SCOTTISH POTTERS & BASKETMAKERS

Cromarty autumn 2007

On the Black Isle overlooking Cromarty Firth and village, the converted stables of Cromarty House became the ideal setting for our autumn 2007 workshop. Tim Palmer, basketmaker and admirer of Hans Coper pots had already built the willow framework for what was to be a recreation of a prehistoric kiln. Andrew Appleby from Orkney (the Harray Potter) -a keen archaeologist- arrived along with some Scottish Potters to load up with raw and bisque fired pots. Barbel Dister, who has a nearby studio and was organising the weekend, had puddled vast quantities of clay in a bath ready for daubing and spreading three inches thick on to the wicker frame to complete the kiln building. A tiny goddess and several other deities were set into thoughtfully planned crannies and a clay door was marked and cut onto the side separated from the clay walls by newspaper and complete with bone handles. Max the collie dog was very interested in those bones.

Jane Kelly
Penicuik Pottery
prehistory pots made for firing at Cromarty 2007

Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

Scottish potters and basketmakers at Cromarty 2007

Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

Scottish potters and basketmakers at kiln Cromarty 2007

Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

Firing Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

Firing Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

Wood firing Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

Wood firing Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

Fiona MacDougall, the basket maker was adept with the fire. Lots of us helped move firewood supplied by resident potter Peter Fisher. Split planks kept the fire alight through the night. She had Max to keep her feet warm in the damp chill of the evening, and her multipurpose van nearby. Most of us now treated ourselves to delicious fish suppers at eateries in the village and so back to our cosy B & Bs.

 

Next morning Andrew demonstrated the making of prehistoric pottery using his knee as a mould and North Ronaldsay sheep bones as his only tools. To extend the clay he slapped in fresh moss, traces of which, along with grasses are evident in Neolithic pots, 20,000 years old.

Andrew Appleby, from Orkney (the Harray Potter)
at Cromarty 2007

We joined in and made some pots ourselves.

Meanwhile the kiln was stoked up and cracks patched with clay until it reached a side-splitting 1140oC

Wood firing Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

Wood firing Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

Fiona MacDougall, Scottish basketmaker 
at Cromarty

Fiona MacDougall, Scottish basketmaker 
at Cromarty

Fiona MacDougall, Scottish basketmaker 
at Cromarty

Fiona MacDougall, Scottish basketmaker 
at Cromarty

Fiona MacDougall, Scottish basketmaker 
at Cromarty

Fiona MacDougall, Scottish basketmaker 
at Cromarty

Scottish potters and basketmakers with Andrew Appleby at Cromarty 2007

Wood firing Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln with Andrew Appleby Cromarty 2007

Wood firing Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

Wood firing Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

Wood firing Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

boat roof Cromarty 2007

boat roof Cromarty autumn 2007

Scottish potters and basketmakers at Cromarty 2007

Scottish potters and basketmakers at Cromarty 2007

post-firing Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

Scottish potters and basketmakers at Cromarty 2007

opening Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

opening Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

opening Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

opening Scottish potters and basketmakers kiln at Cromarty 2007

Scottish potters and basketmakers raku kilns at Cromarty 2007

 

see Pots & baskets at Barn Gallery, The Bield, Blackruthven, Tibbermore, near Perth October 2009

 

www.pottery.makers.org.uk

 

Campaign to revive the SCOTTISH CRAFT CENTRE

 

 

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