Monkeying about dahn sarf

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Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  fiona on Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:16 pm

Having recently developed an interest in (for which read "become obsessed with") the art of bonsai pot making, I simply couldn't turn down an invitation to travel dahn sarf (that's "down south" to most normal English speakers) to sunny Kent to get down and get dirty chez Andy "Stone Monkey" Pearson. So I duly booked the first available Virgin (that's a train, Tony - don't come asking for a phone number!) and after an eventful first ever trip on a pendolino I arrived at Maidstone where, in spite of my previous (irrational it appears) assumption that everywhere in Kent is at the seaside, I discovered we were some 30 miles inland and my bucket and spade were somewhat redundant. Sad, as it was a scorching hot afternoon, and doubly sad when my less than subtle hints to host for the evening Simon "Bonsai Monkey" that he should get out the kids' paddling pool went unheeded. After a pleasant curry and chatter evening I got up the next day raring to get at a lump of clay.

Andy went first to show us how the real potters do it (cue bad taste car bumper sticker slogan competition) and within seconds a pot was born.









Easy! Go on, move over and lemme in. Here we go: Wee Wummin versus Lump of Clay. Kick off



She starts off well and is heading towards the open goal.



Ah. Going a bit pear-shaped, clay ball passes over to the other side who rush up the park. It BOBBLED, I tell you!



Ah! Whatever happened to beginner's luck? Lump of Clay 1, Wee Wummin 0



Back to the centre spot... match resumes



...better, better...steady now, the goal's in sight.



RESULT! Presenting my new range of Shohin pots - not so much esoteric as eccentric. (I've trade-marked that as a brand name now) Lump of Clay 1 Wee Wummin 1 Went on to win on penalties a.e.t.



From right to left: my total donkey of a first attempt (which made a nice accent pot after some creative reshaping); the first of Fiona's Eccentrica range; lastly my great success - or if I'm honest, Andy's pot.



OK. So not so easy then! Maybe I was far too blasé having produced some pretty pot-shaped offerings when using the clay slab method. This certainly required a whole different art and skill.

Potter guys, I take my hat off to you - you are true artists.


Last edited by fionnghal on Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:08 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo alteration before JQ sees it)

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  kitoi on Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:45 pm

Great pictorial! Throwing clay does take some practice, and then more practice to master the skill.

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  Stone Monkey on Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:56 pm

Fiona

It was a pleasure to have your, and Simon's, company dahn sarf Very Happy . There is a potter in your screaming to escape affraid and your more than welcome to the monkey's den anytime. Oh and Les if your reading the first pot that Fiona made is for your blackthorn. I let her do your commission, hope that's ok Razz

Your are now knighted as an Honourary Monkey who shall be now known as "The Tartan Monkey"

Take care and I hope your journey home was not too stressfull

Regards

Andy

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  DWThomas on Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:29 pm

Looks like a great time playing in the mud!

Yes, wheel throwing is an enlightening experience. As with playing musical instruments, the people who know how make it look so easy! Some also say, as with musical efforts, you can read about it, be told about it, but the only way to get there is to do it -- and do it -- and do it .....

I sure made a lot of strange blobs in my first couple of sessions at the wheel.

DaveT

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  Dale Cochoy on Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:54 pm

Fionna,
Great start!
No worrys with those first pots. Most newbies just call those 'rustic' anyway! Smile
Learning to center, and keep it, is the Toughest part of throwing pots on a wheel. Some folks just never get it. You are off to a good start. I can see those 24" rounds coming soon!
Next task.....slab building ( quite a bit easier for beginners)
A few years back Florida bonsaiwoman Mary Miller was here to stay and I took he to the wheel and had her throw a pot. The next day we trimmed it. I gave it to her fired the next time I saw her. She still has it I'm sure and told me she had a new found respect for potters!

BTW, I'm glad to see Andys space looks more like mine Embarassed .....I was beginning to think everyones pottery area over there looked like Horst's place!! Very Happy
Regards,
Dale

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  fiona on Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:25 pm

Ahah! And here are those slab builds I made earlier!



I did these with David Jones of Walsall Studio Ceramics a year ago.

You're quite right - a darn sight easier, but I think gave me a false sense of my potting ability which came back down to earth with somewhat of a splat yesterday.

Ah well. Practice makes perfect, and I made all the rejects yesterday into some very "interesting" accent pots so absolutely no wastage.

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  Stone Monkey on Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:49 am

Fiona

Impressive slab pots you have there. I know David does a good workshop and he is a very good teacher too.

Dale

Yes I am guilty Embarassed my workshop definately has the "worked" in look.

Regards to you both

Andy

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Greetings from the Seaside!!

Post  bonsai monkey on Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:19 am

How’d Tartan Monkey!!
It was a pleasure to have you come and stay at Chex Monkey, even if my trees were not what you quite expected. Tuesday evening was great fun and it’s nice to see that I didn’t poison you and Andy with my attempt at cooking!!!

The Monkies version of the Generation Game at Andy’s place was a real blast and I half expected Larry Grayson to pop his head around and ask the "scores on the doors". I think your skill at the potter’s wheel must not be estimated Fiona, even if your boobs did get in the way, and my admiration for Andy’s and his fellow potters has gone up a notch. That puts you on notch 1 Andy affraid

We’d love to see you again Fiona, and any fellow IBC-ers, if you are every down this way again. Mind you, you’d better start saving for some more of Little Pete’s Shohin Specials Wink

Okk, Okk,
Simon

PS
The Hawthorn that I feel sooooooooo in love with is gunna stay where it is, I think, as I feel that it would be too small for the composition that I have in mind (did I really say “too small”!!!). Watch out at Willowbog for the Mame Juniper & Azalea they just might make a “guest” appearance.


Last edited by bonsai monkey on Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:20 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I'm stupid!!!)

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  fiona on Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:21 pm

bonsai monkey wrote: I think your skill at the potter’s wheel must not be estimated Fiona, even if your boobs did get in the way
Em!... Uhuh!... Thanks Simon for drawing attention of some 1300 forum readers to the minor disadvantage I may have in my quest to become a master-potter. Or perhaps it is something I could harness (this isn't getting any better really is it!) and I could become the first "hands free" bonsai potter. Cup shaped pots a speciality.

Ah well - it's good to keep abreast of developments and innovations isn't it?

As the late, great Frakie Howerd would say:


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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  Stone Monkey on Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:34 pm

Fiona

Perhaps you should market your eccentric pot sizes in cups and not cm Embarassed

Regards

Andy

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  Harleyrider on Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:47 pm

Andy went first to show us how the real potters do it (cue bad taste car bumper sticker slogan competition)

Potters do it with sticky fingers?

Potters do it with their legs open?

Potters do it bent over?

Oh, and Fiona? I wouldn't call your 'mammalian protruberances' a disadvantage. Not from where I'm standing, leastways!


Last edited by Harleyrider on Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:49 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : change text)

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  Stone Monkey on Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:56 pm

Nah

Potters do best when wet Very Happy

Regards

Andy

Ps Harley man, see you at Burrs if your going

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  Harleyrider on Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:32 pm

I'll be there, Monkey Boy!

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  fiona on Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:49 pm

Harleyrider wrote: I wouldn't call your 'mammalian protruberances' a disadvantage.
I'm not sure that "l" shouldn't be an "r"!

Now I've got Dean Martin songs going through my head. Or one at least. You know the one; it's the adopted anthem of plastic surgeons who deal in silicon implants.

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  Harleyrider on Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:13 pm

L or R, they still look fine to me!

I'm struggling to pinpoint this Dean Martin song. But it is late, and I've been up since 5am.

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  rock on Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:13 am

That was a great tutorial on pottery.

You know what they say about wheel throwing It's only the first 25 years that are difficult... [img][/img]

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  Stone Monkey on Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:38 pm

I have been looking for this picture for years, so glad you posted this, thanks

Regards

Andy

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Blackthorn pot

Post  Les S on Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:59 pm

Hi Andy can you put a couple of drainage and wiring holes in that pot please otherwise the tree wont stay in the pot and it might get waterlogged

thanks

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  Stone Monkey on Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:29 am

Les

I will make sure it has suitable holes in the bottom for you Wink

Regards

Andy

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  Ian Warhurst on Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:59 pm

Hi Andy, have you come up with anything for the escallonia yet, I can`t get to burrs mate so I would appreciate some pictures,

Cheers from one of the scouse monkey`s Very Happy

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  Stone Monkey on Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:10 am

Hi Ian

I am doing two pots for the escallonia at the moment. As soon as they have been fired then I will let you know and send you some pictures of the two pots. Sorry for the delay but I am up to my neck in it at the moment Mad
Sorry to hear you wont be coming to Burrs Sad

Oh I am hopefully seeing Les to night as he is down my way. I will give him a little present for you from our time at Willowbog and your lack of sleep. Lets just say its the only "Snoremonkey" pot ever been made Sleep Hope you like it cheers

All the best

Andy

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  Ian Warhurst on Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:46 pm

Hi mate, yeah unfortunately I can`t get the time off work.

That`s very kind of you i`ll look forward to it. It was particularly bad snoring Shocked

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  fiona on Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:36 am

An update on this little adventure I had in the first half of August.

fiona wrote:

From right to left: my total donkey of a first attempt (which made a nice accent pot after some creative reshaping); the first of Fiona's Eccentrica range; lastly my great success - or if I'm honest, Andy's pot.


Well. Just as I had planned it all along, the pots have turned out most excellent thanks to my hitherto undiscovered flair for coming up with such splendid and innovative designs. Oh and of course with a little help from my charming young assistant Mr Andy "Stone Monkey" Pearson.

And now may I proudly present the evidence of my genius (for which read ability to bullshit my way through anything):

First, the inaugural pot in the Eccentrica range



Then, the thing that looks like a broken ash tray in the original pic got transformed by sheer classy artistry into small accent pots as follows:











I have to say I am impressed with my sheer creativity here. I may in fact be a genius. Time to get out the potters' closet methinks.

Or to be more exact and honest, I am impressed by Mr Pearson's skill and artistry in taking a few donkeys of attempts at pot throwing and making proverbial silk purses out of a porcine pinna.

The auricle has spoken.

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my website

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  bonsai monkey on Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:52 pm

Super pots Fiona, still makes me smile thinking back to the day in question Very Happy

Are you taking on Commissions? affraid

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

Post  fiona on Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:49 pm

bonsai monkey wrote: Are you taking on Commissions?
Yep. weddings, funerals, barmitzvahs, and now dorodangoing and pot throwing.

Actually, the very best thing about this thread is that, as well as augmenting my pot stock by sheer brilliance and artistry, I also seem to have lost about 10lbs and several chins since the August pics were taken.

Now that's what I call a result.

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Re: Monkeying about dahn sarf

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