Hello’s and sad goodbyes

Here we are in April, goodness the year is just flying by. We are back in the shop full time and things are picking up. We still worry that people are nervous of spending and there is some evidence of that, but we are generally happy with how things are starting to grow.

We have had a new maker join us this month. We now have some lovely cut metal images, the larger ones are cut outs of Polperro and the ‘Nearly there Trees’. Those of you who travel down the A30 will be familiar with the trees that welcome you as you approach Cornwall. For those living in Cornwall they are referred to as the ‘Nearly HOME trees. Always a lovely sight.

Welcoming new makers into our shop is always exciting. We are quite fussy though, so we usually only welcome one new person a year. We have a couple of self imposed rules that we like to stick to. Firstly everything has to be made in Cornwall. This was not always the case but we made a decision about 4 years ago to change to all Cornish items. We had visited Scotland and we went into a lovely little shop with crafty items , we picked up a few things to buy and were disappointed to discover that the wool was from Mexico, the tea towel was from China and a card we picked up of a highland cow, was actually produced about 5 miles away from where we lived in Cornwall. We didn’t want the people who visited us to be as disappointed as we were that our Scottish reminders were in fact not made in Scotland.

It’s also important to us that if we support a maker that we don’t invite other makers doing the same craft, to come in and compete with our existing crafters. This does limit what we can take but it also means that we are fully committed to the artisans who put their trust in us and don’t over crowd with to many of the same style of work.

Lastly, we hate when we go round tourist areas and all the shops have the same items for sale. So we ask that people don’t sell their work in other shops within 7 miles of us. So people visiting Looe and Polperro don’t keep seeing the same items in the area and everything in our shop looks unique. It’s seems to work but do you think these are good rules to have, or are we just to fussy?

Would you believe in April we’ve already run out of Christmas trees, specifically the Polperro and Cornwall ones. A load went in on Tuesday and Steve drilled them on Wednesday. I’ve just put ribbons on so we have a stock for the rest of Easter. I’ve just ordered more glass as I’m running low and the next on the list are the coasters. They take a lot of glass so I won’t be making them until my order arrives, as I don’t want to be left with no glass at all. It’s very easy, when we are busy to take our eye off the ball, and not realise we are running short of something.

Also this month I had a visit to ‘Craft for crafters’, a craft show at Westpoint Arena near Exeter. It’s an annual trip I make with my sister who lives nearby, so always good excuse to stock up with crafty bits and also have a catch up and a gossip. We did a lovely little workshop to make a wet felted bowl. I enjoyed it so much I will be making more I ….. maybe a few will sneak into the shop

It’s also been an incredible sad month for us. We had to say goodbye to our beautiful boy Fin. Our 11 year old collie. He’s was definitely one of a kind, completely mad and totally instinct driven. He was epileptic and also had the terrible Canine degenerative myelopathy. With all his problems he never was miserable or felt sorry for himself he just adapted and lived his life to the full. We miss him so very much already.

On that sad note I will wish you a happy Easter and hopefully see you in the shop soon.
Janice x

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Gearing up for Easter

This weeks been nice and busy. There has been lots to do around the shop. We still haven’t finished all the cleaning, but I’m leaving the cobweb and spider eviction to Steve.

We’ve also been unpacking and putting out lots of new stock, that has arrived from our lovely Cornish makers. So now we’ve got lots of stunning clocks, lamps, mice, badgers and moles.

I’ve also been back using my long neglected glass kiln. We had an online order the other day for bee and flower bunting and I realised I only had one set left. It was a little bit of a wake up call, to remind me I needed to get a bit of wiggle on. I’ve been getting used to a little bit of a break away from making glass. I still love it, but sometimes I do need to step back a bit and recharge my batteries a little. But I’m back on it again and fully committed . So much so I decided I would make some pictures and candle holders. Using some lovely white and blue streaky glass to make cloudy skies and dark waves. I made 8 candle holders and 4 pictures. I have added reactive French vanilla chips to the bottom. By adding a turquoise fine frit around them, the two glasses react and gives a lovely dark line around the chips, which looks just like pebbles on a Sandy beach. Steve added some lovely wood bases to the pictures and they headed into the shop today.

It doesn’t mean I’ve given up with the pottery. I’ve been working on some ideas. I bought some different types of clay.I’ve been using white throwing clay. I don’t throw, but I wanted a smooth clay. But it’s been a bit to sticky and plasticky, so I bought some clay with grog in. It’s ideal for hand building. I used it for the penguin and the whale. But I’m not sure I liked the rough texture when using it. So I bought some scandi clay and some toasted clay. Both will fire in a buff colour and I don’t know what the glazes will look like on them, as I’ve only got a limited amount of glazes. I’ve particularly enjoyed using the toasted clay. It’s easy to use straight from the bag and doesn’t need to much drying before I can build things. It’s also got grog in, it but it’s very fine, it gives it strength but without the rough texture. There are quite a few bits now waiting to dry. Including another whale as the first one wasn’t even in the shop for 2 days before it sold. I have enjoyed making a second and will have fun glazing it different than the first. The little circles are texture stamps. Once I’ve fired them, I can use them in future to put texture on the clay.

I added texture on this fish plaque that I’ve literally just finished making. I think I’m going to enjoy adding texture on things in the future as this was a lot of fun to make.

Can you spot the two holes one by the eye and one by the tail. I am hoping if this work, I can screw it to the wall. I may have a small problem though, I again forgot to measure before getting to far and it’s going to be a tight squeeze getting it into the kiln opps! I really must stop my imagination getting to carried away and forgetting the practicalities.

Well hopefully we are all now ready for the Easter rush.I hope the weather is good to us 🤞 maybe we will see you in the shop soon.
Janice x

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