Teapot Challenge

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I cannot believe how fast this year is going! You may remember I told you a while ago I was embarking on a Tea pot Challenge with a fellow potter penni.q.pottery from Australia.
Our main objective was to improve our making skills, tackling a different theme each month. I feel like I explored a lot of different ideas and pushed myself to try new techniques.

For the 6 Teapot Challenges, I got really excited and enthusiastic at the beginning of the month, but as I was only making 1 Teapot each time I usually ran into problems. This confirmed to me how important it is to let ideas develop naturally, over time, and to make more than 1! A 4 week time constraint is definitely not ideal in ceramics, with the drying and firing processes.

Themes included Sculpture, Free Reign, Wooden Handle, Pattern and Shape. You can read more about each one in detail on Instagram. The idea in my head usually turned out not how I wanted it to, sometimes better, but mainly worse – especially Teapot 5, my sculptural effort! I’m still so embarrassed I made something so horrendously ugly!

Even if I wasn’t always happy with the results I loved the freedom of making something completely different from my normal pottery range. I did really enjoy this project and it has definitely given me lots of ideas for future designs, but I am so glad it’s over now!

My next challenge is surviving the Christmas making madness! My hand is feeling a lot better now as I have been taking it a bit easier, although by doing so I am now trying not to stress about how little work I have made! I promise there will be a website update with more stock at some point, but I’m not entirely sure when.

I’m finishing off a shop order for Honest Thistle in Pitlochry, which will be heading their way next week, and then Indie Zeb are last on my list. That’s it. I can hopefully meet any other pottery needs online or at my festive markets. Speaking of which, I’ll be at Urban Market in Glasgow this weekend, 12 – 5 on Saturday and Sunday.  I’m really excited to see the new venue, The Dockyard Social in Finnestion. Woohoo! Maybe I will see you there and you can tell me which Teapot is your favourite!

Cheerio.

Reali-tea check

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Since returning from my short break in September I have been working like an absolute machine. Everything was on schedule until last week when I got a pain in my hand going up to my elbow. My hand was really swollen and sore. A visit to the physio confirmed that yes indeed I have been working too hard! I have Repetitive Strain Injury. He massaged my arm which gave me instant pain relief and taped up my hand. I’ve been following his instructions, icing, making sure I do my exercises and trying to rest it as much as possible. I’m even brushing my teeth with my left hand which is really difficult after 38 years of brushing with my right! However, in the past few days all these small changes are helping, the swelling has reduced and my hand looks a bit more normal again! hooray!

However this got me thinking about my attitude towards my job and how my physical health is so important. I absolutely love what I do and I want to make pots for as long as possible. My hands are my bread winners so I need to look after them! This year I’ve already tried to improve my work life balance, but clearly I need to try a bit harder. This is an exceptionally busy time of year for all self employed people so hopefully when it’s over I can make some permanent changes and prevent any more work related injuries.

On a positive note, the physio says I have very strong hands! My strong hands have made a lot of pots which have recently been delivered to most of my stockists, Braemar Gallery and An Independent Zebra both got deliveries this week. I will try my best to keep my website stocked. I know I’m low on mugs again and need to make some more but they will hopefully be ready and added online by November. I will keep you posted.

I have also just updated my diary with my upcoming festive markets, so please check it out so you know where to find me in the run up to Christmas. If you see me at a market and want to rub my arms, I will quite happily oblige!

That’s all for today. I hope you are all looking after yourselves.


Cheerio
jud

Thank you POS

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Well, that’s another Perthshire Open Studios done and dusted! You’ll be pleased to know I will not be talking about lemons for at least another year! It was much quieter this year but still really good. Between the visitors I even managed to get some work done! I was testing out a new dreamy range which proved pretty popular, so I will be keeping that in mind for next spring.

Panoramic view of Tea with Jud HQ

Thank you so much to everyone who came along to see my workshop. I love getting to meet my customers in person. A highlight for me this year was receiving a card in the post, addressed to myself and Albert from 2 of my regular customers telling me they enjoyed their visit. It totally made my day. As you know Tea with Jud is run solely by me, but I could not do events like this without the support from my customers and help from my friends and family. I am so lucky to have to have them all. Suz & Ali, Debbie, Olivia – thank you all especially for your help this week, it is much appreciated, and Linda for bringing me dinner on the last day!

I have packed everything away now but have a busy couple of days before I take a few off. I definitely need a rest and recharge before the Christmas ridiculousness starts. I have plenty of markets planned so will be updating my diary soon, but until then thanks again and Cheerio!

Perthshire Open Studios 2019

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Hello there!

What a busy whirlwind of a summer, and speaking of wind, why does it always get windy when Perthshire Open Studios is about to start?! I am all set up and ready to go but have not attempted to put up my gazebo yet as I fear a big gust might whisk it off down the garden, so I am leaving that until the last minute!

This year you can find me at VENUE 5 on the LEMON ROUTE. My workshop will be open from 10am – 5pm from 7th – 15th September. Tea, Coffee and home baking will be available daily. On the menu today I have a selection of homemade scones, lemon tart served with fresh blueberries from the farm, and double chocolate chip cookies! Yummers!

Tartan Caledonia Window Display

Coinciding with Open Studios again is the Leslie Street Art Trail in Blairgowrie. Since last year it has expanded with over 50 artists taking part, showcasing their work in the windows of 29 local businesses around the town. Tea with Jud is in the window of Tartan Caledonia. Hopefully my kitchen themed display will entice you out to my workshop!

Open Studios – Lemon Route

I love this event so much. I am always so happy to take part in it, even if it does make my brain go a bit fuzzy by the end of the 9 days! I am really looking forward to seeing lots of new and old customers at my workshop. As usual there is an abundance of signs from the road, down the lane to help you find your way!

See you soon!

Penrith, Potfest & Paddle Boarding

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Oh my days, I’m just back from the best “working holiday” ever! I was excited to go to Potfest, but also nervous as I’ve never sold my pottery at an event in England before. I was expecting no one to know who Tea with Jud was, but I was very surprised to meet so many people who have already purchased my work from various shops and galleries.

Penrith is beautiful and apart from nearly dying of heat exhaustion (slight exaggeration!!) the whole event was amazing. Everyone was so lovely, enthusiastic about my work and complimentary about my display. I had great chats with people about pottery, wild swimming, knitting and even bumped into a guy I used to study with 20 years ago. It was really nice to reminisce!

The cattle pens were so hot, that the highlight of my whole weekend was paddle boarding and swimming in the lakes. Definitely the best thing to do after a long, hot days work! Although quite exhausting at times, especially when I fell off and got back on my board the wrong way round – I was just going round in circles for ages!!! I laughed soooo hard, it was so funny! When my friend Tamsin finally stopped laughing she told me I was on the board back to front! Who knew! Thank you Tams for teaching me how to paddle board and for looking after me so well! I wish all events were like this!

So now I am home with a few new projects in mind. The Empire Biscuits were a hit and I will definitely be making some to sell, so watch this space. Also, I will be experimenting with some new bowl sizes due to lots of people enquiring (my mum will be pleased)! Thank you so much to the Potfest team who make the event so enjoyable and to all my new, and existing customers who bought my pottery this weekend. I am very happy and I hope you are too. Hopefully I’ll make it back again next year!

Cheerio

jud.

My great intentions

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Hello!

I had such great intentions of getting a long list of boring but important jobs done this summer, but it appears my practical work in the workshop has consumed me once again. How is it already the 1st of August?! I have only half the list completed and this morning I am packing up my car to head to the Lake District for Potfest in the Pens! I know how knackering these events are but I really hope this will be like a working holiday! I have been swimming outdoors loads this summer and I love it so much, to be honest it is all I want to do! So I’m keeping my fingers crossed the weather is good and I can get a few swims in a lake, as well as selling some pots! I have never been to this particular event before and I am very excited! I have a few new additions for my display and I cannot wait to show you them! Keep an eye out on Instagram for pictures.

Wild Swimming at Marlee Loch

Here are some other things I have been meaning to tell you….

WEBSITE – One of my ongoing jobs this year was to revamp and relaunch the website, but I feel like there is no need to relaunch it now as you have been able to see the new look since February! I hope you like it . One feature that has just been added is the FAQ section, so hopefully this will answer any of your burning questions. If you think I have missed something out then ask away and I can always add your query to the list.

WEB STOCK – Some mugs and cups are sold out again on the website, sorry, but I will restock them as soon as I can.

Hanging Planter

After the success of my Hanging Planters I have decided to add them to my product range. They will be coming with me to Potfest, and then after that I just need to get them photographed and then onto the website. They will be available in all 7 colour ranges, but if you cannot wait and you wish to order one in advance, please just contact me here . Also, I hope to get a chance to start making my kitchen compost bins next month too!

Another thing that will definitely be changing is my Jugs. I have changed the design slightly to make them pour better, so I am planning to do all my product updates at the same time, hopefully by September, but these things take time you know!

Red Jug

STOCKISTS – Unfortunately I will not be stocking the lovely Craft Shop in the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester anymore. It has been a pleasure to sell my work there, in a city that I lived in and have very fond memories of. I’m sad I won’t have that connection with Manchester anymore but you can still buy work in these shops. My pottery is also temporarily available in ‘Found’ , a beautiful gallery in Dunbar, for their summer exhibition.

Nearly done…

POS – Perthshire Open Studios is just around the corner too. There is a new coloured route this year – LEMON – which Tea with Jud is on. I picked up my brochures yesterday and will tell you more details when I get back, however if you want to put the dates in your diary it will be on from 7th – 15th September.

I hope you are having a great summer and if you’re in Cumbria this weekend, maybe I will see you at Potfest? or hopefully somewhere else soon.

Cheerio for now!

Thank you very much Potfest

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On Sunday night I came home and lay on my bed. I fell asleep, and when I woke up on Monday morning I hadn’t moved an inch. I was in exactly the same position! Potfest was so brilliant but it made me very very tired!

I had the best weekend and just wanted to say a massive thank you so much to everyone who made it the best! To all of you who came and said hello, anyone who bought my pottery – both new & existing customers, to my lovely friends for visiting, bringing cakes and coffee, and to new potter friends. Thank you all so much for your lovely feedback and comments too. It’s so nice to know my work makes people smile. This past weekend reassures me that all the hours I spend in my workshop are totally worth it. I absolutely love the addition of my window frame behind my Belfast sink, and it sounded like you all did too. I have been thinking about how I can make my display even better for future events. I get so excited when I get new ideas!

It wasn’t just the potters who put on an excellent display at Scone Palace, the peacocks were magnificent this year!

So, I sold out of a lot of polka dot mugs, but thankfully I did come home with some stock! I have added a few pieces to the website, and the rest is going off to shops that have been waiting patiently. Once these have been wrapped and posted, and I’ve had a bit more sleep, it will be back to the workshop to make a gazillion mugs for my next event – Potfest in the Pens in Cumbria!

Turquoise Polka Dot mug settling in well to its new home!

I really hope you are enjoying your new mug, jug, bowl, or whatever pot you bought. I am continually grateful that you chose to support my business and help me to make a living out of something that I love. From the very bottom of my heart, thank you. Jud.

Potfest!

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I can’t believe it’s Potfest time again! Woohooo! I set up my stand yesterday, and despite the weather forecast of doom and gloom, the sun came out and it was lovely! Fingers crossed the weather forecast has got it wrong and the sun makes a few more appearances this weekend.

I am really good at keeping secrets, and have been sooooo excited keeping this one! I have a new prop! Its a fake window to complement my fake sink. I love it sooo much! Very big thank you’s to Robert, who made the frame, my mum, who made the curtain and Sharon for the ivy. I think it looks totally fab and I would be happy to wash my dishes here forever, if the sink was plumbed in!

This year I will be giving away free Tea with Jud Tote Bags to the first 5 customers each day. So, if you want one, make sure you are early!

Just casually modelling my Tote Bag in Marbella

Potfest is on all weekend at Scone Palace from 10am – 5pm. I really am so excited, there is a fantastic array of pottery, definitely something for everyone. I’m heading down early this morning to have a good look around before it starts. Hope to see you there, Jud

What’s going on?

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Hello there! I thought I would just check in and let you know whats going on in the world of Tea with Jud.

Since February I have been taking part in a Creative Accelerator Programme 2 days a week which focuses on helping creative businesses develop. Meet the Maker coincided well with the course as I have been forced to think about topics I don’t usually think about! I am going to apply some new approaches to my business in the hope it will help me run Tea with Jud more efficiently, therefore allowing me more time to rest. Everyone knows being self employed is more than 24/7! I feel I have been working so so hard since January, even harder at the minute as all my practical work has been crammed into 5 days a week whilst I complete the course. I know this won’t last forever but it feels like work is taking over my life and I am very conscious of how tiring it is. I really don’t want to burn myself out and lose enthusiasm for a job that I love.


So, I have nearly made all my pots for Potfest at the start of June, I just need to have massive glaze-a-thon now. I am also making stock for some shops (they are all waiting very patiently) and I REALLY need to restock the website! I know there are lots of things out of stock but I will restock it as soon as I can. Thank you so so much to everyone who has bought some pottery from it recently. I sent some pots off to Slovenia and Zambia last week! Amazing!!! It just blows my mind!

On top of all this, I am also doing another Challenge. As if i need anything else to do!! It was born out of Meet the Maker when I admitted my most difficult make was a Teapot. A fellow Potter on Instagram, penni.q.pottery suggested a Teapot Challenge. The purpose is to try and improve our confidence in our teapot making skills. It is a 6 month project and we will both reveal our Teapots on 1st of each month on Instagram. I will most likely write a blog about it in October once the challenge is complete!

I think that’s it for now! Thanks again for all your continued support. I hope you had a lovely weekend.

Cheerio,
jud