Beach combing, 17th January


I’m just back from a week at Goldsmiths’ Centre and I went down to the rocks to see what the waves have disturbed whilst I was away.


I particularly like the long copper nail and wonder what it was used for.

I also made up three sand moulds, but they are less photogenic.

A day in the sun


I went down to the rockpools today and used beach sand and sea water to clean a couple of my bronze vessels.


There was a green crab as well but s/he was camera shy.


I finished texturing the pieces with my favourite stone on my beach shelf.

I’m hoping that the sea water will patinate the bronze as part of the process.


I’m trying one piece with this whitened seaweed from around the high rock pools to see how it patinates.


I also rescued a piece of driftwood which may make a stand for a bowl.



Week 3 Materials experiments

I threw some bowls to practice simple forms for casting and also to make sure that I didn’t ‘waste’ my Crail clay. I have put some slip on some and burnished them after trimming the bottoms.



I also made a pinch pot with colis out of some of the Crail clay, again it needs trimmed and burnished. The ceramics workshop room is very busy at present so I haven’t thrown the Crail clay yet.


I had two days on the beach following up local bricks as they link to clayfields and have found an Anstruther brick; I’m very taken with the colour they have fired (blue in the middle) and the pleasing shape some have become.


I forged part of some wrought iron that I found seriously rusted on the beach and the heated rusted parts have also come a great colour.



With John Scott’s assistance I twisted and flattened a billet of two steels and I like how that looks when etched, sanded and oiled. I have since heated colours into it.


Lives in a landscape

Final year. My project – ‘lives in a landscape’ is looking at cultural history in the landscape. I am initially exploring materials and traditional processes that have a link with the landscape. Sean Kingsley’s Fife Diet ceramics project using clays from Fife farms, led me to ‘win’ clay at Crail.

This is Sean’s family winning clay. The spade for this is called a graft (‘though I used a trowel)


The clay is then dried (picture a pile of mud-like stuff on newspaper in the sun,

then soaked overnight and strained to remove the slatey bits. This is called ‘blungeing’.

crailclay copy

I collected some of the slate bits too as they are attractive.


To be continued…

Week 20


porcelain and brass

Week 20 – wow. We had two workshops this week – polishing and brooch backs, both of which are really useful, but don’t provide much in the way of visuals. I did some beach collecting, especially mussels (which also drill) I’ll upload some pics of the aluminium piece, the beach collecting and a broken ceramic piece.

double dyed aluminium

double dyed aluminium