My First Blog 

I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Liz and I have known Rachel for the past 26 years first as a customer and now as a friend.

We have been described during our many teaching sessions together as kin to a comedy duo. Our sense of humour is very similar which means we laugh at the same silly things. I need to have everything organised and prepared and Rachel is the total opposite. For those of you who know her she is very organised but in her own brain. This is due to her working on her own for many years. Any of you who work on your own will know this to be true.

Rachel now calls me Chief Blogger – this is my first attempt at this type of thing. I wouldn’t say I am an expert but looking forward to letting you all know what’s going on in the Pottery/Ceramic/Fired Art Design world.

Well what to tell you about the last two months at Fired Art Designs.

Eventful? I would say it has been eventful.

  • Not only have we had people popping in to create their own ceramics and pottery, but we have had some workshops which have gone down well with other shop owners. Rachel is a mindful of knowledge and expertise and is happy to share this with her customers and friends.
  • Having had one too many to drink but still been able to keep it together to sell goods and do a demonstration to over 30 people.
  • There was a fire which I will tell you about later.
  • Up till the wee small hours (3.30am to be precise) painting and glazing a handmade castle which might I add turned out beautiful even though I could hardly see what I was doing at that time in the morning.
  • We have had a group of ladies staying over the air b&b pottery flat for one of their 50th birthdays and the group then spent the day with us in the pottery.

Pottery Exbo

So, if you follow Rachel at Fired Art Designs you will all know that she attended this year’s Pottery Exbo in Lincolnshire. I attended with her this year. This was to help her man the stall whilst she mingled with other stall holders and gave her expert advice.

We arrived the night before the Pottery Exbo to set up the stall and be prepared for the following day. The plan was to have a meal and drink and go to bed earlyish (we had a lovely room, so we wanted to make the most of it). I had brought some face masks and girly treats to use to help us relax before the Pottery Exbo the following day. Rachel had also brought some wine which we left in the room for later.

Well that was the plan only what happened didn’t really follow that plan.

The stall was all set up by 9pm. Rachel had already checked at the hotel desk and they said we could have a meal in the bar so that was ok. Only when we got to the bar all they could serve us was a sandwich each which was not great, but we accepted this as we were exhausted and hungry and couldn’t be bothered to argue.

Having discussed it we decided to order one bottle of wine. This was fine, but it led to another and me fetching the one from the room we bought with us. We were also bought some wine from our lovely Pottery Exbo colleagues.

Our understanding is (and this is what we are sticking to) that we both fell asleep in the bar and had to be escorted to our room. We cannot agree nor disagree with this as we cannot remember the events after about 11pm.

The following morning I woke up checked the time and shouted to Rachel “its quarter past 8 and this thing starts at 9am we better get our skates on!!!!” We both felt like we had only just got in bed and now we were having to get up. Anyway, we managed quick showers and packed our bags and headed down for breakfast before taking up our rightful place at the stall. Rachel without any shoes on as she couldn’t find hers in the bedroom.

Anyway, suffice to say that we heard all day about what we had got up to and how much of a fun night everyone had had in our company. We only wished we could remember how much fun we were 😊!!!.

And the saga of the shoes continued throughout the day and Rachel did a “Sandie Shaw” type demonstration to around 35 people. We found them eventually stuffed way under the divan bed in the room – god knows how she had managed to do that but that’s where they were. Apparently, this is Rachel’s norm with her shoes when she takes them off, so no one steals them she shoves them under the bed but it’s not usually a divan 😊!!!  Throughout the day we had lots of people visiting the stall the main thing we sold on the day were the fantastic sponges which Rachel has designed, and you can buy from firedartdesigns.co.uk.

We look forward to seeing you all there next year and there may be more tales to tell who knows.

Busy Weekend and “The Fire”

So I told you we had a fire well let me explain.

We had a very busy weekend in October and I stayed with Rachel on the Friday night to get everything prepared for the weekend ahead.  I should have known after the Exbo escapades what would happen. We were up till 3.30am making sure everything was ready. I was painting a hand-built castle and glazing it to go in the kiln to be ready for the seminar on Sunday. I had a couple of red wines to help me focus on the painting😉.

Saturday 

On the Saturday we had a group of ladies staying in the pottery apartment for one of their 50th birthdays. They spent the day with us on the making various items and experienced using the potter’s wheel for the first time. They left us a lovely comment on our feedback form. “I wanted to do something different for my 50th birthday and it excelled my expectations. I will not only have lovely memories but also surprisingly amazing pottery to remind me of a very happy weekend.” They were a lovely group of ladies and they obviously enjoyed the experience.

Sunday 

Sunday was the start of the shop owners’ seminars – the first one being a hand building day. They were taught how to hand build a castle from clay and every castle was different. They made a witch from clay and again everyone was different.

Monday and Tuesday

Monday and Tuesday again hand building. They made a robin, an angel or gnome, some beads and various hand painting techniques on ceramic plates.

Food 

We had some lovely home made food over the course of the weekend including hand made pizzas by Rachel. Also a hand made cheesecake supplied by Liz’s sister in law from Sweets Treats and More.

You remember I mentioned a fire. Well let me explain.

So, Rachel thought it was a good idea to dry some aprons on the top of the kiln. The kiln was still hot from firing the previous day. She had put a bung in the top and covered it with a plate.  My instructions – “put them on top of the kiln to air them” so I did as I was told.

Whilst we were all working away painting and building clay I checked them from time to time and took one off as it had dried. A short time later I could smell burning. I knew this would be the aprons. As I approached them I could see some smoke coming from them. I picked up the bundle and proceed to go outside the studio. I threw them on the ground and tried to stamp on them to get the heat dispersed. However, that day it was one of the windiest days of the year. Anyone who knows anything about fire knows that when you are starting a fire outside and you get a bit of a glow you blow on it to make it catch alight so that’s what happened.

In the meantime, the people attending the seminar came out with water to try to put out the flames. But by this time the aprons had really caught fire and were blowing towards my car. All I could think about is that this would cause a massive explosion if my car caught on fire. It would not only take out my car but everyone else’s and maybe the pottery. Anyway, in the end we managed to put the flames out. This left a pile of black soaked pottery aprons on the drive which did not resemble how they started. Rachel’s husband picked them up later when he arrived home from work wondering what on earth had happened.

Rachel appeared down from upstairs asking us if we had managed to capture it on camera. “It wasn’t our first thought” I said.

Someone had the afterthought of why we didn’t call the fire brigade and we might have had some young burly firemen attending.

Well we were not quick enough to call them. Anyway, knowing our luck, we would have ended up with some older not so burly firemen turning up 😊

Next Blog to follow:

Stay tuned for the next Fired Art Designs Blog. I know having spent 20 +++ years with Rachel there will be plenty to talk about.

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