Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Valentines Day ideas

As you are probably more than aware, because, let´s face it, the shops aren´t going to let you forget about it, Valentine´s Day is just around the corner. 

And maybe you don´t want to buy your loved one a gift that everyone else is going to be buying? Maybe you want a unique, special present? 

Rustic pink ceramic necklace

Well, with that in mind, we´ve put together a collection of pieces that would suit him or her this Valentine´s Day. 

If you pop in to our Blended Monkey Crafts shop, you´ll see a link at the top - simply click on the hearts and take a look. I´ve made some ceramic, rustic heart necklaces for this very occasion. The oatmeal ones are available from our Etsy site, and there are only a few left now, but the pink ones and some other bespoke gift ideas can be found in our Blended Monkey Crafts shop.   

Rustic oatmeal ceramic necklace

Have a really lovely, slushy and romantic Valentine´s Day!

Our Etsy site!

Just a quick word to let you know that in addition to our main Blended Monkey Crafts site we have also opened up an Etsy site which will offer different products to those on our main site. 

We only have a couple of items on the Etsy site at the moment, just to see how things go, but maybe have a nose and see what you think?

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

First glaze firing since the snow fell ...

Well, the cold weather really did cause havoc in my pottery studio ... 

We don´t keep it permanently heated, so the freezing nights turned my glazes to ice blocks, and there was certainly no way I was going to be able to work with clay in the studio while it was so cold and with the water frozen in the pipes. 

Although I´ve used the cold weather as an opportunity to come up with some more ideas and collection thoughts (working on a collection that properly "blends" Simon´s wood-turned pieces with my ceramic pieces), I was still hankering to get my hands dirty and get back in the studio.

Part of my messy but functional studio

Thankfully, I had already biscuit-fired some pieces and applied glaze to some of it before the "freeze" set in, and so I decided to take the plunge and try and use some of those frozen glazes and complete enough work to make it possible to stack the kiln for a glaze firing.  

It took some mixing and ice-chipping, but I finally managed to pack the kiln with enough items to make it worthy of a firing ... and I´ve just opened the kiln today.

First glaze firing since the freeze

It´s quite possible that some of the ware has cracked, as I´m not sure how happy the biscuit-fired work was to be left in the freezing studio, but it´s always exciting to see what each firing has to offer - as each one can be so very different from the last.

The good work will go up for sale on our site,, and there are a few very experimental pieces hiding in this kiln, so it will be interesting to see how they´ve turned out ...

Monday, 21 January 2013

Simon´s latest creations

Just been spurtling about ...

Simon has added a rather unique item to his range of beautiful wood-turned pieces ... a "spurtle"

Collection of spurtles

The definition of a spurtle:

Spurtle (spur-tl)

1. (Northern England & Scottish) a wooden stick for stirring porridge or similar thick substances
2. (obsolete) a flat kitchen tool used to turn food on a griddle or in a pan
3. (humorous) a sword

The collection here have been made from zebra wood and, although each one is unique, the ends of each have been given a stylised thistle design. They are food-safe, so you can indeed stir your porridge with them. Visit our site to see more ...