Monday, April 30, 2012

New City, Small Child

A brief sojourn to visit an old friend in her new town exposed all sorts of wondrous hidey-holes suitable for fabulous exploring with a toddler for not-too-many-pennies…

 P1090335 P1090312 P1090316  P1090315 P1090321 

St Werburgh’s City Farm & scrumptious cafe space which had a distinct air of Hobbiton about it…

P1090334 P1090340

St Paul’s Adventure Playground was great for burning off excess energy – of the daddies and the toddlers… Followed by skittles in the local pub…


A lovely trip to see GetKnitted in all its splendour… A *ahem* small purchase of the makings of a baby blanket was the only haul I was able to justify, but there was some gorgeous pickings that I sadly had to turn down… Another time, another time…

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Craft Cafe: Charlotte Storrs of Charlotte Storrs Stoneware

I’m continuing my series of interviews with some of my favourite artisans to discover the machinations and processes that form in their lovely lovely minds. If you’re interested in ceramics, generally, there is a documentary called Ceramics: How They Work on BBC4 at 9pm on Monday 16 April…

Anyway, here’s the second instalment of Craft Cafe, with Charlotte Storrs of Charlotte Storrs Stoneware. Grab a cup of coffee and something decadent and come join us for a chat…




What inspires you?

The garden, nature, our raised vegetable beds and greenhouse, my herb garden, chamber music.

What would be your dream commission?

I have no dream commission, I feel excited about any commission I receive. The thought that someone wants my work for their personal use or to give as presents gives me a big thrill.

Do you have any creative outlets? You play chamber music and teach string instruments… How do you think your music impacts on your stoneware design, if at all?

My creative outlets other than throwing on the wheel are music, gardening, cooking, sewing. There is, alas, far too little time for all of these. I don’t think there is a connection between my music and my stoneware design, but perhaps some psychologists might view this differently. I am into gentle flow rather than hard corners.

What’s on your workbench right now?

I am working on a huge number of things. Lists of items I have to make over the next months are stuck on my cupboard doors. These include orders which have to be finished and work for upcoming exhibitions. I generally have a number of things on the go. I try to throw each day, glaze every two days, roughly each fortnight I add akebia handles to pots.

What’s in the kiln right now?

A glaze firing. Work for Artspace and Waterperry Gallery exhibitions in May. Veg buckets and jugs plus a few little presents for little nieces too.

What do you listen to in the studio?

BBC Radio3 and Radio4 or I put a cd on. John, my husband, gave me a massive box of Mozart CDs. I go through them all on a regular basis. I love listening to chamber music, being a viola player.

Are you a “Pretty Organised” or “Creative Chaotic” artist?

I can safely call myself a pretty organised person, that is in relation to my work. I’m hopelessly messy in the house! I make a to-do list in the evening. I have to plan my day extremely well to make sure I can do all the things I need/want to do. I teach music most days for 4 to 5 hours. The other half of the day I work in the pottery. Every minute of the day is used. Fridays are my non teaching days when I can have a long stint in the pottery or do my socializing.

Whose work do you admire and why?

Richard Batterham, Svend Bayer, Shoji Hamada, Bernard Leach. All their work is beautifully made, functional stoneware, with wonderful glazes. I prefer pots to be used, not just to be looked at. (Image right of press moulded rectangular bottle by Shoji Hamada – with thanks)



What are your plans/hopes/dreams for 2012?

On the potting front: I would like to sort out a black and satin glaze. Up to now these glazes have produced pin holes, which is so frustrating. I will be trying a different clay, less groggy, to be used specifically for these glazes and hope I will get good results at some point. I will try to work on new designs and would like to be able to have enough time and space over the next months to let friends “have a go” at using the pottery, it is such a relaxing and therapeutic occupation. (I’m ready when you are!)

All of these are lovely aims but entirely secondary to how my nearest and dearest are faring. My main hope for 2012 is that my family and friends are healthy and thriving.

Thanks so much for sharing your work and your world with us. Here is the latest news from Charlotte’s idyllic Oxfordshire studio, along with information on where you can see  (and buy!) her work.


Come and throw a pot in aid of "Life for a child in Rwanda"

2-4 June from 2pm-5pm at the Pottery, 8 The Green, Culham, OX14 4LZ

Charlotte will glaze and fire it for you. Donation of £5 per pot to help tackle malnutrition and preventable illnesses in children under the age of 5.

There will also be the opportunity to browse and buy of discontinued stock and kiln seconds.


1-31 May 2012: The Gallery, Waterperry Gardens, Waterperry, Oxon, OX33 1JZ

11 to 27 May 2012: ARTSPACE 2012 at Barn Galleries, Aston, Henley on Thames, RG9 3DX

19-22 July 2012: ART IN ACTION Market, Waterperry, Wheatley, Oxon, OX33 1JZ


See Gallery for images, prices and full range here

Countertop washbasin

Coffee cups

Fluted flan dishes




TERRAIN, Pennsylvania, USA

FROM roundhere, 16 Cornmarket, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 2BW.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

One Week One Pattern: An Overview

Thanks so much again to Tilly & The Buttons for this project. I really enjoyed trying out the variations that can be done with this skirt (not that many!) and was incredibly grateful for the warm weather as most of the skirts are unlined (or at least not lined in static-resist lining) and thus don’t sit all that well with tights underneath!

Herewith the seven skirts and seven outfits in their array of bad pictures!

P1090273 P1090283 P1090286 P1090337 P1090297 P1090300 P1090309

So here they are…

I’ve learned I’ve got lots of accessories that I rarely use…

I’ve learned I have a stash of plain tops for a reason –

I’ve learned that sometimes there is no answer to ‘Why??’ (ie sorry, why are you wearing the same pattern all week – cos the internet told me to – yes, but WHY??)

I’ve learned that wearing skirts on the Mummy-circuit gets you LOTS of comments, and that in comparison to others I have spoken to, I have a very large wardrobe of skirts and dresses, that I really should make sure I wear more.

Thanks, Tilly. I’ve had such a fun week!

One Week One Pattern Day Seven


Large picture as there’s only the one of this day!

The skirt: Wool tartan lined with vintage viscose stripe lining, with horn button and loop closures to side… These look lovely but as I failed to insert a placket, I have to ensure that I’m wearing suitably dark tights or a suitably long top to ensure I do not reveal the colour of my underpants to the world…

Worn with:

  • Blue cashmere cardigan (from Pure Collection but bought at local charity shop)
  • Black vest
  • Purple opaque tights
  • Blue suede brogues from Clarks

Worn for: very busy and lovely and spent in Bristol (more pictures to follow) but no time for shenanigans with cameras and uncomfortable modelling…

One Week One Pattern Day Six


Skirt: Wool/Silk soft woven blend made simply following pattern


Worn with:

  • Hobbs Cotton Linen Sweater
  • Black M&S pumps

One Week One Pattern Day Five


Made in: Red and beige shot cotton twill (vintage) from fabulous neighbour friend’s 1950s stash, trimmed with 1950s embroidered trim from eBay

Worn with:

  • Linen tanktop made by me years ago…
  • White vest (for modesty!) from Matalan
  • Yellow SunSan Saltwater Sandals
  • Yellow cotton sunhat purchased in a boutique in Washington DC