Gerry Grant

Gerry Grant
On The Wheel

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Making planters

A few days ago an order came in from Robert Thompson's Mouseman - a famous furniture maker in Kilburn, North Yorkshire. Going back over a hundred years, Robert Thompson made furniture characterised with a little mouse hidden somewhere on it. His furniture can be seen in churches, pubs, and lots of other buildings and is much sought after now. 


A visitor centre was set up in the original workshop including a lovely gift shop. Because we were making things with mice on, the owners asked if we could supply their shop and we have been for over twenty years.







Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Pottery@Home - project 2

Following on from the last project which was very popular I have devised another one. This time people will be making little bowls like in the photo.

To get the pattern, the clay is rolled onto a piece of embossed fabric until quite thin - then pushed into a cereal bowl which has previuosly been wrapped in cling film.

It's left to dry and can them be removed. I put some cobalt oxide on the pattern and wipe it off so that the oxide stays in the incised pieces. The whole pot is then dipped in a white glaze and fired.


I only just launched this yesterday and have already sold 8 kits! I do wish I had thought of this at the beginning of lockdown and not now!

Monday, 29 March 2021

Water Street Gallery, Todmorden, Yorks.


If you live in West Yorkshire or near Manchester, this is a new exhibition being put on by Northern Potters.

It will be online at first and then opening to visitors on 12th April - hurrah!!!

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Repeat throwing - a rant!!!

Sometimes known as production throwing, this is a technique which involves making pots all the same size and shape  as quickly  as possible. It's the way all pots would have been made (other than handbuilding) right from the Roman times.



It takes a lot of skill and practice. Gerry has been throwing pots on the wheel for over forty years, and still gets a kick from looking at a batch of recently made pots. He can make other more "arty" pots and has more time to persue this now he has semi - retired. But why is it that "production potters" are still regarded as second-class potters in the ceramics world?



Even in today's society when you can buy mass produced mugs and bowls it is still nice to wrap your hands round a truly hand-made pot. Yes - a pot - not a ceramic creation!

Thursday, 25 March 2021

The Plant Swap....

Following the success of last year's plant swap, our village is going to repeat it this year.

The idea is that if you have any spare plants, you take them to the pub garden and swap them for something else. 

So today I split up the Campanula, Thyme, Rosemary, Chives, Mint, Poppies and something else that I don't know the name of, and repotted them.

At the moment they are in the porch until it gets a bit warmer to take down to the pub....

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Not getting lost!!!!

Today we delivered to Art and Soul in Beverley ready for their re-opening on April 12th. While we were in Beverley we decided to try and find the walk that we did in November with friends, when we ended up taking a wrong turning and having to turn around and walk the same way back. 

I think we must have been talking too much because it seemed quite hard to miss the turning! It took us through some marsh land where we saw some sand pipers, then onto the track that we had walked along in November.

It is a lovely walk but still very wet despite not having had any rain for a week. I don't think it would have been passable in November when it had been very wet.

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Counting sheep?

 Well  - all the pots have been made for a little craft shop we supply at Muker in Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales. The type of sheep that are kept up in the hills on the moorland are named after the valley  - hence "Swaledale" and are characterised by their black faces.

The craft shop is in the old Victorian school.

We supply them with mugs with a special emblem on featuring the Swaledale sheep and the placename of Muker. We also make sheep ornaments - we get the thick curly wool by pushing the clay through a sieve, candle snuffers, little "titchies" and fridge magnets. They are all very popular with tourists.

Monday, 22 March 2021

It's all black.....

No - not the news. It's the pots that have come out of the kiln that we are making for a candle company in York. He wanted everything in black.


 We made a Wee willie winkie type candle holder, a small tealight holder, a filigree candle pot and a Yorkshire Rose mug.      They all look very stylish.              

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Keeping an orchid going...


Two years ago I was given an orchid by a craftsworker who was sharing our pottery as part of an Open Studios Event.

The orchid flowered for  three or four months and then the petals fell off. I kept it though.  Some of the leaves withered and died but I still had it on the windowsill.

Then after Christmas I noticed a vertical shoot growing. At first I thought it was one of those misleading roots - they look like stems but aren't.

Gradually it developed buds and now it has flowered. It's quite small and I don't think the flowers are as big - but they are a lovely colour and I am so proud that I managed to keep it alive!

Wednesday, 17 March 2021



A few weeks ago the grounds of Fangfoss Hall were a carpet of snowdrops.


Gerry and I thought it would be lovely if we could transplant some of them to the Park in Fangfoss, so with Geoff's permission we dug some up, put them in a barrow and took them down to the Park.

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Coming to terms with "Quickbooks"



Our old computer which we used for accounting gave up the ghost - along with the Quick book package we had for writing invoices.

We must have had it over 20 years and had bought it as a CD which you installed on the computer. You can't do that now and have to take out a monthly subscription which we have. 

It is so much better than the old invoice maker. We could put on a logo - got to admit, it needs redoing though, and it has lots of other features too. (If you type in the postcode of the recipient, google maps can show you where the place is...

It did take us a long time to add all the data and I was on the phone to their customer support a couple of times, which I must say was excellent. So we're up and running again - just waiting now for some more customers!!!!

Saturday, 13 March 2021

First attempts in clay ---- first successes in clay!


The first animals that people made at home came out of the kiln today.

These animal sculptures were the first attempts in clay that the people had ever made. 

They've all done a great job!

Friday, 12 March 2021

Getting ready for shops opening

 We are beginning to get orders ready to send out to some of  the small craft shops we supply throughout Scotland. Today we were packing up an order for a craft shop called Earra Gael in Tarbert in Argyll.

We have been supplying this shop for a long time and originally picked up the contact from the Scottish International Trade Show held in the SECC in Glasgow each year.

Although the original owner died a couple of years ago, the shop has continued trading with new people in charge.



The shop only takes pots in the oatmeal blue colour. Some of them are plain but others have the little mouse design on them.

The order will be packed in two carboard type tea chests, and will be taken by carrier around to the West coast of Scotland.

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Making candle pots

Today Gerry has been working on a new design for a candle pot. He is making the support for the candle a bit taller so it holds the candle in place better. Here is a video link showing how he does it:-

I have been busy making sheep for the order in Muker in Swaledale.
These are small fridge magnets.
I have also been making sheep ornaments, little titchie sheep and candle snuffers.

Monday, 8 March 2021

Another Lockdown jumper!

 During Lockdown I have knitted lots of cardigans, and jumpers using "left over" wool from other projects. This has meant that most of the jumpers have had to have stripes as I don't have enough of one colour to make a jumper.

This one has been made in various shades of green with purple bobbles knitted into the design.

I used an old pattern as a guide and then worked out how to match up the stripes.

To match up the stripes you have to count the rows down from the shapings of the sleeves to the correct length. Then you start at that point of the pattern so that by the time you have got half way up the sleeves you are syncronised with the stripes on the body.

This jumper is for my two year old grand daughter.

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Are these the poshest rolling mats?



When you are rolling out clay, it is best to roll it on some material otherwise the clay can get stuck to the work surface. We had an old thread bare bed sheet so I spent some time today cutting it up and hemming the squares and making them into rolling mats to be used in the pottery. By hemming them it means they can be washed without falling to pieces!

Friday, 5 March 2021

Counting sheep


We supply a shop in Muker in the Yorkshire Dales that just sells things to do with sheep. 

We have just got quite a large order from them and need to make some candle snuffers, some sheep money boxes, little sheep titchies, mugs with sheep on and some fridge magnets.

That will keep me out of mischief for a while!!

Thursday, 4 March 2021

You win some, you lose some!

We unloaded two lovely vases from the kiln today. They had been glazed in a mixture of overlapping colours and fired in a reduction atmosphere. This resulted in lots of reds on the surface.

The downside was that a lot of the other pots that were next to them also turned red, when they should have been green. They were ammonite mugs destined for a customer in Devon who had ordered 200. Now he can only have 150!

Monday, 1 March 2021

To make a pinch pot is a useful beginning...

This is a hedgehog that has been made by a child using two pinch pots joined together.

It is part of the project "Pottery @ Home

Anyone can make this! Check out the video below to see how easy making a pinch pot is!