21 Sep 10

UK Handmade debut

A few months ago you might remember that I posted about my entry to the UK Handmade competition. Well I was joint winner in the competition and I’ve since gone on to become a more regular writer for UK Handmade.

If you want to read my article about Sunderland Pottery you can check it out in the Autumn edition on UK Handmade.

My next article for the magazine will be a recipe for Stollen in the Winter issue. I started eating Stollen since I don’t actually like Fruit Cake, I’m one of those difficult people when it comes to Christmas food.

Since I have to submit the article early it will mean having to make a Stollen in September. I’m also one of those people who moans about the seasonality of food so I’m not sure how I’ll feel about making it!

If you’ve never heard of UK Handmade its an online magazine dedicated to showcasing crafters, artists and designers specifically in the UK. Along with business articles you can often find lifestyle pieces on everything from growing vegetables to making home decorations.

Theres often quite a few opportunities available to UK makers on the forums or in regular newsletters so if your an artisan its well worth the time to sign up too.

14 Sep 10

Adventures in Florida

You might of noticed that I’ve recently been a bit quiet online, well thats due to me being away the last couple of weeks in sunny Florida!

It was my first family holiday in four years so it was quite a big deal. We all had a great time and I was kinda sad to come away but unless you win the lottery all good things must at some point end.


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8 Sep 10

How to care for ceramics – part two

Cleaning your pottery

Ok so you’ve now determined that your piece is in perfect condition, time to clean!

A lot of people recommend that you use hot soapy water which is fine, if your nervous about cleaning your pottery this is the way to go.

If you’ve got a casserole dish or anything with baked on food soak your piece first, ideally overnight with hot water and washing up liquid. This should release the stubborn food and allow you to clean your pot easier without the need to scrub it. You should do this to guarantee your piece comes out clean regardless of hand washing or putting it in the dishwasher.

If theres any kind of gold leaf on the surface of the pot you should use a damp cloth in gentle circular motions. Gold leaf can be very delicate especially on vintage pieces, if you were to wash it intensively it’d just rub off.
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1 Sep 10

How to care for ceramics – part one

Before we get started I just wanted to say that this is my method for looking after ceramics, if it doesn’t work for you then feel free to disregard my advice totally!

Ceramics are created to be used, eventually they need cleaning to keep them looking shiny. Some pottery pieces will require more tender loving care than others but if you look after them they’ll last for years to come.

Dealing with cracks

If you gently chime your piece of pottery using your finger it should make a high pitched ringing noise. If it doesn’t then you’ve got a crack, its up to you to decide if you can live with this or not. From a hygiene point of view cracks in a pot can be breeding grounds for bacteria, so it might be better to get rid of these.

Dealing with chips

Chips in pots have similar problems to cracks. Chips can equally pose a health hazard and a risk of personal injury, these are best thrown away.
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25 Aug 10

Konnie Kapow!

I first came across Konnie on the Folksy forums and was really taken with her unique and eye-catching cards. She and Mr Kapow, who also provides artwork for the cards, live in Glasgow.

I’ve been to Glasgow quite a few times and it has a growing reputation for independent artists and designers who break away from the madding crowd of mass production.

What I enjoy most about their cards is they’re really geared up for that special someone, theres nothing generic to be found here! As soon as I saw Konnie’s Cowboy cards it made me think of my Dad who loves to reminisce about being a young boy idolising John Wayne.
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