Balnacra Arts & Pottery by Vicky Stonebridge

where did the summer go?

What happened? where did time go? why no blog updates? Busy busy.
So the experiment of the Pop Up Pottery has been going really well, I’ve been hectic keeping up with it, the idea of just one day a week has quickly escalated into every spare moment to try and keep up with things. Many families and groups have been through the doors to make some pots & get them posted on when they’re dried, fired and glazed. So the plan is to run with it, not be so temporary, and settle into doing this as a main job. It took me a while to get some of my own pottery together as well, I was just so busy with other peoples, but now I have some pots, and theyre selling well, tonnes of new ideas. So It’s 1st November & I’ve been looking forward to winter mode, with less people, shorter work hours and more time to make pots, but that hasn’t happened yet, demand is high. The plan is to upgrade the facilities, rethink the space, sort out better shelving, storage & display, install a new more reliable kiln, stay open all winter, work on weather and waterproofing the building some more and just keep going!
I have now got a second potters wheel, have a lovely kiln waiting for the electricity to be upgraded & installed. Have a new card reader to be able to take plastic payments. Have signed up with trip advisor, Handmade in Wester Ross, updated various profiles on various web wotsits, have been investing in small tools & gizmos, more aprons and have applied for funding to help grow things. I’m going to need some sort of help, like a graduate next summer, definitely need a bigger more reliable kiln up and running, it’s so frustrating not being able to get reliable results or make anything bigger than 25cm x 25cm. So i guess it’s all been a success!? I’m still spending too much time exhausted, too much time running around on unpaid community projects, and never having enough money, or any relaxation time, but I am loving doing pottery again, loving teaching it & loving this studio space. Here’s august, September & October at the Pottery in pictures.11870708_10207600367238220_8870613914525878928_nOh and a comics workshop in Inverness.

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I built a bench to dry pots on on nice days, It’s also enjoyed by my regular on-site company, Piotr the Forest Officer, Terry The woodturner & my Dad.
Father took a photo of me one day at the doorway, it seemed familiar so I looked back through the archive;

P1010821Here is Finlay Murchison The blacksmith stood at the same door probably around a century ago.

I’ve been making coo’s and sheep, which sell faster than I can make them… touristy, but If it brings in the pennies…

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Rakuing this big pot was a bit of a challenge! But it survived.

20150911_160152 20150911_160214I’ve been cordoning off the yard for safety while doing the Raku, but plan doing some public demos next year with safety stuff for people to join in with the smoke & fire.20150918_111047 20150918_120702

Melted Glass tiles are another best seller.


I now have a lovely electric wheel as well as my treadle wheel, It works really well having groups of visitors & two being able to throw at once.


Planning for the cold winter months I built a log store out of palette wood and some scraps lying about. I just need to fill it with firewood now.

Leaf bowls with melted glass are a great hit, It was a favorite design when i was in production last time before 2005.

20151002_114412 melted glass stars20151002_114538 20151003_115112

Before & After firing my wee kiln with a families Glazed ware.

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Bird Bowl experiment.




A market display.


The ever changing studio display.


Leaf tiles & bowls.


Taking some time to have a throwing session.


Another Market display, another day.
Next, more about the people & upcoming events….

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This entry was posted on November 1, 2015 by in Blog, The Pottery Studio and tagged , , .

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