Cactus pot

A cheerful, colourful, square pot I have a Christmas cactus in. It was outside earlier in the year, but I noticed the glaze was coming off the other one so I bought it in (I think frost and rain got to them). This one’s a bit messy round the back, but then I just have the good side facing out. You can make anything nice if you position it well, even if its cheap and cheerful.

What Maggie did next…

Wore a hole punch as a hat…. Sat on my bookcase, surrounded by books. ‘Goodbye Mr Chips’ is one of them. What would they have thought of each other? Stern, disciplined, sometimes cruel. Were nort the characteristics of Mr Chips!

This ceramic Toby jug is based on the Spitting Image version of Maggie Thatcher. I also have a (slightly cracked) egg cup of her. That was because I used it as a candle holder.

No I was not impressed by her callous disregard for the poorest in society. Nor her attacks on the Miners and her introduction of the poll tax. So why have I got her? She was a present off a Potter who made her. She makes me laugh, to think about the ideas she had. At least she’s gone now.

Cat fish?

My friend gave me this. A hand painted ceramic cat with fish on it. One fish seems to be biting the tail of the other one, both they and the cat seem to be happy and smiling. There seems to be a sea shell below the head of one of the fish. Perhaps this is a fishing cat? It’s a flat back ornament with no decoration on the back. I think it’s sweet, naive, simple, a bit rough round the edges. But fun.

My Emma Bailey ceramics cat

It’s a lovely little cat with yellow and black decoration. It’s only small, about 7 inches tall. He’s smart and adds to my ornaments on the mantlepiece. Emma does larger cats and lots of other objects. The ceramics have designs that are reminiscent of Clarice Cliff pottery from the 1930’s.

Emma Bailey ceramics is based at Middleport pottery in Middleport, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Check opening times as the pottery is open at the moment.

Beautiful brickwork

I don’t know much about bricks, except that they are fired clay. But I do like to see them when they are used decoratively. The way they are laid is called the ‘bond’ where it depends whether they are laid horizontally across the surface of the wall, or with the short end showing on the face of the wall and the length turned 90° so that the brick is across into the layer behind or allows the wall to turn the corner at the edge of the building.

As you can see from this photo, different coloured bricks are often used to make patterns and shapes in the brickwork or are used to frame tiled areas of text stating when the building was built.

I also know that brick sizes changed over time. That they were smaller in the past and hand made. Then molds were made and the brick sizes became standardised. I don’t know all the history of that sorry.

Abstract pots

Turn a photo into an abstract by mirroring it in the Layout app run through Instagram and Facebook. If you take a photo that is a bit lopsided then when you multiply the image you get interesting patterns. You can rotate the pictures so you can get a variety of different patterns.

Experiment and see what suits you. If you see odd patterns that can be interesting. Branches enclosing a flower. In this case mirrored handles on the pot makes for an unusual ceramic object when all it is, is a jug. Ariel roots and leaves from my orchid plants frame the resulting pattern.

Green man?

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My morning glory plants are doing well. Not flowering yet though. They are in lots of places, but I particularly like the ones in this ceramic head I made years ago. It’s survived for about twenty or thirty years as has the female one further on up the yard… I’m not sure what colours will be on the plant. Looking forward to it.

Hand painted jug

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My hand painted jug. I chose to paint it with a tortoise shell cat (black white and ginger). With added daisy type flowers. I gave it as a Christmas gift last year. I like keeping my hand in by decorating pottery. I don’t get the chance to do this very often. It came up on my Facebook memories page. I think I did it on a visit to the Emma Bridgewater factory in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

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