Gerry Grant

Gerry Grant
On The Wheel

Thursday, 31 December 2020

What can you do when you can't get on your planned walk?

 It was a lovely day today - cold and frosty. What was needed was a walk so we decided to go to Wheldrake Ings. This is a waterlogged flood plain stretching along the bottom course of the River Derwent and attracts millions of water loving birds all year round. It is a protected site of scientific interest. However, when we got there, we couldn't even get into the fields to start our walk - the water was right up to the road. You can see where the footpath disappears into the water on the photographs!

But we weren't put off - because not far from here is another unusual natural site of heathland - Skipwith Common. So we went there instead. It's not as dramatic as the Ings and there were a lot of people there, but the exercise and fresh air did us good!

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

After Christmas

 It always seems to take us a long time to get started again after Christmas. We usually spend the week between Christmas and New Year visiting friends - going out and about, doing some walks - but this year it has been different


Today saw Gerry back in the pottery - he had some ideas for some teapots. These had parts thrown on the wheel and then the bits will be assembled together.



We were given some hyacinth bulbs by my granddaughters, so I was able to find a plant pot and get them planted.




And then we applied for  new driving licences - we still have the old paper ones!!! The self employment grant now requires you to produce a photo licence in order to claim - a sudden change in the rules....

Friday, 25 December 2020

Happy Christmas!


Happy Christmas.! I hope things get better for everyone next year.

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Nearly there...


So, today I have just finished icing my Christmas cake. I made four this year for various members of my family. My mother used to do this, but since she developed altzheimers, has been unable to do so - it looks as though I have taken over the task.

I made about 50 of these little stockings during the Pandemic and gave them out to my neighbours in their Christmas cards. One of them sent this picture of hers, already hanging on her tree with chocolates in it.

And now I am just going to relax!!!

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

and so the village is getting ready ....

 Paul, a builder in our village, has made a Santa Scarecrow and put it up outside the pub...... It's a reindeer Santa!

We now have lots of lights and decorations in the village. Let's hope we can all enjoy it though......

Monday, 14 December 2020

Smoke gets in your eyes!

Today we had the raku firing that had to be rescheduled from Saturday due to the rain. I had made some ceramic leaves back in the summer by rolling the clay onto some sycamore leaves that I had picked in Fangfoss. They had been biscuit fired to 1,000C and  had been waiting to be raku or pit fired ever since.

I have also been making some little Christmas tree decorations and they look lovely finished off in raku - so that's what made me decided to proceed today.



Sunday, 13 December 2020

Tree planting

Today we spent the morning planting trees at Jubilee Park. We had obtained 105 trees through a grant obtainable from the Woodland Trust. They are supporting a campaign by the government called "Plant Britain" which is hoping to plant a tree for every child strating primary school this year. In our village that would only be about 20 trees - so we have planted a tree for every child in the school - 105 of them!

Friday, 11 December 2020

Christmas is coming...



 Today we went down to the Park to hang up some more Christmas decorations for people to find. There was some glazing to do because Gerry wanted to fire the kiln, and I had to pack up three orders that are due to go out tomorrow. 



Then we put up the Christmas tree, switched on the outside lights and put up the nativity crib that my dad made for us many years ago.


Thursday, 10 December 2020

The Christmas Decoration Hunt!

 For the last few years we have put out some ceramic Christmas decorations in Jubilee Park in Fangfoss. We hang them on trees and hide them for people to find. If they discover one they can take it away to hang on their tree as a memento of their visit to the Park.

We refresh them everyday so that there are always about ten or twelve to find each day.

Monday, 7 December 2020

A melted pot!

 In 40+ years of being potters, Gerry and I have never seen this before! Gerry was asked by a student to fire a jug which she said was made of stoneware clay. It has been decorated on the outside but not glazed inside and she asked if a white glaze could be applied - which Gerry did!

He put it into the kiln along with some of his pots and fired it up to 1280C - the whole thing melted. It had been made from earthenware clay! The liquid clay then dripped down through the gaps of the kiln shelves onto any pots that happened to be underneath. It completely stuck onto the pots that surrounded it........

Still, it could have been worse, because the student had asked us to fire a few of the pots but Gerry had only put one of them in!!

Sunday, 6 December 2020

A good shopping weekend

 We have just had a fantastic weekend by opening up the pottery to other makers in our village.

What was really nice was the support we actually got from the people who lived here. They came out and spent money with all of us. To some, it was the first time they had been shopping....

Gerry and I had made the pottery as safe as we could. We provided sanisiters and masks for anyone who had forgotten them and frequently wiped surfaces down with cleansers. We  had a one way system around the pottery - one way in and you followed the arrows around and exited through another door. It was certainly safer than those who went shopping in York!


Friday, 4 December 2020

The finishing touches

 Well- we're almost there... Tomorrow we are welcoming people into our pottery to see the work of the artists in Fangfoss. So we have spent the day getting things ready, and now it looks nice....

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Making the pottery "Covid Safe"

 We are having a festive fair in the pottery this weekend, with a candlemaker, painter, printer, and a card and gift maker joining us. They all live in the village so we are quite a creative hub.

Today we have been cleaning up the pottery and moving tables arpound to give everyone more space. To make it safe we are operating a one way system so Gerry had been sticking arrows on the floor and I have been making labels.....

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

A traditional teapot.....

 This is our traditional teapot. It is a product bought to be used. It has to saisfy certain criteria, not only functional , but also aesthetic. Good design emphasises the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could detract from it....

Monday, 30 November 2020

Welcoming other makers into the pottery...

We're getting ready to re-open and are going to  welcome some other artists into our studio over the weekend.

We are hosting a festive weekend for a few artists who live in the village and like us have been unable to go to exhibitons etc. So along with the pottery there will be paintings, prints, cards and other gifts on sale. 

There will be plenty of space as we will be using the upstairs and downstairs of the old school.

These are some photos of the work that will be on show:-

Friday, 27 November 2020

And now we're going to be in tier 3.....

 So now we're going to be put into the High Risk band of the Corona Virus - Tier 3. It seems so unfair that we live at the far west of East Yorkshire in a rural area with few cases and are lumped in with Hull in the East 35 miles away. But we're not the only ones in the country feeling like this.

So to take our minds off things we went  a walk today near Malton - after delivering some pots to the Cosy Cottage Soap Company there.

We went to a small village called Menethorpe - it sounds as though it could be of Anglo Scandanavian origin with a name ending in "thorpe". It's a pretty village, though nothing outstanding, nestled in a little valley with a stream running through it. The walk takes you through fields on one side of the stream and comes back on the other.

It blew the cobwebs away and cheered us up a bit. And then - when we got home there was a bunch of flowers waiting for me on the doorstep - no note who they were from. But lovely.....

Monday, 23 November 2020

Autumn leaves


 Its that time of year when all the leaves from all the trees in our village land in our garden! 

   I don't know whether the wind around here causes a sort of vortex that swirls into our drive, but we always get piles of leaves against the house and pottery.
   So, today since it was nice weather we went out and swept them up and put them in the incinerator (that we use for pit firings!) and burnt them. Then we pruned the apple trees and the weeping pears. 
  It looks a lot tidier now but we will have to do it again next week I think!

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Working at the Park

 Our village has a wonderful park - it is funded entirely by the village and managed by a committee of volunteers. There is always work that needs doing down there, so today we were down there catching up on things in the sunshine.

We have had some new outdoor gym equipment installed and we needed to put up a sign saying it was for adults use only. Depsite it being up only a few minutes, there were still children on it!

We have a dog agility area in the Park, but the dog's see saw keeps getting broken because people use it despite signs telling them not to. Gerry has hopefully found a stronger way of attaching it.

Then he removed the information signs to carry out repairs on them at the pottery.

This year the park has been really well used. People are using it from outside the area and it is causing a problem with parking in the village. I don't know what we can do about it - we are a victim of our own success.

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Sock it to me baby!!!

 I love knitting socks - all my family have lots of them. So, during lockdown I have been using up all my spare wool and making little socks that can be used to hang on a Christmas tree with perhaps a sweet in them!


The pattern I used is a free one available on the internet. What makes it good is that it can be knitted on 2 needles (socks are usually knitted in the round on 4 needles)

I hope you have as much fun as I have had. If you get stuck email me -

Friday, 20 November 2020

I'm a little teapot.....

I'm a little teapot, short and stout, Here's my handle, here's my spout - a familiar rhyme to most people!!!

Gerry has always liked making teapots - experimenting with their design. But a teapot must pour well and not dribble..

These are the latest editions to his range......


Here are some earlier designs:

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Pick up a Penguin...



These are our latest little animals! At only 5cm high, looking cute and costing just £2.50 we hope they will sell well at Christmas. They certainly did at Potfest....

Monday, 16 November 2020

A successful "reduction" firing

 A great day today as we unpacked the kiln. Lovely copper red pots for the Dog and Hat, green ones for the Cosy Cottage Soap Company, white ones for the Yorkshire Explorer Distillery and lots more.

This is our gas kiln. It is a down draft kiln - meaning that the flames come in from the bottom, go round the kiln and then are forced into the chimney that starts at the bottom.

It is at the top where we get most of the "reduction" - the copper in the glaze turns from red to green.

The rod sticking down from the roof of the kiln is the pyrometer - it measures the temperature in the kiln. We also use cones to check the temperature distribution around the kiln.

These are the red pots for the online coffee company called the Dog and Hat. They came from the front of the kiln at the top where there was an area of heavy reduction. To get a reduction atmosphere in the kiln you have to put in more gas than oxygen, so this can only happen if you have a gas kiln. 

The results can be lovely.