Updating website August 2018.
As you will have seen from earlier pages, two new items in my "production line" have arrived this year. The first is a garlic and oil dipping bowl. Inspired by an unnamed potter in South Carolina, I have adapted it for our more european tastes. The ridges in the base of the bowl are for rubbing with a garlic clove, then one adds good olive oil and either a dribble of balsamic vinegar or some finely chopped basil then, sharing with friends with drinks, it is used for dipping chunks of bread. I decorate them with olives on the inside and green and blue stripes around the oitside.
Out of that came my candy stripe cereal bowls and mugs in green and blue stripe or in candy colour stripe. I have also introduced large fat cups as coffee mugs. The larger one is really quite big, based on the french coffee bowl.
After ten very interesting and quite exciting years, I have stepped down from the committee and vice chairmandship of the Cornwall Crafts Association. It was great fun, especialy meeting Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall during our 40th Anniversary celebrations. I remain on the committees of the Cornwall Ceramics and Glass Group and the Cornwall Advanced Drivers too.
A little travel still excites me, Iceland and whale-watching in 2017, but it is my bees, our woodland and garden that are my greatest pleasures nowadays but there is the possibilty of taking up paragliding too, if we can enrol with a local group, we discovered paragliding on a walking (and lazing) holiday in Northern Spain last July. Two years ago I joined a choir, we sing a wonderful mix of songs: classics, musicals, pop. We went to France in the Spring and sang in the American cemetrary at Omaha Beach and in Bayeux Cathedral and we have recorded a CD in aid of "Support for Heros". I shall continue to make pottery for a few years yet, I still find contentment in closing the door on the world and working quietly in my studio.
I am still a novice bee-keeper. I now have three occupied hives, two are my original Horizontal Top Bar Hives and the third is a mini top bar hive converted from a "national". This summer I had two swarms that moved in of their own volition, one into the mini top bar and another into a normal "national". But the swarm in the national didn't survive, or else they abandoned it and joined the others in the mini. I also "caught" another swarm in a bait box on a pole which, having no room at the time, I handed over to another bee keeper friend. So currently I have three hives preparing for winter. I treat them all the same way, minimal interference, I shall check that they have enough "stores" (Honey) for the winter and, if not, I shall help out with syrup or fondant but I prefer not to as they seem stronger and less prone to disease when they get to eat their own natural produce.
My method of beekeeping is learned from Phil Chandler (see 'biobees' and 'natural bee keeping' on-line) and from Fydor Lazukin (see 'beekeeping with a smile' also on-line). The intention is to leave the bees to live their lives with as little interference as possible, leaving them all their honey for their over-wintering stores. I simply provide housing because today there are few natural cavities for them to inhabit.
Image of bees arriving at bait box and transfer to Horizontal Top Bar Hive, below