Turning a foot

Something’s a foot and that something is turning. This week in Mud Slinging, that is.

This week I attempted to shape my partially dried bowls into something less rustic, a skill called Turning, the base of the bowl being called a foot. 

Time was against me as I had a massive learning curve but by the end of the session, I felt they were coming along.

Bowls with feet

There isn’t a lot of time to refine the new skills I’m learning and I’m going to look at a studio just down the road where I may be able to go and sling some mud around to practise.

In the meantime, these chaps are heading into the kiln and then in two weeks time (as we’re off to France and I’m missing a class) I’ll be glazing. 

Just in time for Christmas presents!


Autumn in London

We spent a lovely weekend at home sorting things out and walking through Regent’s Park kicking leaves up for the little dog to try and catch.

I went through all my winter clothes discovering some old friends and relinquishing others. It turns out that I have some nice clothes but they’re either buried in boxes or aren’t very good for cycling.

I’ve decided I’m going to have to start uping the ante. Long sleeved t-shirts and old bobbly cardigans are being put aside in favour of tailored wool trousers or, just bought on Saturday, a lovely new knitted dress. 

Black is not a colour I’m a fan of in winter so it’s shades of beige and pale grey for me this season. And I’m only just in time as the weather has started to turn a little colder and the clocks are about to go back.

Layering for Autumn.

Mud Slinging Week Five

As it’s now week six and I’m off to Mud Slinging tonight, I’m a little behind in all areas! Last week I was all set to start turning the foot which means shaving off all the excess bits to shape the cylinder into a beautiful cup, bowl or other fabulous thing. 

A bit like a chrysalis, I had visions of something stunning emerging from what was otherwise a little bit underwhelming. Sadly it wasn’t meant to be!

The teacher had other ideas and insisted that we all made handles and, for those who were steaming ahead, start surface decoration. Let’s just say I may have made handles but they didn’t get attached to anything.

It’s clear that the class is divided into those who have and those who haven’t. I am part of the those who haven’t group as we haven’t touched clay before. The teacher seems quite focused on the those who have group so all in all, it’s a little frustrating.

Let’s see how week six goes, half way through.

Mud Slinging Week Four

It was back to Mud Slinging after a long day at a conference. Just what I needed to take my mind off things!

This week it was time to turn the base of the pot from the previous week. For some strange reason my pot (or bowl) wasn’t dry so I opted to spend another week making cylinders. I managed to get things a little less wonky than previously.

Week Four

Twelve weeks in all, eight to go. 
My cylinders should be looking amazing in another eight weeks!

Kitchen Nightmares

It seemed straightforward. IKEA has a kitchen planner on their website. Simply plug in the dimensions of the room, select the layout and design of the cabinets, adjust the appliances to reduce cost and add everything to the cart.

Go to check out and suddenly discover that IKEA does not accept British credit cards on their French website. Now that’s not very global.

Plan B. See a PayPal option so transfer payment to PayPal very reluctantly due to previous fraud experiences. Go to check out again only to discover that PayPal is no longer an option. What?

Plan C. Ask a friend who has a French card to pay and promise to repay immediately. Discover that French debit cards have a monthly limit and kitchen purchase would exceed that.

Plan D. Go to French bank and change address for card registration. Wait for card to arrive in post, card will be in France and humans will be in London. Problem not solved.

Wonder if anyone else delivers kitchens in France?!

Little London Dog

After a summer in France topping up the pool and patting toads, Agnes is back in London for party season.

It would seem however that she’s a little less social than she was as she no longer seems interested in playing with other dogs, now preferring humans. It’s been reported that she’s even a little snappy with other dogs.

Still, she’s approaching two and is a dog who knows her own mind. Obedience training and recall is not for the average terrier and Agnes is certainly above average in this regard. Bad dog!

It’s nice to have her back though even if she is an antisocial, snappy terrier who loves playing in the rain.

The Return of Mr Chips

It was the night Big T and Agnes returned from France after several months. It had been a long journey, they were very tired and discombobulated. We all went to bed looking forward to a good night’s sleep and a refreshed morning. Sadly it wasn’t to be.

At 2am we were woken by our loud and very drunk upstairs neighbour stumbling in the front door.

Ah, memories of Chipgate in the early days when said neighbour fell up the stairs and threw his chips all over the hall. I’d had to tell him off then but apparently he’d relapsed.

Mr Chips then proceeded to have a very loud and drunken phone call outside our door as it seemed he’d left his luggage in the taxi he’d just left. Not exactly surprising.

I opened the door to tell him to shut the fuck up only to realise that the front door to the street was wide open.

Disorientated, Agnes nipped out between my legs, ran out of the front door and up the road at full Terrier pelt.

I flung over the door and in a short silk nightie and bare feet ran up the road like a lunatic escaping from the asylum after her.

Agnes, as previously mentioned, can run like a bat out of hell and it took everything I had to catch up with her. Luckily she detoured up a front path and I was able to corner her by someone’s front door. It didn’t bear thinking about what might have happened.

With the small furry escape artist held tightly in my arms I stomped angrily back inside, telling drunken Mr Chips to close the door and keep the noise down, slamming the door behind me.

Emerging from the bathroom Big T seemed confused as to the recent turn of events. I got back into bed fuming whilst my feet tingled from their nighttime exertion.

The rest of the night was spent listening to Mr Chips repeatedly open the front door to look for his taxi.

Inconsiderate to say the least and no apology forthcoming. Outrageous behaviour.

London flat living, not all it’s cracked up to be!

Not Making Bowls

Week Three and I was an hour late for Mud Slinging as I had a late meeting at work. There’s nothing like trying to catch up!

I rushed in and was told we were making any shapes we wanted… Brilliant, bowls not cylinders!

Off I went and produced a couple of rustic bowls only to discover that I had been given dud information, apparently we were supposed to be making mugs. Next time I’ll check with the teacher…

Mugs, not bowls

My third attempt didn’t look much like a mug either but it definitely wasn’t intended to be a bowl. Despite their appearance, I’m not unhappy with my progress. 

Maybe next week I’ll make a mug…