Nice to meet you! I do hope you are enjoying your visit to our spanking new web site. I’m Michael, the Pottery slave at Stanhoe Pottery. What do I do as a slave? I am husband, manager, salesman, kiln loader and firer, clay wedger, heavy-lifter and navvy (frequently).
At the moment I’m making more owls. These little chaps are made from liquid clay in plaster moulds. You fill the moulds with the clay and then wait for an exact period of time before emptying them, leaving the owl body. The waiting is as interesting as watching a Party political broadcast but get distracted (by Geraldine) and they become too thick and will not empty. Geraldine takes over then. She fettles them, I then fire them to bisque, Geraldine glazes them and I fire them to stoneware. They look good!
Strange thing about owls. I made a whole batch the other week and cut a small, thick branch which I trimmed flat at the top with a spokeshave. I then made an even smaller piece to stand upright behind. The owls were placed on the logs as if chatting to each other about their previous night’s activities. I was quite proud of my owl display in the showroom. And then they went! Not a mass escape into the wild but they were all bought by a customer and they’ve all gone to Texas USA.
Then the other evening when pouring rain spurred Geraldine not to go outside to fetch a log for our fire instead she pinched my owl display log and burnt that!
It seems fitting to make owls here because we have a pair of resident tawny owls who share their lives with us. Every night when I am locking up or seeing how one of the kilns is firing (pottery slave entails security officer too) they come down onto the studio roof and watch me closely.
Nice chatting to you. Hope to see you again soon.