28 October 2016


One more week to go to the show! Eeek! Am I ready???

Following the last post, today I’d like to show “rakugaki” series. “rakugaki” means “doodling” in Japanese. It's all about everyday functional ware that comes in a simple shape. This hopefully enhances the playfulness of doodling on the surface, which is spontaneous and fun. No two images are the same. 

When I first started this series, I used a ceramic crayon to literally draw images on biscuit ware. Then I wanted to develop a little more bold image, so instead I tried slip decoration with newspaper cutout like stencilling, which was just right for me combining with my fav technique scraffitto (scratching through clay). The process of slip decoration needs to be all done at leather hard stage, so currently an one-day-a-week mummy potter finds this difficult to achieve and lots of night shifts involves... but the result always gives me a smile. Hope it does it to you too.

All “rakugaki” pieces are available at CRAFTED BY HAND. xm 

21 October 2016


Counting down to the next show CRAFTED BY HAND in Masham, North Yorkshire on 5th & 6th November. Prior to that I have been posting some images of my work daily on my Instagram. Thought I’d share here too for those who’s not so familiar with Instagram. (although you can see it without Instagram account) 

Today I’d like to show “mazekoze” series. “mazekoze” means “mixing up” in Japanese. The idea of this series is to mix pieces in many combinations to enjoy at the table as if you are making surface pattern. They come in different shapes, sizes and colours. I worked on this glaze for a while in particular to get this semi matt texture and certain colour variation. I'm planning to develop two more tones but it may take a while again as I experiment with natural materials rather than using readymade commercial colourants, so tiny percentage difference of oxide can go wrong, but I love the moment when you finally achieved what you want like these yellow ochre and grey! 

All “mazekoze” pieces are available at CRAFTED BY HAND. xm 

17 October 2016

visiting David

Last weekend we went to Hebden Bridge to visit my late mentor David C White’s grave yard. It’s been already five years this October since he passed away. It was rather emotional day for me. 

Before he died, I promised him that I shall carry his spirit in me. So I did, working hard and actually had a good start of my studio time after the graduation of BA in 2012. Then shortly after that the things have significantly changed, because of my pregnancy and my daughter’s unforeseen medical condition. The priority quickly shifted. As you know I kept the studio door closed for three years. You might think returning to the studio must be giving me a fantastic feeling. Well it was and also it was not. My self esteem and confidence could not keep up, as I struggled with timing and fatigue from working just one day a week plus many night shift after daytime job as an instructor for the rest of the week. In the back of my mind, I felt really bad for not keeping my promise to David and felt like I let him down. Of course I do what I do for me, not for him. But I had this niggly feeling all the time. 

Interestingly since I started my Instagram, I have connected with many fellow potters and potter enthusiasts. They have been a great asset and online community to share the knowledge, skills and more so passion. They encourage each other. Slowly something inside me clicked and started to look up more. I realised I felt much happier showing my work and getting feedback. This helped me to keep my mind focused on what I really like to do. Since I’m getting this solid feeling as I felt happier, that also affected how I speak to my family. The whole thing connected again. 

When we went up to David’s beautiful grave stone, which was made by his fellow potter Jim Robison, I asked my daughter to say hello to David and give him a hug. So she did. She called the grave yard “David’s mountain”. Indeed we went up the little mountain to look down a breathtaking view of Hebden Bridge that he used to long for his ideal studio view. He is up there now, so I guess he’s happy.

After placing a bunch of dried lavender, I quietly told him.
“I’m keeping your spirit, so not to worry.”

Sun was shining beautifully on the hill as we went down. 

m x

8 October 2016

Smile Maker of the Week #13 - ceramics by Florian Gadsby

Hello everyone. I haven’t posted much here lately, as all of the Team Hastings has been ill health one after another nearly for a month! Hopefully we are almost on the mend. 

Today I would like to share with you these beautiful ceramics by the young sensational potter Florian Gadsby. If you love functional tableware, he really is the one to watch!

Florian works at Maze Hill Pottery with Lisa Hammond, one of the most established potters in UK and beyound today. Recently he completed his two year apprenticeship with Lisa, and now he has started making his own work alongside with making work for her. Some of you might have already seen his work and even he has been featured in ceramic reviews for his hugely growing audience through his Instagram. Being a busy mum for a little three-na-ger, sadly my subscription has not even been opened, so I missed the kick start! It’s only been a few months since I first came across his work via Instagram. (I only started Instagram this summer, finally catching up with 21st century!) I then quickly became a regular reader of his posts or rather it’s a bit like an addiction to me. 

Florian’s Instagram is a packed full of delicious images. Just flicking through all of them takes you to a great trip to learn his talent, skills and eyes for beauty. But what makes his Instagram so unique and outstanding is his words alongside the image. Whether that is about glazing or turning, he always writes in so much detail. It’s so informative, so articulate, so consistent. He also shows video too, which is often focused on one small topic, rather than a full lengthy throwing process with time-lapse. I find this much more effective for viewers and certainly captures the detailed skills, that you may want to learn from. I guess many readers, if they are potter learners especially, must have felt so grateful with his online tuition. It has already helped me a lot too, especially since my mentor passed away and I have been off studio work for so long, my self-taught throwing skills has got rusty. 

This week, the order has arrived to our home. Having actually seen his work in reality, I have certainly fallen in love with his ceramic ware with the beautiful white crackled glaze. I have never been familiar with any crackled glaze before. I think I've found the ultimate beauty here. 

Any functional ware we bought from many favourite potters are used at our table. It’s such a joy to celebrate family meals this way and we would like to continue to do so. Sabrina has now officially started to use one of his bowls. I am happy for her to be able to feel the craftsmanship in her little hands. 

Personally, every time I see his post, I truly admire his passion and enthusiasm toward the pottery. This has influenced me deeply and made me realise what I would really like to pursue, so I am very thankful for him more than the pot itself. 

After this years work with Lisa, Florian is planning to work on his own studio. I am so looking forward to seeing him embracing the future. I think he will go beyond anybody’s expectations including himself.

Find out more his work and check out his shop update in his Instagram (→here). 

m x 

3 October 2016

Crafted By Hand

Date for your diary. I am currently working hard toward the show, Crafted By Hand in Masham, North Yorkshire on Sat 5th & Sun 6th November. It’s been three years since I last attended any event, so really nervous but also exciting! 

This week it will be the final stage of making, then next week onward it will be moving onto sorting display and props, pricing and photo shooting. Hopefully in coming weeks I will be posting more images of work for the show, so watch this space. 

Please visit my Instagram where I post almost daily. 

If you are near and about Yorkshire, please pop over to the show. If you would like the details, please email me. Thank you. x m