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Monday 29 September 2014

The top of Canterbury!

Yesterday late morning, Mike and I were on the Kent Eye, a Ferris wheel at the University of Kent campus. That's the highest hill in Canterbury. You may wonder why the Ferris wheel is on the campus. This Wednesday is the 50th anniversary for the University, and they are celebrating in a big way! Mike and I both studied here, well, in different years on different subjects. Mike works there since, and we live close to it.

I had never imagined that a Ferris wheel comes so close to us! One good thing about living in Canterbury is that interesting things would come once a while. We had the Tour de France, the Olympic torch relay and so on. Also the Archbishop and the Royal family, as well as the former governor of Bank of the England would come once a while. I saw him in a local restaurant!

Very tall! 

The little tower is the Cathedral.
 Eliot College and the labyrinth. There is also our house, well, the roof of our house!

Eliot college

There are mainly children with adults. They looked mesmerised. We both behaved like children!

Blue sky! 
Well, that was my a half day off. After lunch I did my witchcraft! Glaze making! :D 

I added the legs of daddy longlegs. Joking! :D 

Then we did more work. But about four, we suddenly decided to pick apples. Look at them! They are from one tree! It's a bumper crop, the best ever!    


Mike baked an apple tart, the 4th of this season, in the morning. I expect we will have loads of apple tarts to enjoy! :D

Mike's apple tart! I'm glad I have married him! :D 

Saturday 27 September 2014

What does a ceramic artist do when she is relaxing? She makes little birds!

Hello! A week has passed so quickly again. I have been working on Angels. I have also made a trio of whippets for a lovely lady and more for my shop. But when I got tired and wanted to relax, I made little birds for fun! Here are some photos form my studio this week.


A tiny wren

A woodpecker

He is ready for bisque-firing.

The last but not the least! I must share this sweetest card I have ever been given! A lady who purchased the Rabbit Girl sent me a thankyou card! How wonderful! The card is on my studio shelf with other lovelies!  Meow!

Thank you so much! 

Monday 22 September 2014

Sunbury Embroidery Gallery

The weekend seemed short to me. How was yours? Mike and I went to a meeting at Sunbury Embroiery Gallery, in Sunbury on the Thames on Saturday. My work and Alan Emsden's will be exhibited there next March. If you remember, we both did an art fair at Teddington in early summer. At the PV, Barbara from the gallery picked us for the exhibition. We both are so excited!

It was our first visit. It is a leafy area along the Thames, The gallery has a beautiful garden and a nice cafe. It is such a pleasant place! It is close to Hampton Court Palace.

We parked at the car park, and walked on a path covered with vines and wisteria. The path was dark and quiet. Then at the end of the path, you suddenly see the beautiful garden! I felt I was wandering into Queen of Heart's garden in Alice in the Wonderland! It was a walled garden with tranquility. Shame, it wan't a bright day. There are colourful summer bedding flowers. A volunteer lady told me that it has the national collection of clematis.

At the end of path

The walled garden

We were late. There was an incident after we got off the motorway, and we got stuck there about 20 minutes to wait for the car to be moved away from the road. When we were walking into a cafe, Mike soon spotted Barbara and Alan waving from a table inside.

The gallery and cafe

We looked inside the gallery, and I was shown plinths I could use. Suddenly I noticed typical parakeets' calls in tall trees. There they are! Three wild Indian ringnecks are flying over us. Then we discussed more details about the exhibition. When we finished the meeting, it was already two o'clock. We decided to have cakes and coffee at the cafe, and explore the garden. It used to be, we were told, the vegetable garden for a large house.

The gallery is boat shape. Alan and Mike

I walked slowly to feel the space, air and atmosphere to think about a title for the exhibition.

 After that, we went to the Thames, which is just the other side of a road. As soon as we appeared, a dozen of geese, three swans and coots came toward us. Apparently nobody had fed them for a while. We didn't have anything to feed them. But I stretched my arm to pat a signet! He thought it was a chip, and tried to eat my digit. Don't worry, I was safe. :D

Hungry signets
On the way back was eventless luckily.  We came home tired but happy.

Thursday 18 September 2014

Come to see my work in Etsy Art Exhibition OPEN!

I am delighted to tell you that my work has been selected for Etsy's first ever art exhibition in London! I am thrilled to be part of it!

I had to keep it quiet for a while until the official announcement. How exciting! There will be 15 UK artists in this exhibition. It is the same week as the Frieze is held in London.

Do come along if you can! I will be at the 'Meet the artists' event on Saturday!.

Friday Oct 17 - 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday Oct 18 - 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday Oct 19 - 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
5th Base Gallery, 23 Heneage St, London E1 5LJ

Curator talk: "Start Your Own Art
Collection," Friday, October 17 at 4 p.m.

"Meet the Artists", Saturday, October 18
from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Here is the link to the Etsy announcement

Sunday 14 September 2014

Origami, glazing and walk in the woods.

How was your weekend? I had a good one! Yesterday morning, my friend, Sandra, came over to learn how to make origami cranes for her art project. I haven't made cranes for a long time, but I soon remembered how to do. We had good laugh, too. I probably distracted her from origami by my perpetual chatting! Poor Sandra! She needed six cranes, but we made eight together. It was fun!


After that I worked hard. Since Thursday I had been preparing for glaze-firing.What exactly do I do, you might wonder. I paint underglaze, oxides and glazes on my sculptures. Then I wipe some of them and wax them to make resist, and repeat all painting again until I feel there would be enough depth in colours. It requires concentration and attention to details. Delicate parts are likely to be damaged during this process. I can't remember how many times I have almost cried! I held my breath and concentrated on dropping glaze with a cocktail stick on 2mm gap between hair part and face part. I was exhausted by six' o'clock, and slept before ten!

These three are going to be glaze-fired tomorrow.

Angel - on commission. The clients like the hair to be strawberry blonde.

The first boy to be glaze fired

Hair is very difficult to do a neat job! 

Today I finished preparing most of sculptures before lunchtime and loaded the kiln! How nice! Then I had my first half day off of the month! We went to the Blean woods for walk.

Blean woods

I like walking on unofficial footpaths at random, avoiding people. Then I can feel the woods!


 There are lots of various mushrooms, green chestnuts and some scabiosa.

 The most beautiful things was the the green light coming through leaves.

Beautiful green light
There are decayed trees. They go back to the soil.  

Really big decayed tree
We had walked about an hour. The woods has a steep slope, and when we climbed to go back to parking, we were tired. But you don't need to pity on us. The apple tart Mike baked from windfall apples was waiting for us! Yummy! I was so happy to have married Mike! :D Happy autumn, everyone!

Mike's apple tart


'They went alone! Pearl and I were left behind! I wanted to chase squirrels! I'm sulking....'

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Rushlight Gallery, Opening exhibition

As soon as September came, it became warmer! Not only here in England, I saw NY had sizzling heat at the US Open. So that's it. Summer reboots in September!

I am having a break this evening. I finally finished all things needed to be done, for now. I have spent three days making boxes, packing and writing! Although I have sent my work globally, I had never posted my work to galleries. I usually deliver them in person, as they are in the south east region. It is tricky to send multiple works. The rate of accidents increases. But this time, there was no option; the gallery is in Norfolk. 

Rushlight Gallery is founded by Jules Allen, the co-founder and art director of Turn the page, artists' book fair, in Norwich. It will be open on the 20th September. My work will be on show from the 20th September until 30th October for the opening exhibition. How nice! I finally packed the large box and posted it (with insurance!) this morning. Imagine what a relief it was!

I took a group photo before I packed them. I hope they will travel safely! Do come to meet them if you can! 

Rushlight Gallery
Carlton House, Market Place, Reepham, Norfolk
20 September -  31 October

A group photo before the trip to Norfolk! 

This afternoon, I had some writing up to do for another exhibition. This one will be in London. I will share the details another day! 

Duchess of Macaron

Lastly here is a cautionary tale. What will happen if you steal other's food every day? You lose waist and become a slug. 

'If you look very carefully, I still have waist! ' 

Pearl is getting fatter and Topaz whose food was stolen, was getting skinnier! She is supposed to be a svelte whippet! :D  

Saturday 6 September 2014

Did you know Angels chat inside the kiln?

Hello everyone! I have just loaded the kiln. Phew!

Mike helped me to carry the shelf to the kiln room, the garage, this evening. 
I have been slowly working to prepare for the firing over the last three days. I am eager and relatively quick to make, but after that I suddenly become hesitant. I usually paint porcelain slip and underglaze before bisque-firing. I tend to undo and try another things/colours. Suddenly productivity and efficiency go low and I get frustrated.

For the last three days, the kiln shelf had remained 75% empty. Anytime I saw it I felt a bit of pressure.

The shelf had remained same for last 3 days!

So, I am feeling a relief now. Inside the kiln, Angels seem to be having a chat. These shots remind me of commuter trains in Tokyo! :D

I have heard that we are going to be fired! Really?

Will it be hot?  I guess so! 

I have made a pair of hands for a commissioned work and they are also in the kiln now.

I need to get a few admin job done as I haven't done much last few days. So that's tomorrow's job! 


In the meantime, our dogs, Topaz and Pearl are completely crazy about squirrels stealing our hazel nuts from the garden. Topaz, especially, seems to be possessed by the squirrels! She watches the garden without eating her food. This morning, I gave her a halo, sellotape one! 

Topaz with a halo

   Pumpkin lost her last tail feather. She became a quail!

Quail style Pumpkin