THE LOCKDOWN WORKSHOP
There’s a cobbled room on the ground floor at the end of our house. The floor is extraordinarily uneven, the walls are thick cob and it’s freezing in winter, with no form of heating. When we first started the business we made some early ceramic prototypes in there, but we outgrew it long, long ago - it’s been storing cardboard boxes and a windowsill-full of old glaze tests ever since. Until lockdown, when there was finally the time to clear it out, and Jeremy set up a wood workshop in there.
Jeremy made things out of wood long before we ever started making ceramics. When he left university his first job was working for Mike who was building a boat - a 54ft cutter - where everything had to be millimetre perfect to be allowed on board. An excellent introduction to woodwork, and those skills were later transferred into our ceramic production - more often using plaster on a lathe to form shapes rather than a pottery wheel.
So, needless to say, Jeremy is very much enjoying being back in the business of making things out of wood - playing around with form and texture, shaping the wood as if it were clay now. He’s been making quite the racket in fact - sawing, shaping and hammering things at six in the morning, much to our houseguests chagrin (the spare room is directly above the workshop…). He’s been scorching, fuming and ebonizing, whatever these all mean. And as with all of our ceramics, there seem to be no straight lines in sight - the focus is the tactile nature of the natural materials.
We’re going to add them to the Feldspar stable in time, but first here’s a peek of the workshop and some of the first things to come out of it. First up - chicken coop and its elaborate opening pulley system notwithstanding - a maple and oak bench and a clothes airer made from local ash and oak, currently hung up above the Aga and making life WONDERFUL. We're making some brass fixtures for it, and then it'll be good to go...