Painting mugs

At Etruria Artists today we painted mugs, they were blank white mugs and we used on glaze paints that stay the same colour when they are heated. The most exciting thing is that they can be heated in an ordinary domestic oven. They have to be dried for twenty four hours, then heated at 150°C or gas mark 2 for 35 minutes to bake the colours in.

The outside photo is lock 40 on the Trent and Mersey canal. It was a beautiful morning, bright and sunny. I really do prefer coming to Etruria Artists ‘hands on Art’ at the Warehouse next to the lock in the morning rather than the evening. It is on from 10am to 12 noon if anyone wants to come along.

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Swans and ducks

What better on a crisp winters day than to take photos of a Swan and a couple of ducks. Interesting how the sky is reflected in the first one and not so much in the second. They were taken last year out at a place called the plume of feathers, at Barlaston, Staffordshire. The pub sits alongside the Trent and Mersey canal. Much more picturesque than where it runs through the city, the canal offers an opportunity to glide along in narrow boats on self catering holidays. The boats are beautiful to look at, but they can be quite expensive to rent for a week, so I prefer to walk for free by the water and allow the Swans and Ducks to do the gliding….

Mill wheel

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From a couple of years ago, acrylic on water colour paper. A mill in Leek, Staffordshire moorlands. Done for a leaflet about the Trent and Mersey canal. Another one of those Facebook memories that crop up that you’ve forgotten about until they pop up on your time line….

Waiting to be fired.

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Finished off my take on an Easter island head this week by hollowing it out and adding texture to the surface. It now needs to dry out so it can be fired. If the clay is wet the water in it will expand and may cause the pottery to blow up. It may not be an accurate representation of these wonderful statues, but I hope it is not disrespectful to model it?

We have started to meet on Thursday mornings at Etruria rather than in the evenings, this means we are there at the warehouse on the Trent and Mersey canal by summit lock 40. From 10am to 12 noon.

* note, we are meeting on an ad hoc basis at the moment dependant on the weather.

Fire

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One thing that did happen was that there were great clouds of smoke drifting across the road just up from the waiting room gallery. I went to look what was happening, fire was burning in a big pile of rubbish and palettes just across the canal from me. This was at the rear of the Price and Kensington pottery factory in Longport next to the bottle kiln there.

The fire was burning rapidly so I rang the fire brigade. They said they had already had a call and were on the way…

A funny thing, I posted this to Facebook and had a strange response, apparently there are fires there all the time, they are just burning rubbish. Why had I bothered to call? My answer. The fire was quite big, the smoke drifting across the road was as thick as gig. I drive up there quite a lot now at weekends and I’ve never seen this. Finally it was burning next to a caravan and a car.. It needed reporting.

Peace

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The sun’s out and my hubby is too. Gone for a cycle ride with his brother. They were talking for hours yesterday. Much as I love him I don’t really want to hear again what toy tanks they played with when they were little, or them comparing toy train anecdotes! It’s quite relaxing sitting and painting. I’m just hoping they stay out for a while longer. They’ve gon for a ride down the local canal towpath so it should be easy riding in cold but bright conditions. I’ve done it in the past but my hips and knees don’t really like it anymore. Peace. Perfect peace.