Monday, June 20, 2011

Midsummer Makes!

On Sunday a delegation from HH HQ hit Cambridge, on a mission!

Tipped off by Harriet, who had previously attended Rachel's stoneware day course, four of us eagerly set off at a very civilised 8.45am to travel to Rachel Dormor's Cambridge Studio for a porcelain handbuilding workshop.

Rachel's beautiful work greeted us as we entered her studio - amid welcoming wafts of freshly brewed coffee.

After introductions and a brief round table explanation of our previous clay experiences (most of which hark back to our school days) we began..........

Rachel started by explaining the basics and giving us all what looked like a camembert to work with. Our weapon of choice: a rolling pin!

Rachel has the most beautiful set of printer's letters which I couldn't wait to delve into...once I had made something to impress them into!

How pretty are these little ceramic stamps too?

Our first 'creation' was a handbuilt porcelain jug. It was a little tricky to get it to stand on it's own but with a little help and encouragement from Rachel, it was there. The pattern is acheived with embossed fresco wallpaper! We also all did a vase or jug using a former to wrap the porcelain around too.

Here's the class results: How amazing that we all did the same thing but ended up with so many wonderful variations. With them safely stowed ready for firing, Rachel advised us to stop for some lunch. The morning had just whizzed by.

As ever at HH, lunch is a carefully planned affair. We had Nic's homemade scotch eggs - made fresh that morning, falafel, Sam's homemade hummus, bread, olives and sundried tomatoes. Washed down with my homemade elderflower cordial and followed by a fantastic array of cakes baked by Kay (Lady Galula Eclectic Cakes) and kindly supplied by Harriet! Yum! Sorry that the pic is on the "huh"!!

Feeling very full, we packed away the picnic knowing that we had the afternoon to create away using the techniques we'd learned in the morning. Having seen Rachel's article for espresso cups in Making Magazine, I just had to have a go. And, I just had to use the letters too! OK, so they are a little tall for espresso cups!

Fingers crossed that they survive intact! Though I'm not sure I will ever bring myself to make them dirty! It was a fab day - we did so much in a day and Rachel was a brilliant and inspiring teacher. It was lovely to have such a creative day surrounded by friends and fellow creatives.

I even made Rory a little "woof" ceramic star in celebration of his little win at the local dog show at our village Midsummer Fayre on Saturday. He came third in the puppy class! There were some beautiful puppies there - all shapes and sizes and numbering in excess of 20 I would say. So I was pretty proud puppy owner!

As usual, Rory looks pretty non-plussed about the whole affair!

Hope you enjoyed a creative Midsummer weekend.

Jacqui x


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