Twenty Twen-Tea with Jud

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1 week down, 51 to go.

I always try and start each New Year with a positive attitude and a list of goals, both business and personal. This year is no exception but I already know I have faffed about all last week, eating biscuits and feel bad about not being as productive as normal.

I had a long list of little things to do, so it meant I only made 30 pots, and to me that is really bad compared to my usual production level.

In 2018 out of curiosity I kept a record of how many pots I made during the year. I was shocked adding it all up to discover I made 4099 pieces of pottery! Obviously not all of them made it to a finished piece, a lot ended up as seconds or in the bin, but it made me re-evaluate how many hours I spend in my workshop. In 2019 I decided to try and make less than the year before. I did achieve this, but only 379 pots less, that’s approximately 2 weeks’ worth of throwing. I think I spent those 2 weeks wild swimming, so I suppose that’s good!

As busy as last year was, I know I absolutely benefited from squeezing in a bit more me time. My Repetitive Strain Injury in October proved to me that I cannot keep pushing my body as hard as I do. So, if I can make even less again this year I think that would be a great idea! I’ve just got to be even more organised and strict at finishing work, closing the door behind me and switching off.  I will also have to try hard at changing my mind-set, so that I don’t feel bad if I do only make 30 pots in 1 week!

What I did actually do last week was work on some new designs which I will hopefully share with you in February. Thankfully I got these glazed before my kiln decided to give up on me yesterday. Unfortunately all my customer orders that I made were in the firing but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they are not destroyed. The electrician is coming later today and I really hope he can fix it! Oh man, ceramics is so stressful at times.

I also restocked my shop in the barn wall for any passing customers this winter.

On Friday I got the potters wheel of my dreams! I have wanted one since I learned how to throw at University. I had to do a bit of rearranging in the workshop as it’s the size of a horse! (a small horse) and it doesn’t even squeak so I can hear the radio again when I’m throwing = throwing heaven. My workshop was small to begin with, but I could definitely do with a bigger one now, something I really should consider in the near future.

I think that’s you up to date. I hope January is going well for you and you haven’t been faffing around like me! One other goal is to stop procrastinating…at least by the end of January!

Cheerio!

PS: thanks for all your lovely messages over Christmas. I’m delighted to hear you liked your presents!
PPS: 2 dates in my diary so far… I’ll be back at Potfest Scotland and Potfest in the Pens this year! Yay!

Big FAT thank you

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Woohooo! Market season has finished for me! I cannot believe how busy this year has been. In some ways it feels like its been a really long year, but also like it has flown by! I’m just finishing off a few commissions this week, doing some admin (schmadmin) and this morning I unpacked the car and added whats left onto the website – just in time for last orders TOMORROW!

I know I say thanks a lot, but I really do mean it. Thanks so much to everyone who has helped me in any way this year. To anyone who has done a delivery, wrapped an order, gone to the post office, looked after Albert for me, carried a crate, manned my stand… the list is endless.

Thanks to all my stockists for your continued support and to the organisers of the markets and events who always work so hard behind the scenes.

Also thank you to you, my customers, who say really nice things and buy my pottery as without you I would not be able to thank the people in the paragraphs above or do a job that I love.

So really it is just big fat thank yous all round.

Grey and Gold

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Wow there… what’s this then?

Since last year I have been inundated with requests for more Grey & Gold pottery. I deliberated for ages whether I should make more as I initially released it as a Limited Edition but then I thought “why not?” There are no set rules in this self employment, and why should I deprive you of something that you want?! So as a wee special treat I have made a few pieces. I only glazed a small amount as I’ve had about 90 million other things to do (not an exaggeration) So if you want one, be quick!

There are some mugs, small mugs and espresso mugs available here. I’m considering making more, maybe making this a permanent colour range? but I need to have a good think about it next year.

*Reminder alert* – Any orders placed after Tuesday 17th will not be processed until January. Last postage is Wednesday 18th December.

Thank you very much.

Bowls and stuff

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Hello there,

Christmas is approaching fast and I have been beavering away in the workshop. Only 2 events left and I’m sure I can see a tiny Christmas light twinkling at the end of the tunnel.

Some news – My new “Small Breakfast Bowls” have been proving very popular at the markets and I am very pleased to add them to my product range. I have just added some onto the website and they are available to purchase here. They are a size in between my “Small Bowl” and my “Breakfast Bowl”, perfect for a small bowl of porridge or delicious homemade granola. The perfect size for mums, well, my mum anyway! Apologies if this makes decision making even more difficult in the bowl department.

My Hanging Planters are also available online too. You can shop for them here.

CHRISTMAS POST – All online orders must be placed by Tuesday 17th December as the last Tea with Jud post run is on Wednesday 18th December. I will then be closing up the workshop and any orders placed after that will not be processed until I return to work January.

My last 2 events of the year are this weekend – at Abernyte Brewery Christmas Market, and next weekend I will be at the Bowhouse in Fife with Tea green Events. These markets are my absolute favourite! They are packed full of independent designers, makers, bakers, brewers etc… and the most delicious food to eat. They have a really lovely atmosphere and I cannot wait to see what treats await me so I can finish off my Christmas shopping too! Hopefully I will see you there.

Cheerio for now!

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.