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new studio news

updated mon 6 dec 04


Jenny Lewis on fri 3 dec 04


At last - the studio exists! Yippeee - I just had to have a little shriek on
Clayart, I know people reading this will understand how it feels! The old
brick outbuilding, previously known as spiderweb world, yuk, is now a workspace.

Some details: Top loader 4 cubic ft Potterycrafts electric kiln. Cowley
double drive electric wheel. No plumbing - two water buckets, one mucky and one
clean. Last week I got a rainwater barrel, on a stand, and it has a little
tap near the base, so no more traipsing along with buckets of water. Red
terracotta tiled floor. White walls. Well, mostly white - very grey splattered at
the moment. Lots of shelves, on those metal strip thingies with holes, and
brackets you can move around. Solid wood workbench - the space is not huge, 12
ft by 6 ft, so I wasn't sure how to fit in a worktable. Then the very helpful
builder (who had rescued the old brick walls) suggested making one, and he
did a really good job. I'm just getting used to the layout and have almost
remembered not to bump my head on the lowest shelf whenever I wedge the clay!
Takes a while to get used to surroundings, hah.

I have just done my first ever all by myself biscuit and glaze firings,
trying out 4 test glazes, mixed up all by myself for the first time ever. Big
thanks to Mike Bailey's book of Cone 6 glazes. All of them worked ok - even
though I made the slop a bit thin for two of them, but the potential is there.

Managed to forget something with each firing - biscuited with all the bungs
out all the time, which doesn't seem to have been a problem as far as I can
tell. And then, for the glaze firing - oh this is just too embarrassing. I
remembered the bungs, hooray, turned to pick them up from the shelf where they
were......... right next to the two cone packs that were supposed to go in the
kiln, one near the bottom, one near the top. Oops. Oh well, next time.

I was NEVER far away throughout the firings - I read my Clayart every day! I
trotted down the garden every half hour to check progress. The garden is
narrow and long - about 90 ft, but seemed to get longer and longer as the day
went on, and by soak time I was convinced it had stretched to at least 10 miles.
I left the door and the windows wide open throughout and the air stayed quite
cool. Well, cold, actually, a bit freezing in fact. Winter is definitely

I love my studio, it's small, cold and damp, but MINE. I am thinking
positive. No dust problem - dust? what dust??? Chance would be a fine thing. Slow
drying pots? definitely not a problem, I need the opposite of a damp
cupboard. Cold? not a problem - the advantage of a small space is that the little
convection heater warms it up fairly quickly.

Still haven't thought of a name, but after the arrival of the waterbutt I
mused on Big Butt Studio. Hmm, maybe I won't bother with a name after all.

Happy mud to all,

Jenny Lewis Studio
Eastleigh, UK
where frost and fog have arrived
and look set to stay awhile

Steve Mills on sat 4 dec 04


Nice one; may you have a long and happy time in there.

How about *Home* for a name; after all that is where the heart is!


In message , Jenny Lewis writes
>At last - the studio exists! Yippeee - Still haven't thought of a name, but after the arrival of the waterbutt I
>mused on Big Butt Studio. Hmm, maybe I won't bother with a name after all.
>Happy mud to all,
>Jenny Lewis Studio
>Eastleigh, UK
>where frost and fog have arrived
>and look set to stay awhile

Steve Mills

Maura on sun 5 dec 04

Hi Jenny,
Just read your posting =96 Congratulations!

What an amazing feeling - I can read it in your post. Naming may take a bit
of time. Why not let it come to you.

We=92re about in the same place. My new studio is recently finished =96
smallish =96 but I feel the same as you: =93it=92s mine=94! I don=92t know h=
ow you
managed to get all that in there. I=92ve kept my kilns outside, no shelves
installed and am still wedging/storing clay in our garage. The electrician
hasn=92t placed the correct connector so I haven=92t fired the kilns or made=
batch of glazes for ^6. I have made many glazes for ^10, which I work with
at the local community college. Getting my learning curve over with there,
I hope=85 Thanks for being so open in letting us know what can go wrong. I'm=

ready for my own school-of-hard-knocks. Anyway, it=92s so exciting I have
trouble sleeping. Just so much I want to learn and do. Good luck with your
new space. Keep in touch if you like =96 maybe we can muddle though this
together. That would be great if you ask me.

Best wishes and good pots,