Saturday, 24 February 2018

Pots from the latest firing

This last firing of the Bourry Box train kiln "Skælskør Express" was just about perfect - there was not one piece that came to grief. The only two small pots which had fused together were easily split from each other, under water, with a light tap from a wooden mallet. Each had  a rather becoming scar, soon smoothed away. Here is a selection of bowls and other pieces from the kiln.











Friday, 23 February 2018

Firing the Train kiln "Skælskør Express"

Last week I booked in to Guldagergaard for a firing of the Train kiln - I hoped that I had collected enough work together to fill it entirely myself. It is not a big kiln, but my mainly pinched work doesn't take up much space. I had thrown bowls and mugs for the rear lower temperature section, and they would all be glazed. I had just enough work - it was not a tight pack.

 I think it is the first time I have fired this kiln with only my own work in it: a great opportunity to have sole control of every single thing about the firing. And fewer unpredictables with other people's work being involved.
I started the firing at 7am - almost daylight at this time of year. I had great help from Kaeli Benoit who had just arrived two days before from Canada to take up a kiln yard AIR residency. Later in the day Thomas Horner (from Northern Ireland) joined the firing team.
Around 11pm the cones were down (11, 12 in the first section, 13 softening) and 10 bending in the rear section. We continued to fire, and prepared the kiln for closing after midnight. But  when midnight cameI had second thoughts as the temperature had not topped again for some time, so took another hour and got it right up, before stopping around 1.30am. It was a very cold day, minus temperature all day and falling to minus 6 degrees as night fell but with no wind. Two days later I unpacked it.








Kiln opening







Saturday, 16 December 2017

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Friday, 31 March 2017

A little history

In 1966 I left South Africa and sailed to England, landing at Southampton on a misty Sunday morning in February.
I was 20, and had a broken-off university education in english and history, and a similarly broken off art school ceramics diploma! But I had masses of self confidence and loved throwing pots!
Priscilla Thoms at Morar Pottery, Morar, Scotland - about 1967
After a year in London, working at Briglin Pottery, Crawford Street, W1, I moved to remote Morar on the west coast of Scotland and rented a huge workshop, formerly a training centre, from the "Highland Home Industries". Seated at the wheel I had a view over the  Morar River estuary, which filled and emptied with the tide. The work I made was sold in the chain of craft shops the HHI ran in the Highlands and in Edinburgh. In 1968 I spent some time in Dublin, working in the workshops of Fergus O'Farrell - an almost legendary Irish sculptor and entrepeneur. I moved to back London in November 1968.
Priscilla Thoms: Greenwich Studios, London, about 1970

I rented the first floor of Greenwich Studios, a Victorian shop building at the foot of Blackheath Hill, from Alan Wallwork, who had moved his pottery to Dorset. Here I produced quantities of once-fired loving cups for a medieval restaurant "1066" in St Martins Lane. Saving all the money from this enabled me to buy the Magpie, a former pub on the Suffolk - Norfolk border.

Same kick wheel, Magpie, Fersfield, Norfolk. 1976

On the wheel: coffee cups and coffee pots for David Mellor Shop, Sloane Square, London 
My workshop was in an old stable, and the same self-built wheel produced quantities of teapots, coffeepots and 100's of candlesticks - the biggest seller.
I moved to Denmark in 1978 and sold the Magpie in 1980. The catenary arch of my oil kiln still stands in the rear garden.


Thursday, 1 December 2016