Gallery

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.

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43 hours and Counting!

We’re on the last stretch of preparation for the largest market we’ve done so far.

Lots of tiles being framed, last minute glaze firing of sheep, bells and other goodies, and lots of lists being made.

Here’s a wee flyer with some info. I’ll post pics periodically through the week. Hope to see you there.

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New Moos and other things

We’ve been working hard over the last month, trying out some new ideas, and planning our stock offering for our next market, which will be the biggest we have done so far.

The West End Fair is based at the West end (go figure!) of Princes Street in Edinburgh, in the grounds of St Johns Church on the corner of Lothian Road. It’s been running for over two decades now, during the Edinburgh Festival in August, and has over 100 selected crafts people, artisans and artists. We’re really excited to be part of this massive event.

Since its our first time, we decided to start small(ish) so we’ve got our stall booked for one week only of the three that the fair will be open. You will find us on the Boardwalk from Monday 18th to Sunday 24th August. We hope you’ll pop along and say hello and take a look at our new ranges.

Lots more to come, and we’re busy making right now so that we have more than enough stock to last the week.

Exciting new developments

I’m going to make a midsummer resolution to stop apologising for lack of blog posts…. And actually start writing more blog posts!

It’s been a turbulent time (personally) for us over the last two years and MoKa Pottery has suffered a wee bit because of it. But I’m pleased to say that things are starting to even out and we have some big changes on the way.

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The main change is that, since Mo has now given up her full time job, we are now both fully committed to MoKa Pottery as our main business. This will hopefully free up time, head space and energy to allow us to develop the studio as a business, do more promotion, create more stock and generally ‘up our game’. It will give us time and space to grow, to develop creative themes and to hopefully improve our creative offering. It may not provide us with a great income, and initially we’ll both keep part-time jobs to help towards household costs, but it’s definitely a move in the right direction for both of us.

In conjunction with the development of MoKa Pottery, we will be launching a new venture, MoKa Creative, which will be an outlet for paintings and other non-clay creations. More news on this to follow soon.

We hope you’ll stick around to see where we take this, and enjoy the ride!

Holiday Greetings

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Another lengthy quiet spell on the blog while we rush around like mad in real life juggling our studio with markets, day jobs and all sorts of other life things.

Wanted to pop in and say Merry Christmas to you all and we’ll see you in the New Year with lots of news and exciting updates for our website.

Have a lovely holiday.

Mo & Kath

Tempus Fugit

Will someone please tell me where they’ve put my May, June, July and most of August? I can’t believe my last post was APRIL!

We’ve had a very busy summer, with the Forth Valley a open Studios event in June, preceded by lots of prep, inside and outside the studio. Our back garden was the main thoroughfare to the studio for visitors, so we spent most of the month before doing some landscaping to make it navigable.

We had a couple of rather fun Raku firing sessions during open studios, and our visitors enjoyed it immensely, despite the howling wind one day, and rain the next.

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July has seen some hand building work, with our cute little Espresso Cups getting lots of ‚̧ on Etsy and large bowls for our local farm shop/deli grand opening which was this week (The Woodhouse at Kippen Station run by our lovely friends the Lamb Family). The bowls are now sitting happily full of Olives in their new home at the deli counter, and I'll be making more for sale soon. I'll have to pop along and get photos, as I rather stupidly forgot to get a pic before I delivered them! Of course I'll have to stop in at the coffee shop for a cappuccino and a home made scone while I'm there ūüėÄ

And now we're in August… rapidly approaching September! Just out of the Bisque kiln this morning are a set of six Bud Vases for the Gargunnock Bite n Blether, a community-run coffee shop, hosted in the community centre a few days each week. They'll be glazed in the next few days and then fired, ready for the Bite n Blether starting up again early next month.

I've been playing around with more hand-built pieces, and have a half dozen soap dishes drying now, a wee trial run. I quite like the design, but it goes through so many changes from wet clay to finished glaze piece that it will look completely different at the end. I have an idea of what I hope it'll look like, but only time and two firings will tell.

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Mo’s been busy tile-doodling and I’ll grab some pics of these as they come out of glaze firing. She has some new coo tiles, both Hielan’ coos and Fresian, as well as some lovely abstract tiles.

Our shedio got a mini makeover before the Open Studios event, and is still looking rather spiffy. We are now adding to our workspace with the arrival of Mo’s new ‘Paint Shed’ to go with the Potting Shed. This weekend will be painting inside and out and laying a floor, before we start to fill it with canvasses, paints, easels and lots of other goodies. That’s a post for another day.

I solemnly promise to not let 3 whole months go by without a post next time! Too busy potting and having fun. ūüôā

Sasha Wardell workshop

I thought I’d just add a post to expand a bit more on the Sasha Wardell workshop at the Scottish Potters’ Association AGM weekend at Kindrogan Field Centre in March. ¬†As I mentioned, Sasha was very kind and allowed me to video a couple of her techniques in her last workshop of the weekend.

The earlier workshops had included demonstrations of mould making¬†and¬†working with plaster, and the multi-layered slip casting process¬†which¬†is a trademark of Sasha’s work.

The workshop I sat in on was the last step in the process, once the slip-cast pieces are removed from the mould and left overnight till they’re completely bone dry. ¬†At this point, Sasha employs three different finishing/pattern techniques.

The first, which I photographed but didn’t video, is carving. ¬†This is usually employed on pieces with just two layers of slip; an external coloured slip and interior white. ¬†Sasha uses tools to carve the raindrop-like pattern from the top layer, exposing the white layer underneath. ¬†This piece is carved when it is leather-hard, rather than bone dry. When this is fired, it shows the amazing translucency that can be achieved in Bone China.

Sasha Wardell Carving a slipcast pot

The second was the ‘Slicing’ technique, which is applied to pots of up to four layers of slip. ¬†I had seen the slip-casting process for this the previous day and it was fascinating to see how this developed into such a unique and wonderful end design. ¬†At this point I did remember my phone had video capability and Sasha very generously allowed me to hang over her shoulder while she worked and explained the process. ¬†(Apologies for the relatively poor videography on my phone)



The final technique was one that I found most fascinating and will be trying very shortly myself. ¬†This is the ‘Water Erosion’ method of decoration. ¬†After ‘painting’ the required pattern on to the bone-dry single-colour¬†pot using a Liquitex Matt Medium resist (shaded blue using food colouring for ease of application),¬†a damp sponge is used to ‘erode’ the bare slip in the areas where the resist has not been applied. ¬†In a surprisingly short period of time, a very definite ’embossed’ pattern emerges, leaving the painted pattern as a raised design and the eroded areas much thinner, again highlighting the translucency of the Bone China. ¬†The video demonstrates this much better than I can describe.¬†



The whole weekend was wonderfully inspiring and we hope to post up images  of our attempts at the water erosion technique on porcelain eggs shortly.

The videos are shared here with the very kind permission of Sasha Wardell. ¬†I hope you’ll visit her site and take a look at her work.