact with potters who may wish        Stanford-le-Hope,
to exhibit there.                                Essex SS17 0DW
info@jewellerymichaelcarpenter.co.uk             Tel: 01375 404031                      Brick House Ceramic
Correction                                                                              Supplies Ltd
                                                 Please remember that the Clay          The Barns, Sheepcote Farm,
Roger Cockram has asked us to point out
that, contrary to the impression given in last   Stores are run by volunteers.          Sheepcote Lane, Silver End,
Summer’s Newsletter, he doesn’t regard           Kindly phone or collect during         Witham, Essex CM8 3PJ
today’s practice of biscuit firing as            normal office hours. Telephone to      Tel: 01376 585655
“decadent”, just largely unnecessary. Also       arrange a convenient time to call.     Fax: 01376 585656
that he was making a distinction between art     On collecting the clay, make out a     retail, trade, mail order
and design rather than art and craft.
                                                 cheque payable to EAPA with            materials and equipment
                                                 cheque card number and                 10% discount to EAPA members with
             For sale                            membership number.                     membership card
Leach wheel, good working order, well
maintained, £200 ono. Call 01473 824501                                                 Arterial Engineering Works
(Hadleigh, Suffolk)                              Roger Phillippo is hoping to
                                                 relinquish his clay store now          Ltd
Fitzwilliam Potters Wheel in excellent           that he has retired. If any            Morston Road,
condition £400, Very suitable for throwing
large or small amounts of clay. Also various     member in the Cambridge                Blakeney, Holt
                                                                                        Norfolk NR25 7BE
glaze ingredients at very reasonable prices.     area would like to take it on,
                                                                                        01263 740444
Tel Sue Bruce 01394 384865.                      please contact Roger or                materials, equipment etc.
                                                 Victor Knibbs.
Electric kiln, three or single phase, 4 cu ft,
£350 ono. 01223 870277.

                                                                                                                                   11
                                              —The good old clays—
                                                                      'production' processes of their time     conveyed, or whether those most
                                                                      and by artisans not artists. Look! no    basic, timeless and universal
                                                                      glazes! just a strong feeling for        design elements, dot and line, were
                                                                      shapes that did the job [then as         a part of their visual language too.
                                                                      now]. I drew a graceful wide-
                                                                      necked bottle with a double              It's easy to be romantic about 'the
                                                                      shoulder, as beautiful as anything       potter's thumb' and it is enchanting
                                                                      by a contemporary Japanese
  Beryl Hines




                                                                                                               to hold something which fits into
                                                                      master, and an open slipware cup         your hand exactly as it fitted
                                                                      which would have been perfect for        someone else's two thousand years
                                                                      a latte [OK that one was glazed].        ago. But a painter knows how it
                 In mid-December, Rebecca                             The characters of the individual         feels to judge a tone and apply a
                Harvey organised a back-stage visit                                                            tiny patch of colour; a printmaker
                to the Museum of Archaeology and                                                               knows how a plate was inked up.
                Anthropology in Cambridge for                                                                  The most touching thing I handled
                EAPA members, and Curatorial                                                                   was a small samian-ware bowl and
                Assistant Anne Taylor selected a                                                               for this reason: it had the same
                table-full of Wonderful Things for                                                             angled footring on it that Steve
                people to look at, handle and                                                                  Parry turned on the bowls we eat
                discuss. [Thank you Rebecca and                                                                our cereal out of every morning and
                Anne.]                                                                                         which, among other footring
                                                        Beryl Hines




                                                                                                               shapes, I will be teaching to my
                At a time when contextual studies                                                              young students at college in a few
                in ceramics tend to reference the                                                              weeks' time. So this is the special
                Festival of Britain as History, and                                                            thing for me about what I saw, the
                the '60s and '70s as the Next Big                     makers seemed to me to speak             magic if you like: not that we still do
                Thing, it was refreshing and                          most clearly in the surface              something, but that we still hand it
                exciting to return to more academic                   treatments. There were lovely,           on.           Lizzy McCaughan
                definitions and focus on a group of                   satisfying, rhythmical patterns
                genuinely ancient vessel forms.                       providing visual and tactile interest,
                                                                      made by simple stamped repeats -
                In such circumstances I had to                        surely a rich vein of experiment for
                keep reminding myself that these                      Anne's research students? I drew
                were not art objects but functional                   one which I could easily reproduce
                wares, probably made by the                           with a bit of dowelling indented with
                                                                      a hacksaw blade; the Anglo Saxon
                                                                      woman [man?] who made it might
                                                                      have used a twig and a sharp knife
                                                                      in the same way. I saw some marks
                                                                      however which were clearly
                                                                      impressed with a fired ceramic
                                                                      stamp, you could tell by the
                                                                      'softness' of the edge of the mark
                                                                      as opposed to the sharpness of the
                                                                      cut wood.
                                                                                                                                                         Beryl Hines
Beryl Hines




                                                                      These simple distinctions were
                                                                      utterly absorbing. I wish I knew
                                                                      what special meanings they


                   Membership of the EAPA is                                  Virtual potting                      Copy date for Summer
                               open to all
                Ordinary : £25                                        www.the-eapa.org                             2005 Newsletter—April
                Joint (for two people at the same                     www.annamcarthur.co.uk                               15th
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                Institution – for a college or                        www.eelspottery.co.uk
                                                                                                               All contributions are welcome, be
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                                                                                                               they, typed, emailed, hand-drawn,
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                                                                                                               phoned in or even slip-trailed.
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                Student – open to full time students                  www.phillippoceramics.co.uk
                                                                      www.potterycourses.net                   picture files (over 100kb) either to
                studying ceramics (proof of status is
                                                                      www.rebeccaharvey.com                    accompany articles or with a brief
                required) : £5
                                                                      www.richardbaxter.co.uk                  caption are also welcome. Come
                                                                      What’s your website? Tell the Editor.    on—your Editor is desperate!
                Apply to the Membership Secretary.

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