Gerry Grant

Gerry Grant
On The Wheel

Thursday, 25 February 2021

What to do?

What to do?
Last year we had 17 house martin nests all around our house - they are still there. But this year we have to have some repairs done to the corner overhangs and the soffits and fascias need painting. Do I knock the old nests off before the house martins come back or do I paint round them? The house is so high we need to put scaffolding up.....

 

 

I do enjoy watching them and last year some of them had 2 broods. The RSPCA say it is illegal to interfere with nesting birds but you can remove the nests when the birds have gone. 

I want to make it easier for them to come back so will just knock downm the ones that interfere with the repair work, but keep the rest.


Monday, 22 February 2021

Potato Time again.

A year ago we were going around the village to sell potatoes  as a fund raiser - and it's that time again. What's different? The fact that everyone is now feeling optomistic that the light is at the end of the tunnel!



So who will win the Fangfoss and Bolton Potato Growing competition? It's the person who grows the heaviest crop from one seed potato and last year that came in at 10.9 kg.

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Pottery@Home

 The "Pottery@Home" project has really taken off today with an enquiry from a local WI group. They want to run the project as part of their WI meeting in April and want me to accompany it through a zoom meeting. I have never done this before, but will give it a try.

 

In the meantime, the first of the animal scultures have arrived back at the pottery. Gerry and I are very impressed with the high standard shown. We have a lovely guinea-pig, a rat and a seal.

Friday, 19 February 2021

It's a long time since I did this!

 

The last time we packed up a large order of pots must have been back in September.

In January we got an order from a wholesaler in Devon who specialises in fossils. He has been buying mugs from us with an ammonite emblem on for about 20 years.

We first met him when we turned up, unannounced, at his shop in Lyme Regis with some samples, and he has been buying from us ever since.

He obviously thinks that shops are going to open soon...

This is the first of 3 boxes of 50 mugs that we are sending off.

Thursday, 18 February 2021

WOT!!! No ducks.....


A week ago we had our grandchildren to stay while their parents worked and we took some bread to feed to the ducks along Pocklington Canal. Only there weren't any. So instead we went to Burnby Hall Gardens where you usually get mobbed with them- still no ducks.

So when we came home we made our own. My 6 year old grandaughter made a duck planter and although a wing fell off due to it not being stuck on with slip, it can be fixed

                                                                                              My 2 year old also made a duck.....


 

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

What a successful day!

  Today we sent off our first packages for our new venture! It is called "Pottery@Home". The idea is that, for a small cost, we provide all the clay, materials and instructions to make a project in pottery.

This month's project is to make a small animal sculpture. 

I took photographs of all the stages involved - through making two pinch pots to join together to make the body, right through to adding the finishing touches. 

Although I made a hedgehog, once the body is made there is scope for almost any animal.

I can send the clay out, but the student has to deliver the finished item back to the pottery. Unfired clay is too fragile for any of the postal services!!!


 But what made it even more successful was that I made a video to back up the process of making pinch pots, and was able to make this into a link. If you click on it below yyou should be able to download it and see me making the pinch pots..... Anyone who knows me will know that this is a major achievement as I am useless with computers.....

https://we.tl/t-RUQr5uHXv5

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Which pots to select?

Today we had to choose 6 pots for a selected exhibition at Water Street Gallery in Todmorden, in West Yorkshire. It's a prestigious gallery so we didn't want to put our "gift items" up  for possible inclusion. The title of the exhibition is "Earth Works", so we decided on pots that had a stratified appearance:-



 "STRATA"  - mugs that have a layered appearance.




"LANDSCAPE" - a bowl reflecting the colours of the landscape.

 

 

 

 

  "YORKSHIRE WOLDS" - a moonvase, depicting the landscape of the Yorkshire Wolds.

 

Friday, 12 February 2021

Starting early!

 


This is my 6 year old grand daughter on the wheel. She is concentrating really hard and had obviously listened to Gerry about resting her arms on the edge of the wheel!









And this is my 2 year old grand daughter - still concentrating, but needing more practice!

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Challenge completed...

Well - that's it! A whole week of eating just food from Britain...
We celebrated tonight with fish and chips from  Stuarts in Pocklington - and some of the English wine called Madeleine Angvine from Laurel Vines on the Yorkshire Wolds. It was very good - quite a soft taste, but something we would buy again.
BUT IT HAS BEEN HARD....
 
 
 
To take something from Jamie Oliver's book ""Jamie's Great Britain -130 reasons to love our food" - , "Britain today is blessed with flavours, influences and ingredients from all over the world. Over our long history, foreign armies, visitors and immigrants have brought ingredients, cooking methods, and radical new flavours to our tables. And like magpies, the British Empire of old explored and traded its way around the globe, bringing home the most exciting spices and glittering dishes.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Over time these things have become loved and revered. So much so that we can think of them as our own".
 
 
Gosh, I've missed some of these things and am going to have a slice of pineapple now, dusted in brown sugar put under the grill and caramelised!

 


Thursday, 4 February 2021

Back to doing jigsaw puzzles....


 This is a jigsaw we are busy doing - it's of a toy shop - 1,000 pieces. We have a jigsaw exchange in the village telephone box and we got it from there.

It has made me think about the origin of jigsaw puzzles. I found out that the first jigsaw was made in 1762 by a cartographer called John Spilsbury.  He mounted one of his maps onto wood and cut round the countries, and then gave it to the local school to use in their geography lessons.


It's taking a long time and Gerry has decided to start making some stock in the potttery - confident that the shows we have booked will go ahead this summer. So - I don't know how long it will stay on our dining room table!

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Original art work?

 

We've finished decorating our office and decided it was about time we bought a new filing cabinet. So we started emptying the old one and getting rid of rubbish.

In one of the old files we came across loads of drawings that Gerry had done to make into emblems to press onto the pots - mainly mugs.

The emblems were hand drawn and then carved into plaster in reverse, so that when the clay was pushed into they came out the right way round! These made the embossed emblems which we became renowned for.

Originally Gerry hand carved the emblems into the plaster himself but then found out that they could be engraved onto a plastic plate onto which the plaster was cast.This made the task much easier.


These are two pictures showing how the emblems were made, and a dish with the Sanctuary Knocker on from Durham Cathedral.

























Tuesday, 2 February 2021

New lockdown experiments.

We have been experimenting with applying a ceramic transfer onto our pots. We have been asked by a company to put a logo onto some little pots. The pots are quite fine and would not suit an embossed logo made out of clay like we normally do.  


 

We had asked for some samples to experiment with. The transfers were cut out from the sheet and soaked in water. This removes the transfer from the backing.

The pot that Gerry is going to put the transfer on has been glazed in a white shiny glaze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The transfer is slipped from the backing and smoothed onto the pot. 


It is then put back into the kiln and fired to 750C.






  


We are quite pleased with the results. The actual logo would be a black emblem so the temperature will not be quite as critical.

Monday, 1 February 2021

Starting a new challenge!

 Yesterday we started a new challenge - to eat just British products. I read in the Sunday Times last week that we only produce 55% of the food we eat - despite us having some of the best growing conditions in the world.

We even import broccoli,  and other seasonal vegetables. Why?

It's not that difficult, though we are finding ourselves still drinking tea and coffee with our meals. I don't like milky products and don't think beer, cider or water is a good alternative. Fresh fruit is difficult with apples being our only option  as even pears seem to be imported. However during the summer we froze a lot of the fruit growing in the garden - plums, apples, rhubarb, blackberries and cherries - so will use this up.

We  went on a walk to Bishop Wilton today and bought some wine from their community shop which is made from the vines grown in East Yorkshire. It was quite expensive so will keep it for the weekend....