Loch Lomond Shores Artisan Market

Just a quick drive-by post (sorry, must try harder at blogging!!) to let you know that we’ll be at the Loch Lomond Shores Artisan Market this weekend along with dozens of other makers, with lots of lovely hand made goodies 10am till 4pm both Saturday and Sunday.  Hope to see you there.

What a gorgeous location for a market.    Photo (c) Loch Lomond Shores

What a gorgeous location for a market.
Photo (c) Loch Lomond Shores

LLS artisan market

Loch Lomond Shores Artisan Market

Checking in

February has been a busy month, both in and out of the studio, and here we are in the middle of March suddenly!

A week ago Friday, we got a lovely surprise, when we discovered our pots were pictured and mentioned in a four-page spread on celebrity chef Nick Nairn’s new kitchen at home, in The Herald newspaper’s glossy Luxury Homes magazine.  With a wee bit of photoshopping, you can see and read our wee blurb. All images and text (c) The Herald.

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Last weekend we were at the Art on the Loch event at Loch Lomond Shores. It’s a new market for 2D and 3D art that will happen every month on the second weekend of the month.  It was a nice location with very lovely neighbours in the next booth. The attendance was actually busier than you’d expect for an outdoor market in Scotland in March, mostly dog walkers heading to the ‘Dug Cafe’ (yes, really, a cafe for dogs – and their owners – where you can let Fido off the leash to go and play with the other canine patrons and various toys, while you enjoy a nice cuppa. You can even buy doggie treats so everyone is happy.)

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We’ll be doing this market right up to July (except June, as we have something else on), and I just know it’s going to be great when the season starts.

The same people also organise ‘Art on the Exchange’ at Royal Exchange Square in Glasgow, beside the Gallery of Modern Art (the space to the front of GOMA is home to the Duke of Wellington, his horse and the infamous traffic cone hat, so it’s easy to find. We’ve also signed up for this, and will be there on the first weekend of each month, starting with April (Easter Weekend) through to July, again, not June. We’re really looking forward to this market too, and hope to see lots of friends, old and new, at both events sometime this spring/summer.

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Other events planned for this year are the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston, Edinburgh in June (hence no weekend markets), the West End Fair at the Edinburgh Festival in August, and finally a nine-day Open Studio with the Perthshire Open Studios event, at our place in Cultybraggan Camp, Comrie.

In other news, I had the first in a series of articles published in the Scottish Potters Association magazine in Feb 🙂

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So, we have a busy year coming up, and lots of making required. 

Not starting today though, as it’s Mothering Sunday and we have some visiting to do, presents to deliver. 🙂

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Kiln Maintenance Day

Today is Kiln Maintenance Day. Not a fun task, but essential every now and again. The batt wash on my shelves is the stuff that came with the kiln, and when I put it on, I had no idea what I was doing. It was mixed too thick, and applied too thick, and left an awful mess when it started cracking and flaking, and has just got worse and worse. So, since we just bought a few new shelves that needed a fresh coat of batt wash, I decided to refurbish our existing shelves too.

The new batt wash is a zircon based batt wash (from Scotclay) and it paints on beautifully. I have this on a small shelf that I’ve been using for about a year, and there is not a flake or chip in sight, so I’m looking forward to many years of use before I have to do this horrible job again!

Essential safety equipment!  Nasty stuff coming off of these shelves, not good for your lungs, so a respirator is essential, as are safety glasses (or, in my case, glasses)

Essential safety equipment! Nasty stuff coming off of these shelves, not good for your lungs, so a respirator is essential, as are safety glasses (or, in my case, glasses)

Flaky old shelf, with craters caused by dripped glaze.  Lots of grinding required.

Flaky old shelf, with craters caused by dripped glaze. Lots of grinding required.

Close up of flaky old shelf

Close up of flaky old shelf

Essential tool - Dremel type tool with coarse grinder wheel

Essential tool – Dremel type tool with coarse grinder wheel

Kiln shelf after grinding

Shelf after grinding

Newly batt washed kiln shelf, ready for loading the kiln

Newly batt washed kiln shelf, ready for loading the kiln

 

Aside

Noodling behind the scenes…

Just a wee quickie note – we’re in the process of changing our blog theme, and some bits and pieces might not look quite right for a few days, some things may change, and hopefully most things will improve.

Bear with. 🙂

2015 Reading Challenge

Ok, so I mentioned in my last post that we were planning on doing a reading challenge this year. This is the graphic that we found (on Pinterest, I think) and we decided that, since we ditched live TV last year, this would be the year we would read more.

2015 Reading Challenge List

Our big book challenge for the year

There are a few easy ones on the list that will take care of some of the books on the bookshelf that I’ve never got round to reading, and also since Santa brought both of us Kindle Fire HDX tablets, we’re planning on reading more kindle books.

We’ve both started on our lists of which books we think will fit certain categories. For example, one that Mo bought on Kindle last year when it was on offer, but neither of us have read yet, is the trilogy by Stiegg Larsson The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I’m quite looking forward to it, as it also ticks off a few of the list in one go: Trilogy, set in a different country, originally written in a different language, became a movie (which I haven’t seen, although Daniel Craig is on the cover).

Our rules currently allow for multiple points for one book, as above, since I don’t think either of us will have time for 50 separate books, but we’ve agreed that if we tick them all off, we’ll start looking for books that will split down the multiples on those we’ve read until we eventually have one book for each point.

My first book will be one that, technically, I started in 2014, as I downloaded Pride and Prejudice on the day I got my Kindle, and read the first chapter. It fits a few of the points too; over 100 years old, started but never finished, made into a TV series.

I loved the Pride and Prejudice BBC TV Series with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, and think it’s the ultimate dramatisation of this great book, but I’m ashamed to admit that, although it’s a favourite, I’ve never actually finished reading the book, hence that’s my first one for this year.

Here’s the Kindle Version of Pride and Prejudice if you fancy reading along. The Kindle has this great add-on thing called Whispersync for Voice (for this book, it’s £0.99 although this varies), and I might get this, as it allows you to switch from reading to listening to a narrated version right from the point where you were just reading the book, and then back to reading on your Kindle or Kindle app at the point you stopped listening. Audio books are great in the studio, so I can enjoy the book and still get some clay work in too. 🙂

So, what’s on your reading list for 2015? Fancy joining us for the challenge? There’s a whole universe of books out there just waiting for us!

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2015.

We’re full of resolutions and big plans for the year ahead, and look forward to having you join us on the way. Mo’s been doodling her excitement about it all…

2015 New Year Doodle

Mo’s been doodling. It’s going to be a great year.

We had a lot happening in 2014, although we didn’t blog about much of it. The biggest event in the MoKa calendar, after the West End Fair in Edinburgh, was our move to a dedicated studio. The Shedio in the back garden at home was just too wee for two full time ceramicists and is now given over to Mo’s painting activities, and random crafty bits and pieces of mine, and all clay work now happens in our studio.

Historic Cultybraggan Camp

Historic Cultybraggan Camp – our new clay home

The new studio is based in Comrie, Perthshire, in the historic Cultybraggan Camp, a former WWII POW camp and latterly an MOD property used for training of, amongst other organisations, the Territorial Army and Cadet Forces. I spent many a chilly November night huddled round a pot bellied stove during TA Military Skills Training weekends there, and it’s quite bizarre that our studio is now in part of the long Nissen Hut that was formerly the Junior Ranks Dining Room! It’s a beautiful part of the country, and the camp itself is fascinating for a visit, with lots of info in the new Heritage Centre.

Our part time jobs making clay are also in the Camp, so it makes it easier to be in the studio every single day, which is good, because things are picking up and we need so many more potting hours in the day!

Here are a few pics of the inside of the studio before we managed to get settled and messy! We have three times the space we had in the Shedio, and now that the kiln and wheel are also in there, we are already complaining about needing more (some people are just never happy lol), although we do also have a separate stock storage/packing room, which keeps everything nice and dust free once it’s out of the kiln.

Empty studio

The studio with no flooring or much of anything yet


studio with shelving

Much more room to work, with dedicated clay workbench (to the right out of shot) and lots of shelving

Glazing area

A dedicated ‘clean’ area for glazing, doodling and taking photos.

So, that’s the new studio, our biggest pottery milestone of the year.

On a personal note, we also converted our Civil Partnership to Marriage, backdated to our wedding in June 2006, so we’re completely official now.

Marriage Certificate

The official piece of paper

Wedding Rings

Our gorgeous bespoke rings from Judith Kenny Jewellery

I think you’ll agree I’m not the most frequent of bloggers, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because I’m so busy doing clay stuff, I forget to stop and write about it.

So, here’s my New Year’s Resolution for 2015. I’m going to write more and I apologise in advance because this will probably mean random cat stories, pictures of our kitties, what we’re reading (we’ve got a whole book challenge thing going on in 2015, but I’ll save it for another post), what my latest unfinished knitting or crochet project is and, maybe occasionally, a note about what’s happening in the studio, or what’s new on the Etsy shop.

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple. Seasons Greetings from both of us and all the best for 2015!

I hope you’ll join us for this year, and look forward to seeing you at one of the many markets we have planned from the summer onwards.

Kath (and Mo)
Mrs & Mrs Gibson-Kelly

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West Enders

Day one is done and dusted, but we’re still at the West End Fair in edinburgh for another six days, till 6pm Sunday if you want to come along.

Setup was relatively painless last night, if a little late, with a 7.30pm start, some wallpapering, shelf hanging, light fixing and stock unwrapping, and a midnight finish. The 7am alarm, on 5 hours sleep, was most unwelcome!

But the weather held, mostly, and we had some lovely visitors. Lots of Coos have gone to new homes, and more waiting.

Here we are at the beginning of the day:

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An early night tonight (after a quick peek in the studio to check the kiln) and all ready for another day of market fun.

I hope you’ll stop by for a visit! We have lots of lovely framed tiles looking for new homes and some coos, sheep, Wee Burds and penguins too.