I met a lovely couple at Christmas whilst showing at the NEC BBC Good Food Show last Christmas and then again in the summer, when they booked to visit us here at Sytch Farm.

Together they had some really clear ideas on a dinner service set that they wanted to order.

They knew what sizes they wanted and the colours they wanted and were prepared to wait for me to make and glaze to fit their brief. 

Different glazes fire at different temperatures and hence it can take some time to complete a mixed set as I make and store enough stock of one glaze colour before filling and setting the kiln off.

That combined with the issues with a new kiln brought means they have been patiently waiting since the start of July, even though the work was thrown within ten days of their first visit.

Well now I'm pretty much there and excited to show them!

They ordered dessert plates which are slightly smaller than main plates, which they also ordered, breakfast bowls and salad bowls and a few large serving pieces. 

Thats the beauty of ordering your own set, you have control on some of the decisions. Having put this order through the kilns in the last two weeks I am a little in love with it myself, I adore how the orange and green work together, picked out with a few pieces of light blue.

And now? Kilns are firing with stock for Taste of London and BBC Good Food Show Winter, trying to get together sets of colours together, trying to second guess what colours everyone would like to see!

Jon has been making these boards for a great place called The Riverside Inn , worth the trip to for lunch or dinner. They are made from Pippy Oak so have these beautiful markings in the wood. These have been made to order and are intended to be the tray for small glasses of real ale, an ale tasting tray.

These ceramic pieces are a mixture of samples and ordered pieces. The flat pink plate came with us as we visited another restaurant this week, they want plates that are super flat, real low raise edges. I made several so will have a few to sell as the Christmas shows start. 

And the black edged bowls are samples for another customer, I'm not sure if he will like them as he asked for the edges to be black and the sides bare. I tried that but the black rim left stains where I tried to clean it off. I do love the pink and green together though but I'm finding the green glaze difficult at the moment, the joys of ceramics! 

Autumn is coming - I'm still living in my shorts and flip flops even if my feet are freezing! Hanging on in there but the changing signs are everywhere. This tree - I have no idea of it's name - was given to us two years ago as a stick about a metre high, this summer it has really grown and I love to see how the leaf colours are changing, with this tree in particular the colour changes from bottom to top!

From today's glaze kiln!

I had a troubled summer with my new kiln, getting the temperatures right and getting the best out of the glazes cost a lot of pots!  But today's kiln load was perfect, a full kiln of ordered pieces and stock for up and coming shows. I was so pleased with these two glazes in particular. I love the way the work together, both dark and intense with loads of character.

Earlier this year I completed a large order for a new restaurant in Baker Street, London.

Head Chef Hus Vedat describes the cuisine best:

 "For Yosma, I will be exploring influences and flavours from my heritage. I want to showcase the depth, character and history of Anatolian food and drink (while having fun) and sharing the fascinating stories behind one of the world's most prominent foods" 

Hus got in touch with us this time last year and brought himself and one of the restaurant owners to meet us at Taste of London where we chatted and he give me the measurements and ideas behind ceramic pieces he wanted. 

After sorting samples and agreeing glazes, I threw the pieces through May. Given the large size of the order Jon drove it down to the premises about a fortnight before it opened. The image below is from their own website Yosma

Hopefully this year we will get to visit - in the mean time I've added a set of similar serving dishes to the on-line shop 

This was a new shape for me to throw and took a bit of practise to learn. The pieces shown are 21cm diameter and I've since thrown it in a wide range of different sizes. Having used a few pieces here ourselves, I know it's a great shape for all sorts of dishes. I like tart and custard best!

As with everything I make they are dishwasher safe, glazed inside and out. 

Sunday evening - I was supposed to have today off! Well, I guess it's a reflection of the time of year,  10 weeks till Christmas! I'll be throwing, glazing and turning this week with a trip out on Wednesday to a nice little place, kinda excited x 

Orders finishing - these jugs are a lot larger than they look but without the ammonite stamps is difficult to get a sense of scale, they would take 2 litres roughly. Jugs have been developing in shape for the last year but after receiving an order for these large pieces I took a bit of time to really throw a shape I was happy with. 

Difficult to photograph properly to show the proportions but a wider base coming up to quite an elegant shape. The handle shape has changed too, with a bigger jug you need to make sure the handle can take the weight but that its comfortable too, easy to pour. 

So these have a home to go too, but I have a few more ready for Taste of London, and maybe for BBC Good Food Show. I'll keep throwing these as I do really like them and I love this colour way.

Here's something a little different for me, no ammonite detail which is not always wanted and a much flatter plate. The gloss glaze makes the edge look like its standing up higher than it actually is. The colour is a very light grey with a hint of blue to it and very fine speckles. I'm learning how to adjust glazes slowly. The edge photo shows how fine the edge is but still very solid pieces.

And a very fine foot ring. This piece has been glazed with colour on the front and transparent glaze on the back, just enough to see how its made whilst protecting the surface. 

This is the challenge of working with chef's, throwing to their idea's of the perfect shape, colour, size, for their food and style of service. Certainly keep's me learning!

Spent the morning packing boxes and this afternoon photographing stock, added several new pieces to the web site shop and have a few more to add - I'm trying to make sure the pieces I photograph and  load up are the pieces that people will be buying - a little more labour intensive but with hand made products there are always slight differences so trying to keep it as honest as possible.

Yet to add the plates above but I will be soon and they are as a set of three, same size and shape but in three different glazes, they work well together.

Below is a set of six tapas bowls, again matching in many ways but each with a little bit of character.

And now I'm off to check the kilns, make lists and plan throwing and glazing days. 

To give some idea of how intensive glazing can be in the image above 9 different glazes had to be mixed along with four oxides, each mix requires checking thickness and putting through a sieve, on top of that three different kiln temperature firings are needed, it all takes time but I love the mix of colours x

Remember I was telling you about La-Triestina? The family live close to us and have a range of fantastic products. We were lucky enough to be able to get them come to us and teach Jon how to make pasta using the traditional method, no pasta machine needed - a late Birthday pressie lesson.

Here's Melody hand rolling pasta so thin you could see your hand through it but at the same time it wasn't about to break up either, after chilling pasta that she made quickly using fresh eggs she rolled this up and had it ready to cook in under ten minutes, very impressive to watch!

And what a meal they served, four courses and each course loaded with flavour.

And a Birthday present too, suitable for an induction hob! 


Finally got a web site sorted!

Go have a look here

Full credit for this goes to Jon and Alan, the I.T whizz, all I've done towards it is take the photos and been really demanding about what I wanted and didn't want but now, I am one happy girl!

If you've followed my story from the start you'll know this has been one long journey and whist I haven't posted on here for ages I do promise to get back on the case. This place is almost like my makers diary.

Lots has changed in the last year, new kiln, new glazes and new shapes and we have got organised on a pricing structure. I stopped teaching totally last July so have now had a year full time potting and can honestly say I love it! The days are longer, the holidays are less but the rewards are fantastic and we have meet so many great people including a whole bunch of great local producers and obviously chefs. My cooking has improved, I think talking and watching so many chefs it has kinda slipped in.

This week coming is time to prepare for the shows. I have said all year that October was booked for making for the Christmas Shows, so long days of throwing and turning are on the horizon. Any book recommendations out there? My favourite all year has been a book called 'A man called Ove' by Fredrik Backman, made me laugh and cry on the same page! Well, whilst I was being read to by my Kindle anyway. 

Now to those great suppliers, if your local to Shrewsbury you may know them but some I didn't and have lived here for nearly twenty years!

First off my friend Sarah Crow is breeding the most amazing favoured lamb, happens to be called Shropshire Lamb but that is the breed, not because they were born in this county, go find her on Instagram as @shropshirelamb  - her lambs are born and reared less then half a mile from here. Just around the corner from her is the home of La Triestina @la_triestina Family business importing amazing products from the dad's home region in Italy, for some of these products they are the sole importers. I am addicted to the chocolates, the balsamic and love the proseco, they'll be showing at the fab Brompton Cookery School for a Christmas Market they have already planned along with other great suppliers, more on that later! And this one really is for the locals - Bake to Bread, 5 Wellstone, Shrewsbury. Dom the baker with his new shop, he's been open just over six months and is baking beautiful bread, pastries and cakes in store, the aroma is incredible when you walk in - @ShrewsburyBread on Twitter and @bakehouse2.0 on Instagram.

Details of Christmas shows and links to follow.