Best Birthday pressie EVER!

Best Birthday pressie EVER!

Hi there.

Thanks for popping in. Thought I’d just pop in this evening before I sign off for a week or so. If I’m going to switch off, take a break, then I hope you understand that the blog will go quiet too. Just a week. Blogs take a lot of time to prepare and write too. I do them daily, and I do them gladly. One day at a time they are a big part of my daily routine. But a week off is a week off.

Been pottering away all afternoon. Dave gave me an early birthday pressie on Friday – and I cannot tell you how excited I was! A proper, all singing all dancing – wait for it – Clay Extruder! What is a clay extruder? I hear you ask…

It’s a sausage maker! Well, coil maker, to be precise…look!! You put the clay in the top, add the coil size extruder plate you want at the bottom – and Bob’s your ankle!!

Pull on the lever – and out squirt perfect coils. Cheating? Nope. Brilliant.

The only thing about using the extruder has always been the clean up. At class you always had to spend a good half hour cleaning the tube thoroughly, because of course, dry clay on the sides just mixes in with fresh clay being extruded – and you get lumps.

So last week I was watching pottery experts on Youtube – which is what we often do in the evenings – pottery or woodwork. Both are fascinating. Anyway, I happened to catch somebody using an extruder, and he packed the clay into a plastic bag first, then cut the end off before dropping it down the tube. Think Cake icing.

Mmmm. I thought. Worth a try…..

Worth a try?!?!? Worth a try?!? Why oh why didn’t we do this at class?? The tube was spotless, there was no clean up except for the extruder shape, and next to no waste. Bag holds out right to the end and then just gets binned.

I thought I’d try the smaller holes, to see if the clean up trick worked as well…PERFECT.

So what did I make with all these coils? Well, a vase actually. Cut a base by using a big yoghurt pot lid, and then started building on top of it.

Up up and up she went, one coil at a time…

Smoothed it all out with a metal kidney, and prepared a groove for a slip inlay…

More will be revealed. This isn’t the tall vase I am going to throw – but there’s something very special about hand-built art. More organic, more authentic somehow. I understand why it costs so much more than thrown pottery too.

What a glorious afternoon though. I love hand-building, but coiling is always a bit of a chore if you have to hand roll the coils, and if you use the extruder, you always have to factor in the mop up at the end.

The plastic bag trick is a game changer – and it works like a charm.

Have a good week. I shall be on TV on Friday 9am and 1pm, showcasing some glorious butterfly stamps illustrated by ~ Cherry Green. They are beautiful. Hope you can join me.

Stay safe.

Love and Hugs

Barb xxx

72 thoughts on “Best Birthday pressie EVER!

  1. Hi Barb

    It looks like you’ve had a good time in your pottery studio. I shall be watching the Throw Down this evening – I have no real interest in pottery but that show is wonderful!
    Good idea to really take a break this week. You will be very much missed but we in the Shac all support your decision. Switch off and have a lovely, relaxing week. See you on Hochanda on Friday.

    Take care
    Zara

  2. That’s Brilliant…glad you’ve had a great afternoon..what a fabulous birthday present!! Enjoy your week off..you’ve certainly earned it..!!
    Love & Hugs Anne xx

  3. EXTRUDER what a great word – that looks such fun Barbara. Will be watching the Pottery Throw Down tonight. I have a pot/vase that looks like that – I inherited it from my Mum. She always told me it was what they called a Mincemeat Jar. Anyway I use it as a vase. Have a great week, lots of fun times with your pottery + lots of cuddles with those Vikings. Have fun, so pleased you are looking so much better xxxx

  4. Enjoy your holiday
    Have a lovely time at home. The early birthday present looks like a, brilliant time saving tool , take care hugs julie xxx

  5. Enjoy your week off you so totally deserve it. Mind you it will be strange not reading your daily blog. Take care and rest xxx

  6. I have loved seeing that being used on the pottery showdown. It reminds me of the fun I had playing with my granddaughter and her play dough. Clever you with the plastic bag as well!
    I shall miss your daily missives, but I am so glad that you are switching off totally for the week. It will do you the world of good and you deserve some R&R. So until Friday, take care and enjoy. Hugs. Annette X

  7. Hi Barbara.
    Good to see the colour back in your cheeks. Have a great week, looks like you might even get some sunshine later. Please could I set you just one task? We watched your final film recommendation this afternoon. Thoroughly enjoyed all three of them. So if you could find a few more we would be most grateful!
    Enjoy yourself & rest up.
    Love Lynne xx

    1. In case Barbara doesn’t get to give a Netflix recommendation, my daughter has suggested a true story we might enjoy (you could Google a synopsis) – “Penguin Bloom”. I’m going to give it a try……

  8. Thats so looks like a good start to the recharging of your batteries. Doing something uou enjoy that you can loose yourself in. Also glad that one of the shacers that was
    watching claritea made the call to the office. Take care and try and switch off xx

    1. Hi Helen, I phoned Jeannine, and told her how concerned we all were. She reassured me that they knew that everything wasn’t ok with Barbara and that Paul was on his way to her. It was such a relief when I heard Paul’s voice when he got there.
      Take care Helen
      Elaine x

  9. I hope you aren’t reading this but nonetheless have a good break. You and Dave have more than earned it by keeping us occupied xx

  10. Have a lovely relaxing week off, you certainly deserve it and you have a fantastic team that will look after all things Clarity in your absence, go potty lol and enjoy playing with your clay.
    Lisa x

  11. Wow a coil maker !! How very exciting. I never used to mind the hours spent hand rolling coils , trying to perfect the evenness, but if this tool had been available I would have been very happy to use it.
    Great present . Go Barbara !!xx

  12. I saw one of those on the wall in the Pottery Throwdown and thought it looked a useful bit of kit, I think they used it for handles and it only produced one sausage ? Yours looks a bit more upmarket. Enjoy your week off, will look forward to seeing your pottery makes after. Enjoy the cats too – I expect they’ll be roaming the whole garden by the end of the week! Are you making them personalised cat’s bowls? Make sure you rest too. X x x

  13. I will miss the daily blogs but you definitely deserve a week off. Have a good time playing with your new toy and a good rest as well.
    Love and hugs
    Yvonne

  14. Enjoy your time off Barbara, it certainly looks like you need it, have just watched most of fridays a moment of clarity and I was rally worried about you! Hope you get yourself checked out, it may be that you are trying to do too much but equally the drs might be an idea! Take care of yourself and please try to forget everything else for a while xx

  15. Have a great break and enjoy making your pots. The shape and size remind me of some Bronze age pots we found at a Bronze age burial mound that was supposed to have been ploughed out. The pots were beautifully decorated collared urns, which were decorated using ropes etc etc. In my garden I have put in a few trenches in and found pieces of Ashton wear medieval pottery decorated with wheels and stamps. Have a lovely Birthday, chill and take care of you and yours.
    Stay safe and well.

  16. Hello Barbara
    I am glad to hear you are having a complete break, well from us anyway, blogging and Shac-ing. Here’s hoping you can just ‘potter’ for the whole week. And eat, sleep and go for lovely walks with Dave.
    See you in a week,
    Love
    Roz.xxx

  17. Glad you’ve had a relaxing home based weekend, great to hear about the Viking’s latest antics and your latest pottery adventures. Have a wonderful week off, we’ll see you on the other side.
    Take care, Claire x

  18. I’m so glad you have done something for yourself today. Keep it up for the rest of the week. Enjoy doing only what you want for a week and spending time with those cars x

  19. Lovely to see you have been having fun doing some Pottery! – That all sounds like a win win with the extruded clay and bag idea -brilliant! How lovely to hear you are going to do ‘me’ time this week, get stuck in girl! well deserved and the best tonic you could have right now. Looking forward to Friday. Have a lovely, lovely week x

  20. You really deserve your time off. I hope you and Dave have a great time not having to focus on everything else.
    I will miss your daily blog, as I sit down with a cup of tea, and imagine you are sitting next to me catching up, but glad you are having your own time as you give so much, for which I am truly thankful for, keeping me sane particularly over the last year.

  21. What a lovely early birthday pressie, Barbara. Have fun with your new toy and enjoy your break! You deserve it! Sending hugs and lots of love xxx

  22. Hi Barbara
    So so glad you are taking time out.
    Your pottery cave looks great and your pottery creation well it’s perfect.
    Enjoy your you time
    Hugs 🤗

  23. It is so good to see you happy Barbara. What a fantastic new hobby you have. Your hubby is so good to get you such a fab present. Enjoy your week off. You deserve some time away from it all. Take care. Hugs xxx

  24. Glad you’ve had a good day with your pots and even better that you’re taking a week off. You need it and I hope it does you the world of good. Take Care.

  25. Such great news you have a fantastic week rest lots fun peace and hopefully a bit of Sunshine., with your little Viking’s and your new toy loved watching pottery throw down even Bob said he would like ago so said have to visit Barbara when we are allowed. Rest enjoy some lay ins lots love hugs hope Dave can join you too hugs Joy xxx

  26. For got to say one of best birthday presents was finding had a birthday I owe a present in 7 months yes was going to be a Nan in the coming December one of best gifts 🎁 ❤️

  27. Wow – love the big pasta maker!! Have a lovely week of and dong your own thing. Just watched the pottery programme – looks like a very skillful past time!

  28. So glad to see you having fun !Many years ago when my daughter was about 4 ( She is 42now ) she got a playdough extruder from Santa .My husbands football friends called for a game and several of them spent the rest of the afternoon just playing with her extruder !Rest up, have fun and we will be here when you are ready .XXX

  29. Hi Barb,
    I am really pleased that you are having a proper week off from work, it will do you the world of good. Yes we will miss the blog and Shac Shac but your health and well being is more important. Just think you can potter away, extruding ( is that a word?) to your heart’s content and playing with those gorgeous Vikings. What a brilliant birthday present from lovely Dave. It reminds me of my Kenwood sausage maker! Take care and enjoy your time off knowing you have a brilliant team looking after all things Clarity, love and hugs Alison xxx

  30. So right to completely (well almost) take the week off. We will survive and will appreciate all the more when you are back. What a shame you can’t take Friday off as well.
    I hope you and Dave can spend some precious time together. Enjoy the Vikings. I loved seeing their first tentative taste of the outside world. No holding them now.
    Take care and keep safe Barbara xx

  31. Thrilled to read you are taking almost a week break. Wishing you a wonderfully, relaxing week – taking care of you. Barbara, you do so much for everyone else and always concerned for their well being… now it is time for you to focus on you!
    Thank you for sharing your pottery adventures – always fun and exciting to see what you are doing.

    Looking forward to when you are back. I truly admire you and I thank you for and appreciate your energy, positivity, laughter, storytelling, inspiration and creativity that you continually share. You truly are amazing!

  32. Have a good week, Barb. I suspect you might get something from today’s Time of Reflection. All about looking after ourselves. You are doing the right thing. Lots of love. Hxxx

  33. Hello Barb, Well Dave is certainly a keeper right. what a wonderful early Birthday present, he certainly knows how to cheer you up. A great tip for keeping it clean too. I love you tube, I could sit for hours watching demo’s, mostly arty stuff, and with your Shack videos, well let’s just say that the day job is an annoying necessity (don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for my job, but would much rather be creating). Have a fabulous week off Barb, relax with Dave, take some lovely walks, maybe get harnesses for the Vikings. Take care and stay safe everyone. Bx

  34. Love seeing your pottery posts Barbara, and what you are making. I also really enjoy reading about the techniques and when you use your own designs. I went to Berkswell pottery for classes and loved it. I have a cake stand, bowls, and I handmade lots of pie dishes and gave them to friends. Every time the pots came out of the kiln it was a wonderful surprise and so exciting. Have a good rest Barbara and see you in the shack shac soon xxxxxxx

  35. Lovely to see you enjoying your pottery. It looks like proper switch off time for you. Well done Dave – brilliant present and timing. Barbara enjoy your time away from the daily routine, rest up, don’t return too soon. Looking forward to seeing you rested and full of verve again.

  36. Enjoy you’re break. Peace Love and Travel gently. You are looking better already. I will join Paul tomorrow for groovi, I am on my third plate with my Groovi starter kit. Waiting for colour tomorrow. Take care. Xx

  37. What a good job Dave was organised with your birthday present so that he could give it to you early – definitely a good incentive to taking some time off. Your pot/vase looks fantastic & certainly the ready made coils speed things up & gives your more creative time, so have your own SHAC shack time & we look forward to seeing your creations when they are fired.
    Have the kittens been out in the garden again – it has been very wet up here but is looking a bit brighter today although no sunshine yet.
    Have a good week off although you will be on the TV on Friday.

  38. So glad your ok. Have a Fabulous time off, rest up and enjoy some time for yourself. We’ll all be happy to amuse ourselves till our next bus journey with you.
    Take care, stay safe lovely Lady xx

  39. I have only just caught up with your blog from yesterday, Barb. I had a day off from my computer yesterday. Such great news, that you are going to have a complete week off, including your blog. Yes, as lots of people have already said – we will all miss you – BUT it’s time for you to do this. Well, a bit late really, but lets not go there.
    I have been watching the Great Pottery Throw down on tv, and really feel for those brave people. What a fantastic early birthday present from Dave, I can feel your excitement and happiness from here! Have fun Barb, it will do you the world of good. Love and hugs to you and Dave xx

  40. Please take care of you! Drink plenty of fluids and rest during this time off. See you when you’re ready lovely lady. I hope Dave can take time off to be with you. Thank you for being you! xx

  41. Hi Barbara
    Have a restful week doing what you want to do. Hope you feel better soon. Maybe the day you do a moment of clarity once a month, you should knock the shac shack on the head so you’re not rushing so much. I’m sure we can all cope with not doing the shac one Friday a month, most of us are doing the moment of clarity anyway. Take care and stay safe.
    Xxxxx

  42. Hi Barbara
    What a wonderful early birthday present, love red pot you’ve made from it. I see it was one of the large yoghurt lids from early lockdown days you used! 😂. Good to see you’re looking brighter. Enjoy your week off, looks like the weather is going to be good so you can relax and have a proper break.
    Take care.
    Love Diane xxx

  43. WOW that’s amazing Barbara – reminds me of doing playdoh with the grandkids lol. Enjoy your week of “potterying” – so good to have “Barbara” time. Take care and God bless xx

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