Happy Friday – Not one Mug, but three!

Happy Friday – Not one Mug, but three!

Hi there.

Good of you to pop in.

Friday’s blog a private peek, right? Well, today I wanted to give you an update on my potty pottery antics….

You know I’ve been going to a pottery class on Wednesday afternoons, to stop myself going potty? The theme for this term is cups, mugs and beakers (although I think Eunice the teacher added beakers as an after thought- just in case some of us didn’t master the handles!)

I showed you my first attempt at rolling the clay a while ago when I made these 3 mugs. The object of the exercise was to make a set – in other words make 3 mugs that look as though they belong together. I reckon I nailed that task, Mr Sugar! Although I was a bit concerned about leakage around the funky seal at the base. This is where design overrides practicality!

Next we had to apply the glaze…I went with a combination of white and copper oxide. Just thought the oxide might give the pattern on the mugs a distressed look. Then they had to go back in the kiln,, and it was time to wait.

Woke up on Wednesday morning and was already excited about how my mugs might turn out.

I kid you not, I was SO SO SO chuffed. I can’t remember the last time I got so stoked about anything I have made!

Check these out!

You know I’m always going on about predictable art versus unpredictable art? Well, pottery art has to be the most unpredictable of all – especially when you have absolutely no prior knowledge! I had no idea what to expect. But the joy when I saw my little mugs on the shelf ! And Eunice grinning at me, because she KNEW I would be over the moon! I couldn’t wait to serve Dave a cuppa in his new mug! (But I did have to tell him to let go of the base, that the handles DO work!)


And it’s just like what WE do, like cardmaking and papercraft. Once you experience a modicum of success, then it fires you up, spurs you on to do something else.

So. I found my half finished coil pot, which I had started the week before with the shitty brown clay. Crank it’s called.

A Cranky Pot made by a Potty Crank.

And I learned how to start coming back inwards – one coil at a time!

My friend Magda decided to persevere with her boat. She got a bit despondent because it went all floppy and her arm started aching (My word Gray!! Steady !!!) so I power rolled some coils for her, because I’m quite good at them. What good are friends if they can’t roll a few sausages for you!

Beavered away at my coil pot for the WHOLE afternoon; even rolled a neck and fitted it:

Before next week, I have to design what’s going round the urn, or whatever you want to call it. Looks rather like an African water pot, don’t you think? Maybe a herd of roaming wilderbeasts would be nice? Or the Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Or Ramses and Nefertiti caught in an embrace, with Moses watching round the corner? Bit busy…Hahahaha.

  That’s a treat to myself tonight – sketchpad and a pencil. More will be revealed.

Thank heaven for distraction. Just something else to think about other than business.

Hasta Mañana!

Love & Hugs



PS I was at the front of the queue when they suggested a morning on the wheels during half term!! I need to make some more pots in readiness for the Raku day in November!

43 thoughts on “Happy Friday – Not one Mug, but three!

  1. Those mugs are great, bet you had some laughs pulling the handles! Never seen a pottery class that wasnt reduced to fits of laughter doing that, and any men in the class reduced to serious blushing, cant think why. I have a feeling there will be a Clarity pottery line on the horizon in the future.

  2. Gosh you are enthusiastic. Well done the mugs look great, I would be proud of them as well. I am thinking of signing Fred up to an art workshop for a birthday present( so determined to get him creating again ). It will mean I will have to go as well, now my artistic skills are zero. This could be a challenge. Keep going on your pottery, great to have a time for relaxation. xx

  3. Wow they look awesome – a little better than Barbara’s efforts on The Good Life – do you remember?? Love the colours you chose – very you. I can’t wait to see what you put on your coil pot – it looks stunning already. Roll on next week. Enjoy your cuppa. xxx

  4. Those mugs are brilliant. When I did a term of pottery at school (a long time ago), I loved the mystery of the glazes, and how they never came out as expected. I have toyed with the idea of finding lessons again, but have not plucked up courage yet. Not sure if my thumbs would take the pulling and pushing, but if I don’t try, I will never know….. xxx Maggie (Silvercrafter)

    1. Hi Maggie
      A friend and I gave up due to the class teacher having favourites and ignoring the rest of us, many years ago. But, I would certainly give it another try! As you say, the total alchemy of the glazing stage is so exciting! And you could always do ‘slab work’ which isn’t so hard on the thumbs?!
      Miss you in the Playground, love, Di xx And our lovely little pup called Dudley. Look for Dudley The Havanese on YouTube if you want a giggle.

  5. Beautiful mugs, think your artistic nature can lend it’s hand to anything. Glad you both enjoyed using your new mugs. Xx

    1. Hi Donna, hope I sleep tonight too, I’ve had an rotten cough for over a week hardly slept at all. Did make a card tonight though. Been and lost my ‘a little bird told me’ die, goodness knows where I’ve put it. Hope you have a good weekend, weather not so good here.xx

  6. Wow, those mugs and your coil pot are brilliant. Oh to be so talented. My meagre efforts many years ago (when I was a very young teacher) resulted in some interesting colours but were very basic plaques. Still an enjoyable few hours spent playing with clay.


  7. Wow, the mugs are great! Love how you have glazed them! The coiled pot is superb! Think the little boy or girl flying with the kites would look fantastic round the middle!

  8. Oh wow! What a great start to your pottery career, lovely mugs ! Your pot looks almost heart shaped, I can picture the boy flying with the birds on the front !
    Or you could fill it with all the safari animals from your wedding ! X

  9. Barbara, if I saw these mugs on a shop shelf I would buy a set of 4. They are just my colours and the design is awesome.
    The urn looks very classical and I can definitely see your safari animals as decoration.
    Glad you are having fun, you look very happy in the photo with your friend.
    Mild day here in Norfolk today, a bit blappy but some sun so were able to get the lawn mowed at last.
    Enjoy your evening.

  10. How about cutting some paper masks with your lovely dies and then slip glazing your pot? There is something amazing about creating just for yourself isn’t there? I’ve done two pages in my mindfulness art journal today and written two poems, just trying to process how busy I am whilst John is away planning his dad’s funeral. Looking after your own mental health is just so important. X

  11. I know a lovely lady, her name is Barbara Gray.
    She wanted to take a little wander away from the ‘day to day’, just to stop her going dotty!
    So, keeping in with her creative bent, off she went to a class to make something potty.
    The outcome was something really rather useful – three beautiful mugs made out of clay!

    Think my attempt at poetry isn’t as good as your three lovely mugs Barb. Can you make me some??? I’ll get them from you at the next retreat! In fact……there’s a thought, Clarity Mugs!!! The mind boggles. Xxx

  12. Hi Barbara and everyone, love the mugs .
    A job really well done , I can see your mind going in overdrive just to challenge yourself and the husband like them to boot.
    Have a great weekend everyone.
    Lynn xx

  13. Mugs are fab and you are rightly proud of your work. You can tell by Dave’s smile that they even seem to make the tea taste even better – lol! Looking forward to seeing how you finish your coil pot as I’m loving the shape. Have a good weekend and the trolley escalator is a great innovation…anyone else spotted it? xx

  14. Mugs are fab and you are rightly proud of your work. You can tell by Dave’s smile that they even seem to make the tea taste even better – lol! Looking forward to seeing how you finish your coil pot as I’m loving the shape. Have a good weekend and the trolley escalator is a great innovation…anyone else spotted it? xx

  15. Wowza girlie, what an achievement.🤗
    Love them, especially the large handles. Not sure why but even mug handles seem to be getting smaller these days. (It’s not just curlywurlies is it!!)

  16. Your mugs you’ve made look excellent, a really nice colour. Its great that you are enjoying your pottery classes. Hope you manage some rest time, have a good weekend.xxx

  17. Hi Barb,
    Considering you’ve only been doing this pottery lark for such a short time, I think you are doing amazingly! The mugs are excellent and I love the colours you’ve chosen. Dave looks really happy and proud of his Wife! Have to say I can’t wait to see your pot finished as I love the shape of it. Well done you! Love and hugs Alison xxx

  18. Hi bloggy friends,
    Very windy and wet here today. Went to pick up our new car today – very nice. Got home to find wed left the house key in the old car! Fortunately we have a key safe so we could get in and the salesman is posting our key back to us. Nothing we do is ever straight forward I must say!! Have a good weekend, love and hugs Alison xxxx

  19. The mugs are fabulous !! The urn looks fantastic to, can’t wait to see what you decide to put on it. The boy & girl would look great around it. Would the stencil be too small to cut a shape from as the clay would shrink once fired ?

  20. So proud of you Barb. The mugs are truly beautiful and your pot reminds me of those Terramundi pots. I would order a Barbara Gray original without a doubt!! Well done xxx

  21. What lovely mugs Barbara. I loved pottery lessons at school (a long time ago!) I especially liked sticking my arm into the bucket of slip to mix it. Yes, you’ve guessed it, I’m a messy crafter! x 🙂

  22. Amazing results Barbara, Pottery is a great release from everything else thats going on, even if you enjoy everything else thats going on it’s good to take a step back and enjoy something totally different. Clears your mind ready to do anything. November will be very exciting with the Raku.xx

  23. Blimming fantastic mugs, I would be over the moon as well, definitely well done. Great work on your coiled pot too, have fun sketching x

  24. You are so talented and joyful in your art! I loved watching the Great Pottery Throw down, and thanks to that I have a bit of an idea about what you’re doing in your pottery classes. I struggle to throw a ball, never mind a pot!! Can’t wait to see how your pot reveals it’s beauty

  25. Your mugs are great well done. Your sausage pot is looking really good, I think you will be so pleased with it once it’s finished.

  26. The mugs are fantastic – I can see a whole new use for Clarity Stencils being pressed into clay to create patterns, and why not stamps too!
    Your coil pot has a great shape, enjoy creating its unique decorative design.
    Thanks for sharing your ‘potty’ journey, it truly is a reminder to us all to “get our craft on” and have fun.

  27. Your three mugs are beautiful. Love the colours. You are so clever. Never tried that craft. I don’t know that I would like the feel of the clay. I expect you will come up with a great design for your pot. Enjoy xxxxx

  28. Really love your mugs Barb, also the shape of your big sausage pot. Can’t wait to see it decorated and fired. I went back to school to do A levels when I was 36 one of which was art. I was lucky enough to be able to do some pottery during the course and found it immensely satisfying. I didn’t get a chance to go on the wheel but loved the modelling aspect of it.I still have two tall vases which I made, a round sausage one and a square slab one. My favourite creation was a large hollow tree in and around which I placed little models of owls,rabbits,mice etc. I wish you every success with your “potting” and hope you enjoy it for a long time to come.xxx P.S. I would buy a set of four of your mugs too!

  29. Hello Barb, the mugs are superb, love the swirly patterns, and the random bases, as well as the colour. I would buy a set like this in a heart beat. Your pot is looking fabulous, and I am sure you will find the perfect design for decorating it with. Bx

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