So behind the blogging black hole, there was some shed activity. I have been working hard on getting those new shapes improved - and the moon jars perfected. I have been working on the firing (when I can) and trying to understand what gives all those colours and patterns (heat/finish/weather). We have made some progress on that front, but there is a way to go. Just as I was at a lowish ebb, I fired the test sculptures and got a jumping up and down day. That's pottery for you. Loads of shite days and then an OH MY GOD LOOK AT THAT moment. The best kind of results are the ones that show you a way forward. The patina on these "ceramic stones" just makes me go funny inside. Its probably just me, but I love them. I don't say that a lot. So expect to see these pieces develop alongside the other stuff. The really hard bit with these is the start. You begin with a lump of clay. Somewhere inside that lump is your sculpture waiting to be found. I often have to sit there for hours thumping the clay around until I see a line or shape that I like. Sometimes it is a dead end, and you retire to the kitchen for tea, defeated. You have to pick yourself up and start again. If you are not an artist, this will sound completely wierd, but its easy to be intimidated by the lump! You kind of have to attack it and see what happens. If you get "something" you slow down and start to tease it out - so you sort of end up going through several changes of personality to get the finished vessel. Its such a relief when you get the shape and can begin to finesse. That is quite a sensuous process. its when you form the bond with your sculpture - polishing and stroking and kneading. These forms can take weeks to dry (under plastic). If you try and speed the process, they crack - and your work is ruined. They also risk exploding in the kiln... and in the fire. So yes, loads of fun to be had with these. Bring it on.