Rocks and Minerals

Found these rocks and minerals in a charity shop. I intend to put them into the kiln to see how they react especially from their pure form. 

Beautiful Botanical Beads

These beads still hold the scent of rose petals. Rose petals where rolled very small and then placed in an iron tin to give them an ebony colour. You would not think they were made from roses.
Im going to go and visit these beautiful creations at the Kew Herabrium next week, right excited!

Miriam Schapiro

'Cabinet for all seasons'

Second year Show: Reflective Journey


D.H Lawrence

The Ship of Death
Now it is autumn and the falling fruit
and the long journey towards oblivion.
The apples falling like great drops of dew
to bruise themselves an exit from themselves.
5And it is time to go, to bid farewell
to one's own self, and find an exit
from the fallen self.
Have you built your ship of death, O have you?
O build your ship of death, for you will need it.
10The grim frost is at hand, when the apples will fall
thick, almost thundrous, on the hardened earth.
And death is on the air like a smell of ashes!
Ah! can't you smell it?
And in the bruised body, the frightened soul
15finds itself shrinking, wincing from the cold
that blows upon it through the orifices.
And can a man his own quietus make
with a bare bodkin?
With daggers, bodkins, bullets, man can make
20a bruise or break of exit for his life;
but is that a quietus, O tell me, is it quietus?
Surely not so! for how could murder, even self-murder
ever a quietus make?
O let us talk of quiet that we know,
25that we can know, the deep and lovely quiet
of a strong heart at peace!
How can we this, our own quietus, make?
Build then the ship of death, for you must take
the longest journey, to oblivion.
30And die the death, the long and painful death
that lies between the old self and the new.
Already our bodies are fallen, bruised, badly bruised,
already our souls are oozing through the exit
of the cruel bruise.
35Already the dark and endless ocean of the end
is washing in through the breaches of our wounds,
already the flood is upon us.
Oh build your ship of death, your little ark
and furnish it with food, with little cakes, and wine
40for the dark flight down oblivion.
Piecemeal the body dies, and the timid soul
has her footing washed away, as the dark flood rises.
We are dying, we are dying, we are all of us dying
and nothing will stay the death-flood rising within us
45and soon it will rise on the world, on the outside world.
We are dying, we are dying, piecemeal our bodies are dying
and our strength leaves us,
and our soul cowers naked in the dark rain over the flood,
cowering in the last branches of the tree of our life.
50We are dying, we are dying, so all we can do
is now to be willing to die, and to build the ship
of death to carry the soul on the longest journey.
A little ship, with oars and food
and little dishes, and all accoutrements
55fitting and ready for the departing soul.
Now launch the small ship, now as the body dies
and life departs, launch out, the fragile soul
in the fragile ship of courage, the ark of faith
with its store of food and little cooking pans
60and change of clothes,
upon the flood's black waste
upon the waters of the end
upon the sea of death, where still we sail
darkly, for we cannot steer, and have no port.
65There is no port, there is nowhere to go
only the deepening black darkening still
blacker upon the soundless, ungurgling flood
darkness at one with darkness, up and down
and sideways utterly dark, so there is no direction any more
70and the little ship is there; yet she is gone.
She is not seen, for there is nothing to see her by.
She is gone! gone! and yet
somewhere she is there.
75And everything is gone, the body is gone
completely under, gone, entirely gone.
The upper darkness is heavy as the lower,
between them the little ship
is gone
80she is gone.
It is the end, it is oblivion.
And yet out of eternity a thread
separates itself on the blackness,
a horizontal thread
85that fumes a little with pallor upon the dark.
Is it illusion? or does the pallor fume
A little higher?
Ah wait, wait, for there's the dawn,
the cruel dawn of coming back to life
90out of oblivion.
Wait, wait, the little ship
drifting, beneath the deathly ashy grey
of a flood-dawn.
Wait, wait! even so, a flush of yellow
95and strangely, O chilled wan soul, a flush of rose.
A flush of rose, and the whole thing starts again.
The flood subsides, and the body, like a worn sea-shell
emerges strange and lovely.
And the little ship wings home, faltering and lapsing
100on the pink flood,
and the frail soul steps out, into the house again
filling the heart with peace.
Swings the heart renewed with peace
even of oblivion.
105Oh build your ship of death, oh build it!
for you will need it.
For the voyage of oblivion awaits you.

Flower watercolours and collage

Ceramic Tags

My brother got married in the beginning of September and I offered to make ceramic name tags for his wedding. I really enjoyed doing it, was a bit of pressure as it was 120! and really wanted them to work. They had lavender and lace running throughout their wedding so i pressed these two objects into the clay.
Here is the beginnings (still waiting for the wedding photos of them on the tables)!
After first firing

Application  of cobalt oxide on to biscuit, then the glaze is applied. This ends up blue in the 1080 glaze firing. 

 Finished Tags

Moon flower books.

I went forward into making the flowers I had pressed into a series of books. The ones from the flower  press and also the ones which I had pressed in my diary.

My garden and its preservation

I spent a lot of time and dedication throughout spring and summer (with the help of lovely flatmates watering when I was away) growing a balcony garden outside the living room of the flat. It looked lovey, full of flowers and a few edible treats. I also took from what I had grown by pressing the flowers and saving seeds.
Here are a few blooming photos.

Holiday in Italy and visiting Karin Putsch-Grassi

Spent a lovely time in a Tuscan farmhouse over August with my boyfriends family and friends. Also visited a very kind ceramicist who i met in Aberystwth. I helped her build her bottle kiln, she also makes beautiful ceramic pieces. She showed me her studio in Reggello, near Florence and we had a delicious lunch altogether cooked by her husband Almando.

Remnants of a glass bottle kiln

Karin Putsch Grassi- Home made Raku kiln

Karin gave me this beautiful ceramic raku bird she had made. 
I really like the change in colour with the black clay and the raku surface.

Above are some of the beautiful surroundings at Casalino in Tuscany.