Ceramic Garden signs Workshop

Bill and I did a ceramic work shop at Glengall Wharf Gardens in Burgess Park this week.

We were very lucky we had a beautiful crisp day and a great turn out, all the signs being decorated with imprints, scratching and cobalt oxide. 

The beautiful garden with its striking Hugel mounds

Lots of lovely winter veg growing!

Just a few of the many signs that got decorated.

They are now drying out in the studio and will be fired in the kiln twice then decal lettering of the garden areas will be added at the end.

Walking back to Art in the Park from Glengall Wharf Garden after a successful day!

Watch this space for the completion and process photos!

Rainer Maria Rilke

They lie in their long hair, and the brown faces
have long ago withdrawn into themselves.
Eyes shut, as though before too great a distance.
Skeletons, mouths, flowers. Inside the mouths,
the shiny teeth like rows of pocket chessmen.
And flowers, yellow pearls, slender bones,
hands and tunics, woven cloth decaying
over the shriveled heart. But there, beneath
those rings, beneath the talismans and gems
and precious stones like blue eyes (lovers’ keepsakes),
there still remains the silent crypt of sex,
filled to its vaulted roof with flower-petals.
And yellow pearls again, unstrung and scattered,
vessels of fired clay on which their own
portraits once were painted, the green fragments
of perfume jars that smelled like flowers, and images
of little household gods upon their altars:
courtesan-heavens with enraptured gods.
Broken waistbands, scarabs carved in jade,
small statues with enormous genitals,
a laughing mouth, dancing-girls, runners,
golden clasps that look like tiny bows
for shooting bird- and beast-shaped amulets,
ornamented knives and spoons, long needles,
a roundish light-red potsherd upon which
the stiff legs of a team of horses stand
like the dark inscription above an entryway.
And flowers again, pearls that have rolled apart,
the shining flanks of a little gilded lyre;
and in between the veils that fall like mist,
as though it had crept out from the shoe’s chrysalis:
the delicate pale butterfly of the ankle.

And so they lie, filled to the brim with Things,
expensive Things, jewels, toys, utensils,
broken trinkets (how much fell into them!)
and they darken as a river’s bottom darkens.
For they were riverbeds once,
and over them in brief, impetuous waves
(each wanting to prolong itself, forever)
the bodies of countless adolescents surged;
and in them roared the currents of grown men.
And sometimes boys would burst forth from the mountains
of childhood, would descend in timid streams
and play with what they found on the river’s bottom,
until the steep slope gripped their consciousness:

Then they filled, with clear, shallow water,
the whole breadth of this broad canal, and set
little whirlpools turning in the depths,
and for the first time mirrored the green banks
and distant calls of birds—, while in the sky
the starry nights of another, sweeter country
blossomed above them and would never close.

Satish Kumar

In Nature, everything moves in cycles:
cycles of time, cycles of life and, of course,
a cycle of seasons. Things begin, things
grow, things decay and then begin again

Aztec Poem

I come
to the patio of flowers
my word a song
my thought a flower.
My drumbeat
is an open book.

I praise
the one
who is adored
in every place,
I beg his pity.
War lords, am I right
to seek him?
I, Moctezuma, am uncertain.

Moctezuma, painter of books,
you come
to the patio of flowers
to sing.
Blue-green bird,
you sway on your perch
before god.
Yellow butterfly,
you alight!

Moctezuma cools us
with fans of flowers
where we lie
on these carpets
woven out of leaves.

Children's Creations!

A man and a swan waiting to go in the kiln to become shiny and glazed!

Cobalt and Woodash

Here are a few christmas numbers and some slab building work..need to keep practicing!

Poppy head stars

Coasters ready to be backed with leather.

Garlic Pot

The Ceramics Studio

I have been visiting the new Ceramics Studio in Bermondsey recently, its been lovely to be working on the wheel again and getting some grounding ceramic advice from Leyla Folwell, who set this wonderful inspiring place up!.. Its a great space and if you are a pro, keen or even slightly interested in Ceramics this is the place to be..

Glengall Wharf Garden

I have recently started a project to make ceramic signs for a community garden in Burgess Park, here are some snaps of the production line!

These signs will be part of a workshop next week as well as more making on the day! 


Mary Franks


"A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust." Gertrude Jekyll 1843-1932

Two Fires - Short Documentary & Artist Profile from Pigeonhole Films on Vimeo.


In making pots, however creative a ceramist might feel, s/he has to be part of the real world, following all the rules of chemistry and accepting the principles attached to it. The ceramist can never say, 'I made this pot'-only  'I took part in making this pot but the kiln had the last word'. All potters will know what I mean when I say that experience teaches me that a kiln has a life of its own: the kiln makes what contribution it will and the ceramist must accept it. This is why Japanese leave sake and rice in the kiln for the fox, for it is the fox that fires the kiln. This tradition is the origin of the fox as my own ceramic mark. When I was four years old and seriously ill, my grandfather made me a wooden shape to play with and my grandmother dressed it in some fur from her fox stole: and I like to think I must have been a reborn, ceramic spirit of the universe, remembering my past spirit companions. And why not? Ceramic is pure magic-the incredible earth, air, fire and water of the ancient philosophers and alchemists- Eric James Mellon


Poppies and Wheat

My Brother and Sister-in-law got married just over a year ago! I was very busy last year making Ceramic place names for their wedding and also thinking a lot about my final year at Uni. Now I am working a lot, enjoying it! And getting the chance to carry on making my own work.

I made some coasters for my brother and sister-in-law's wedding anniversary present.

They are Porcelain with leather backs, glazed with a white wood ash glaze, imprinted with poppy heads and wheat.