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Geff & Jeannie's blog

A Beginner’s Guide to Pottery

The basics of pottery making. Focuses mostly on wheel work but some of the techniques are common to all pottery

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The Doona Thief

This is my side of the bed…

My Side

This is the other side of the bed…

The Other Side

There was a time when my beloved would consistently push (yes, push) the doona all over to my side. I don’t know how she did it. It would have taken considerable skill. Now, she has taken to pulling it over to her side – most nights. I don’t mind. On 6th July 2020 it is 24 years that we have been sharing the same bed – and wrestling the doona. And what a joy and privilege it has been. Happy Anniversary Darling. I love spending each and every day with you. Thank you Lord for blessing our marriage.

Breakfast at Bayside Barista

Just a bit potty?!

Results of the latest firing - 2019

I can be accused of being a bit potty because I enjoy playing with clay. I love the creative act of taking a lump of clay and then producing something that is both functional and beautiful. That’s not to say that everything I produce is beautiful – there are a few ugly pieces, even if they are functional.

The technical stuff. Everything I make is fired twice. The first firing is called bisque firing, to 980c. The piece is then glazed and fired again. This time to 1280c, called a stoneware firing. It is worth noting that gold melts at a lower temperature than this. The result is that the pottery could last dozens of years (we still use pots that I made over 40 years ago – I was just a kid ;-), even hundreds or thousands of years. In case you think I’m exaggerating, pots have been dug up that are well over 2,000 years old.

I started making pots when I was at Teacher’s Training college in Leicester, UK. I was studying maths. But a friend of mine, Martyn, was doing pottery. I used to go and watch him on the wheel. He encouraged me to have a go. I admit that it was more fun than the maths classes and I spent more time doing pottery than I did maths. After 2 years the Art department asked me if I would like to turn my “play/hobby” into a “shortened main course”. Which I did after putting together an exhibition.

I have loved doing pottery ever since. It is time for me to play and be creative. I didn’t think I was creative beforehand. Now I know that everyone one of us is creative, because we were made by a creative God.

More stuff anyone?


Christmas has just finished. It was lovely to spend time with family and friends. But let me ask you, do you need more stuff? Do family and friends still buy Christmas presents for you? We have been trying to stop our family buying us Christmas presents for a number of years – without success. It is lovely that they are so generous, but honestly we do not need anything. If we do need anything we can buy it ourselves. 

Yet there are so many people in this world who are in need. People who do not have the basics. They cannot buy what they need, let alone what they want! We would so love our family to give that money that they spend on gifts for us to people who do need gifts. There are so many organisations where you can buy a goat, chicken or mosquito net for someone where it will make a life changing difference. We will keep trying…

Marley Time

We usually have our grandson, Marley, every Friday. It’s our Marley-time. We love to have him over and he loves coming. He is 2 years and 8 months old. He a bright little spark. A couple of weeks ago he told his Dad, our son, “I’m going to stay at Grandma and Grandpa’s house forever… then I’ll come back and see you”.

Marley loves garbage bins. He told Grandma, “I love garbage bins”. Then asked her, “Do you love garbage bins?”! Grandma’s response, “I don’t know about that.” And he loves to see the garbage bin being picked up. It’s his best thing. If we hear the bin truck (even if it is streets away), it’ll be “Quick, quick!” and we’ll rush up the drive to sit on the ground and wait for the truck. It does not matter if it takes 5 minutes or an hour. Marley does not care how long it takes. We wait and we chat.

Waiting for the Bin Truck

We have three garbage bins, a red, general waste bin, a green, food and organics bin, and a yellow, recycling bin. I was explaining to Marley what happens with the waste in each bin. Afterwards, he turned to me and said, “you need to shave your beard and that (pointing to my moustache) and that (pointing to the hair under my bottom lip) and that (pointing to my eyebrows) – but not your hair”. Out of the mouths of babes.

We love the time with Marley. There is no schedule. Time seems to stretch out. And we are worn out at the end of the day. But we love it.