Life at Kerjacob .

Life at Kerjacob .

Saturday, 6 February 2016

The magic of Raku pottery

For about 6 months now I have been
attending ceramic workshops.

I look forward to each one and spend time
working out what I am going to make.

Some of the workshops are based around raku work.

The firing of the pieces is a very exciting and somewhat
nerve- wracking experience.

The pieces are fired to a very high temperature and then 
( in our case ) plunged into large metal vats full
of sawdust.

Then eventually they are washed and scrubbed to reveal the magic.

These candle holders were inspired by  inverted oil funnels - they are not made using
a raku technique.

The pieces here are raku fired ….. ( you can see a copper oil funnel used as a candle holder.

This is the last piece that was fired just before Christmas 2015.

I have been to one workshop so far this year and look forward to later this month when I
can continue with my work.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Aristide and Bruges Folk Museum.

So, welcome to Artistide !

He is a very lucky cat who lives in
the Bruges Folk Museum.

A black cat is the mascot of this museum.
This beautiful boy is the fourth

He was lucky enough to be born all black.
He was unlucky to be handed in to
a French charity that takes in
unwanted animals

However he was lucky enough
to be a kitten when
Aristide III died.

So ……………..

Let me introduce you to  Aristide 4th - a beautiful black cat who lives in the Museum.
He is adored by the people who work there and by visitors .

The museum is set out in little one storey houses which were originally
built as homes for people who had worked as cobblers or grocers.
The houses were for them to live in when they retired
and probably had very little income or savings.

Now each little house has a collection of items in a setting that shows
how life used to be.

So, the first room was the schoolroom and there were items in it that I could remember
from when I was very little. I used a slate and can remember writing out my tables
and doing simple sums on it and very good it was too.

Some of you will remember desks like these - I can remember having
the job of refilling the inkwells.

Here are all the coats hung on their individual pegs ……. with their clogs set out below.

So another room and we are at the cobblers …… not many like this anymore.
Wish there were.

The shoe forms which the cobbler would use to fashion the shoes -
each one would be for a different size.
I have quite a few of these which I've collected over the years.
I love them.

Now to the grocers ….  to my surprise there where some brands that I knew.

Like Sunlight soap which was made very near where I used to live in England.

Lux soap flakes which was to wash delicate things -
 long before we all had washing machines.

Then we go into a room filled with wonderful old toys.

A beautiful rocking horse and an old board game.

The jars below would have held loose tobacco.

 This amazing sledge was made to carry a baby.
It must have been for a very rich family.
There was a little door with a round window
so as the sledge was pushed along you could see the baby.
 Inside was a tiny velvet seat for the baby.
The sledge was mounted on metal runners
and must have been very heavy to push along.

The wooden figure below of a hussar was the traditional sign
 for the tobacconists shop.

Into the kitchen which was charming in its simplicity. I just loved it.

I can certainly  remember a simple sink like this and know
 that when I was a baby my mother used to bathe me
in the one we had at home !

So if you go to Bruges take a good walk away from the rush
of the busy city centre and go to discover this wonderfully
 magic gem of a museum.
Sit down and have a coffee in the little period cafe
where you will meet two charming gentleman who work there
…….. and the beautiful ….. very lucky ……….  Aristide.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Bruges - a beautiful magical place.

For the last three days we have been on a little

We went to Bruges in Belgium stopping
off at Rouen in France on the way.

Of course there were many Christmas lights but
really Bruges doesn't need extra
sparkle as it is just so beautiful.

A city that has hardly changed in hundreds of years - the buildings are just glorious.

At every turn there is something to look at and admire - a photographic heaven.

The Belgians were renowned for their brick making and their use of them in their
architecture. The workmanship and the skill is superb.

Wide canals cross the town and it was a relief not to find throngs of tourists with
' selfie ' sticks packed on to boats  everywhere ( as in Venice )

Jan Van Eyck was the master painter of Bruges and his skill still remains staggering.

At night it was a joy to walk along the quiet cobbled streets and look at all the beautiful
houses, sometimes being lucky enough to see swans on the canals in their mystical

In my next post I'll tell you about the Folk Museum where we met a black cat called …………………………………….


Monday, 30 November 2015

Giving a new life to an old chair.

A few months ago I bought a few old chairs.
I wanted to start to give them a new life.

So this is the result for the first chair. I removed all the old fabric, painted the frame
with Annie Sloan chalk paint ( which I love using ) and then using old linen
recovered it and renewed the padding.

The braid on the corners was some that I've had for many years and I decided that
it would go so well with the linen cover.

The little cushion is made out of some old linen too - just an extra touch.
Now it will wait for someone to fall in love with it and it to go to a new home.

The rabbit is one of the new cushions that I showed in my post yesterday but today
I was able to take the photographs outside - the colours look better in the daylight.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

New design for a new cushion.

I have been very busy in this rather bad weather making new cushions.
The rabbit is one I made this weekend - really love it.

More to come in my next post.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

There are no words ……………………..

At Kerjacob the sun shines today but my heart and head
are full of sadness for La France.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

"Love to you " - new pieces.

Now that winter is on its way
and I'm spending more time inside
 I'm busy
working on new things.

I've just finished eight cushions 
which I've made using linen
and images that I've printed.

At this very moment I'm waiting for parts 
to dry on 2015 Christmas cards.

I can't show those as there'll be
no surprises in the post
for family and friends !

Later this month I'll be at my village's
Christmas fair here in

Hope you like what I'm making !

Tags to go on presents
or just to hang wherever you want to make you smile !

Linen with old mother of pearl buttons.

Anyone for tea ?

For those of you who love cats .

Just love this little girl with flowers in her hair.

Smaller cushion again in linen.

Vintage cutlery printed on to linen.

All cushions and tags for sale from Pilgrim and Pie.