Gerry Grant

Gerry Grant
On The Wheel

Sunday, 31 January 2021

The Viking Invasion has begun

 We've just been accepted to have a stand at the River Art market in York in the summer, starting in June.  York has a long history - evidence remains of Roman, Anglo Saxon and Viking settlements and people come from all over the world to soak up it's history. Of course last year that didn't happen, and I don't think we'll have many foreign visitors this year - but people will be coming to York from the rest of the UK. I am getting ready to sell our novelty items to those tourists and what better than "Eric Bloodaxe Vikings"? I began to make them today.... first day of making things since Christmas........

  Some of my little Vikings have horns on their helmets - not truly authentic, but popularised by Kirk Douglas's film "The Vikings".

 For authenticity the helmets had noseguards- which I make as well for purists.

I just hope the pandemic is under control by the summer and we can get back to a bit of normality and that the shows and exhibitions can go ahead.

Saturday, 30 January 2021

What staying power......


  This is a castle that was made by my eldest grandchild, Beth, who is 6. She drew it out on paper first and wanted a Tower type of castle like Rapunzel's.

She pressed out a base to put the castle on, then rolled out some clay into a slab and wrapped it round a tube. She went on to make the turret, doors, windows and balcony which took her ages.

She left it to dry a bit (had dinner) and then went back to it to make the roof. Once again she paid particular attention to getting the patterns on the roof - must have taken her fifteen minutes....

I had to glaze it for her as she went home before the firings.


These are the two pig money boxes that my grandchildren made. The one on the left is Beth's  - the one on the right is Catherine's - she is only 2 and needed some help....

Friday, 29 January 2021


 After only six days we have moved everything back into the office. In  less than a week we have decorated the whole room, put in new lighting and laid laminate flooring. It is much better. But tomorrow we will really have to get on and make some pots. We have an order for 200 mugs to get out to a company selling fossils in Devon and another small one from a shop in York.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

It's a fluffy one!

During Lockdown I have been using up all the wool and yarn I have accumulated over the years I have been knitting. I came across this fluffy pink yarn a few days ago and armed with the measurements of my granddaughter made up a pattern for a fluffy jumper. 
She loves pink so I'm sure she'll like this........

Sunday, 24 January 2021

It's still not snowing....

 Today it is cold but there is no snow. Photos on facebook from my daughter in Edinburgh show her family building snowmen - photos from down South show trouble on the roads.

We're still decorating, but while we were wating for the paint to dry, we went down to Jubilee Park.

It was so cold today that the frost hadn't melted. This accentuated the old ridge and furrows system that were created by farmers in the nineteeth century to improve land drainage, They differ from the medieval ridge and furrow in being straight and narrower.

The furrows in Medieval times had a curved shape and were made by the plough turning at the end of an open field, eventually creating an S shaped feature.

By piling up the soil into ridges it would also increase the acreage of land being used.

There you go - a bit of history......

Saturday, 23 January 2021

Decorating and marmalade!



 It is a year ago that we started painting the pottery. There was nothing to do - things are quiet at this time of year in the pottery, and we were oblivious to the fact that a major pandemic was about to hit us. A year on and we've started decorating again - this time the office.

And Gerry has made the first batch of marmalade -12 jars. He is going to make another 12 tomorrow which will keep us going until next January.

Apparantly all the Seville oranges grown in Spain go to the UK to be made into marmalade. This year the price of the oranges has gone up quite a lot because of Brexit. Yet another reason why we shouldn't have left!!!!

Friday, 22 January 2021

and it's back to making socks.....

 The little socks are the ones I made to hang on the tree before Christmas, but my daughter bought me some proper sock wool to make a real pair for myself.

So I finished these last night - even managing to match them both.

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Eternally optimistic!

     We don't know if we are being optimistic, but we took delivery of a tonne of clay today. With rumours   of the Lockdown continuing until Easter we're facing the dilema of whether we carry on making stock in the hope that the shops we supply will be ordering. 

      The problem is that we make a lot of pots for the tourist sites in Britain, places like Jorvik Viking Centre, Durham Cathedral, Lincoln Cathedral, Mary Kings Close, Visit York and so on... If they foresee themselves not getting visitors this year then they won't be ordering.

      Everyhting is reliant on the vaccines.......

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

House and Garden

 Our pots have featured in the February edition of House and Garden. That's the two pit fired pots on the top shelf with the teasels in one of them.

The article was called "Throwing Shapes" and was written by Ruth Sleightholme who was investigating ceramics handmade by independent studio potters based all over Britain.

Monday, 18 January 2021

Loves, Laughs and Life!

We have been so privilidged to have been asked to look after our grandchildren this week- aged 2 and 6, due to heavy work comitments from their parents. It has been great fun and we have enjoyed every moment of it - even the couple of restless nights.

We had to do some home learning, but also squeezed in some clay work, playing at the park, some woodwork - making a catapult, making some linkages, drumming, dancing, and go-carting in an old hand made go cart! There was also time for baking, playing games and long bath times - weren't we lucky?

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Another big lockdown...

 Last time when it was a total lockdown we did a lot of decorating - both in the pottery, outside the pottery, and in and outside the house. This time while we are deciding what to do, we borrowed a jigsaw from the jigsaw exchange in the telephone box in our village.

It was a map of the world and fascinating to do. There are so many small islands in the world - I suppose a lot of them are really threatened with rising sea levels.....

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

 We are so lucky up here in Yorkshire to live not far from  what must be the best sculpture Park in Britain.

It is the leading international centre for modern and contemporary sculpture, set within the 500-acre, 18th-century Bretton Hall estate in West Yorkshire.

Founded in 1977, the Park was the first sculpture park in the UK, and is the largest of its kind in Europe, providing the only place in Europe to see Barbara Hepworth’s The Family of Man in its entirety alongside a significant collection of sculpture, including bronzes by Henry Moore- in fact the largest collection of his outside sculptures in Europe.

Because it is an outdoor area for exercise, you can still go and visit it, which we did yesterday. There are always new sculptures to see and new exhbitions taking place. 



At the moment the Park is showing work by Joana Vasconcelos - a femalePortuguese artist, and Damian Hirst. Joana tends to use familiar everyday objects and puts them together to make her large sculptures. 

Here is an ring she has made using the inside of car wheels and whisky glasses.

These are two of Damian Hirst's sculptures. The pregnant lady is 11 metres high and has been cut away to reveal the insides!

Both sets of sculptures are made of bronze, then coated with paint and plastics to conceal the fact.

Monday, 4 January 2021

Signs of Spring?


Winter Roy Long - Eggleston Hall Gardens Journal 

Today we went on a walk "around the block" - that's down the road towards Wilberfoss, turning left down to Fangfoss Grange Farm, following the path round to Spittal and then back home again.

Signs of Spring are already there and we saw evidence of daffodils peeping out of the soil, but some of the aconites were already in flower. It's a lovely sight to see....

Sunday, 3 January 2021

The Red Collection


Over the last couple of years we have made a lot of "red" pots. These pots should have turned out green. They have been put in a part of the kiln where there was little oxygen, resulting in a reduction atmosphere. This has turned the copper into red. We didn't want them to come out this colour.....

Most of the pots are a "one off", so we have decided to take them all to Art and Soul in Beverley and sell them there at half price.

This half price sale will start tomorrow!!

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Before and After

 The pottery is always in a mess in the aftermath of Christmas. It becomes a dumping ground for wrapping paper and selloptape, bags, presents to be put away, hiking gear etc.

These are pictures before and after tidying up and being able to use the rooms again.