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Pat  Southwood

 

Wood fired Ceramics from the Norfolk Broads

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Welcome to my blog

 

Here you will find the everyday ramblings of a rural potter.

Based in just outside Norwich in the beautiful County of Norfolk, next to Salhouse Broad.

Wood Fired/Soda  & Electric.

Pots for the home and for flowers .

Inspired by the East.

Norfolk & Japan.

By patsouthwood, Jan 27 2015 12:17PM

So, first blog of the New Year. Somewhat belated, I know. I have been very busy in my cold damp workshop.

First of all, some exciting news came from good friend and fellow potter Euan Craig in Japan.

I am very honoured to be invited by Euan to share some of his allocation of space in the first firing of Shoji Hamada's renovated Anagama kiln in Mashiko.

As he explains in the current issue of Ceramic Review the kiln was badly damaged in the Great Earthquake of 2011 and this will be the first firing for almost 50 years. The pots from the firing will be subsequently exhibited at the Hamada Memorial Museum in Mashiko.

I was asked to send a sake bottle, of precise dimensions. One piece of work to summ up so much. It was difficult, to say the least. Some 30 were thrown, half rejected and half were bisqued. As usual, when throwing a series of work I liked the first one, and the last one best. The first one didn't quite hit the size specification (out by 3mm) but the last one was spot on.

Packaged beyond belief and swaddled in extra protective layer of Typhoo tea bags and Cadbury's buttons, my Sake bottle was sent of to Japan. Much relieved to hear of it's safe arrival and I am currently viewing the updates online direct from Mashiko with great interest.

I really wish I could be there for this event. Ah well.

The firing ends in a few days, I am looking forward to seeing the pictures and I will post here if I am able to.


Next bit of exciting news is my first Solo show coming up in March. At Yallops Galery, here in Norwich, it's a a small Gallery, but with two rooms and a great opportunity to expand on my current theme of the interplay between material, fire and environment. It's quite heady being responsible for everything, but also weirdly liberating.

Watch out here for news of new Galleries stocking my work too!

By patsouthwood, Dec 29 2014 06:02PM

I'm wrinting this in the strange bit between Christmas and New Year.

That bit when there isn't too many demmands on ones time, and the mind gets to thinking.

Lots of things have happenned since Ely. when I last blogged. Amongst other things, another three weeks at yet another very high quality Craft show and an Open Studios at my workshop at Salhouse Broad.

It was a really good show, lots of very good quality contemporary makers, some of whom had travelled a very long way to attend such a high quality show. It had a lovely waterside location, with easy parking, excellent and pertinent publicity, but bewilderingly, somewhat under supported by the general public. Sadly that seems to be becoming a bit of a theme over the past 2-3 years.

One wonders why, given the sudden recent interest by the media in the Crafts, or perhaps more pertinently, as described by them "Crafting".

Potters awaited the last Monty Don series hopefully, he's a good, decent bloke,- this potter for one, certainly, was to be aghast at the misinformation and misrepresentation of our Craft on television.

Oh BBC, please bring back, or revamp with a modern maker, "The Craft of the Potter". It was good, it informed, amused and educated. It didn't turn a Craft that takes many years to learn into a 10 week competition.

I understand, appreciate and applaud any programme that informs the general public about my Craft. We have had to suffer both The Generation Game and Ghost. Please don't take the pee any more. Clay is important.

You mostly all live in a house made of clay, you eat and drink from it, you mostly all wash yourself in a ceramic sink, you all relieve yourselves into fired clay, your drains function because of it and we are only able to send Man to the Moon because of the clay tiles on the outside of the spaceships.

Crikey, isn't that enough to be impressed with a substance?

Come on. What more do you want?

Art?

Well.....

.

Oh, and if anyone is wondering about the title of the blog, it's what a lovely member of the public said when they picked up a piece of my work at very high quality Craft show just before Christmas.

Cheers mate, Happy New Year. :-)


By patsouthwood, Oct 16 2014 08:35PM

The first of the Autumnal shows starts, for me anyway, this weekend in Ely, at

The Maltings. http://www.artunequalled.co.uk/da/113130

I havn't done this show before, but friends have and they and they speak very highly of it.

Fellow NCCS member Paul Jackson will be there I see, so we are representing our County well!


The colours of the trees and bushes down at the workshop are really looking stunning, especially in this balmy Indian summer we are having. My tree mallow is still in full flower and I have cut down the willow hedge at the front and along the side of the workshop. Some of the twisted willow was even posted to a chum in Essex, it seemed such a shame to just throw it away. Rather than chuck most of it, I have built a live shelter with poles and growing willow. Hopefully by next summer it will be nice and shady to sit under when I'm firing Freda.

Talking of whom, whispers, but she is being a really good girl, 22 firings and producing work that makes me so happy. Wether anyone else will like it at the NCCS "Inspired" exhibition at Norwich Cathedral Hostry next month, is anyones guess. But I have done my best and I think they are pots I have been wanting to make for so long. Onwards and upwards.

By patsouthwood, Sep 28 2014 05:32PM

The weather here in the Broads continues to be mild and sunny, the Indian Summer promised seems to be forthcoming. Locally the trees are groaning with all kinds of produce tempting me into the kitchen of an evening to indulge in a little light jam and cider making.

I tried making just the one Gallon of cider for the first time last year and have been so enthused by my sucess I have made six this year (so far) The autumn rasperries seem to go so well with both apples and pears there are a few variations of traditional themes. And a lot of very pink juice bubbling away in the boiler cupboard. Bubbling quite vociferously, watching T.V. the other night we both commented on the odd noise, then realized it was the glooping of the cider , coming from the cupboard in the corner.


But back to pots. my next outing is in October at Ely. www.artunequalled.co.uk I havn't done this show before, but have heard some very good reports. Ely is a nice place to visit, I havn't been there for ages. Two nights in the TravelLodge booked, I know how to live. I thought it might be a bit nippy to kip in the Kangoo, and I really don't fancy sleeping in a layby. I am not that adventourous anymore.

Firing Freda tomorrow. After a short summer break it will be good to her her hot again, especially with some lovely free, recycled wood from my part time employer, Norfolk County Council.


By patsouthwood, Sep 23 2014 08:27PM

What an exciting week.

I enjoyed going to a Private View last week at a Gallery in Norwich, and dropped a line to the owners telling them so.

After an exciting afternoons communications on Saturday I am proud, pleased, and a bit scared to announce that........


I am having a solo exhibition.


"Elemental - From and of the Earth"


Yallops Gallery,

St. Augustines, Norwich.

30th March - 5th April.


Private View

Monday 30th March

6-9pm.


Watch this space for further details!



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