The Potters Cast

Paper resists for the pottery throw down

Back in February I was interviewed by Paul Blais on The Potters Cast and it was just released as episode 214.  Please have a listen and let me know what you think.  Currently I am testing a new Social Media Platform that I quite like, join the mailing list to find out more in the next week or so.



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Am I thinking too much?

Sunset in Edinburgh, Scotland

View from Forth Rail Bridge near Edinburgh, looking out at the sunset over the Forth Road Bridge

“Better to put Spirit into the Materials”

-Jacques Kauffman

This last weekend I travelled to Scotland and back to be part of a friend’s wood and soda kiln firing. The journey was a long one taking me 12 hours for the return trip, so I went well armed with a sketchbook and an iPod loaded with my two favourite podcasts The Potters Cast and Tales of a Red Clay Rambler.

As I travelled I listened to the podcasts and sketched what I saw out of the window. It was a pleasant way to travel alone to somewhere I have never been before. Continue reading

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Let’s Play Hungry Hungry Hippos

handing in my research project

Devising an e-learning model for the teaching of traditional crafts such as ceramics.

“The waiting game sucks. Let’s play hungry hungry hippos”

Homer J Simpson

In January I submitted my dissertation for my Master’s research project. I am surprised by how long the process of writing up can take, but a lot of it is editing and re-editing to ensure I said the right things with the right tone. I am glad the writing process is over, but now we are on the worse part of the process, waiting. Continue reading

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Throwing Down the Towel

Pottery Throw Down

The judges and contestants on the Throw Down

This week marks to start of the BBC’s Great British Pottery Throw Down, and from the pottery community there has been a mixed response as expected.  Personally I am feeling more upbeat about the program. Continue reading

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New Videos

I have been busy recently working through my dissertation and creating videos for the practical part of the research.  Learning to edit on Adobe Premiere Pro has been a bit of a slog this week but it has sped up the process no end now I am getting to grips with it.  I just wish it weren’t a subscription based service but nevermind.

1) I had the idea of making a video from the pots point of view, I replaced some of the sound to change the qualities.

Continue reading

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Filming and Editing

At my last supervisory meeting I was encouraged to create something a bit more visually interesting in my video than I had submitted at the meeting.  The videos I submitted for the meeting were the first videos I had ever tried to edit on Lightworks rather than windows movie maker. I was just trying to get to terms with it all and create a functional lesson in a technique.

In my mind after finding applications like Meerkat and Periscope, was that I would just live stream a class with an application like Go To Meeting where the participants can meet each other.  Though it wouldn’t help if people weren’t there, though I could easily record it and they could play it back later. Continue reading

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Pottery is a form of Dissent

I have wanted to be a story teller since not long after I discovered that I liked to write poetry a over decade ago. I love listening to poets perform their poetry, like Michael Rosen, Simon Armitage or Ian McMillan. It really brings the poems to life, listening to them uniquely reciting their work. Continue reading

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Still Looking Backwards

born broken

I feel fragile like this bowl that was born with a crack that runs down from the rim, it still rings true though.

Listening to Stefan Andersson on the Potters Cast I realised certain things about my work. I want my pottery work to evoke an emotion, to make people thing about the object and perhaps change their ideas. I am ruled by my emotions but feel uncomfortable sharing them professionally, despite that being what the pots need sometimes. Continue reading

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Looming Boredom

“boredom haunts me as I work, I fear it will destroy me.
I want to be better than my fears”
-a note in my sketchbook.

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Not all old ideas and thoughts are comfortable. Putting them out into the world makes me feel uncertain like I am giving away too much. As for the date if this particular quote it is between January and December 2014.

Finding this quote reminds me that I haven’t been happy with my work for some time. I am at the uncomfortable stage of being a maker where I am very aware of how bad I really am. I know my skills aren’t good enough to be where I want to be as a maker. Continue reading

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A video posted by Joseph Travis (@redfoxpottery) on

Recently I keep trying to write about the work of Ayumi Horie, James Gurney, Austin Kleon and so on. But every piece I write becomes torrid and dry, or it becomes a gushing piece “they are amazing”, “aren’t they creative” or “aren’t they really driving their work on”. I once wrote a piece about how annoyed I was about a particular ceramics writer always started a piece of writing about where he had come across the makers work; it became 100% about him rather than about the work. Continue reading

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