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Simon Olley

A man, his best (canine) friend and their pottery.


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Focus - it’s all in the... digits 🐾 at Pilgrims Way


Keep watching... Uly couldn’t keep a closer eye on proceedings than here in sunny Kemsing this morning 😎 at Pilgrims Way


Final flourishes to the large platter I was working on yesterday 😎 at Pilgrims Way


Decorating a large platter this morning based on Uly my Black Lab and his favourite occupation of dreaming of birds falling from the sky for him to retrieve - well he is a retriever! at Pilgrims Way


One morning as a young teenager I came downstairs to find my mother upset. She looked at me and said, "she died last night”. For a moment I thought she meant my sister had died, but of course it wasn’t, it was our little spaniel, Susie who was just seven years old 😒 What a shock. Susie had to be the best ever Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She was tall for a King Charles - more the size of a small Springer - she was so soft and gentle and always up for a good walk - loved picking blackberries too! One day I’ll have another spaniel I hope. I’ll post more pictures of Susie in a day or two and you’ll see just what a super dog she was 😍 at Pilgrims Way


My production line’s been spinning today, carrying on from throwing sets of six cappuccino and smaller espresso mugs on my potters’ wheel I set them up on a banding wheel for additions of handles before putting in a nice cool spot to gently dry out ready for the kiln 😎 “The Keel Row” by Kathleen Ferrier ❤️ at Pilgrims Way


Uly insists now on being fed only from one of his own design of dishes: this is the problem when a dog starts to think he is Alpha of the pack. Honestly, just a few followers on social media - it goes straight to his head. Even the chickens are trying to get in on the act, whilst little old me is still waiting for the offer of all-expenses-paid trips to exotic locations to provide a fitting backdrop for my pottery. It’s a dog’s life, that’s what they say, and I’m not disagreeing 🐾 at Pilgrims Way


Making these mugs is becoming addictive (and messy). I make them in batches of half a dozen which is manageable in the small space I have. Six is a good number to throw, trim and add handles to - six fits nicely on one of my large circular bats for fettling and could even be stacked on top of another bat of six for storage - I’ll try and demonstrate what I mean in another post soon 😎 at Pilgrims Way


Friday and making some stoneware mugs using a lovely toasted reddish clay for a customer these will be finished in a moody floating glaze that I call “Blue Mountain” after our trip to the Lake District Cumbria last year 😎 at Pilgrims Way


Me and Uly had a lot of fun making mugs in 2017 and plan to continue in 2018 too! I'd like to illustrate some other types of dogs too so I'm inviting commissions from dog lovers anywhere and everywhere... It doesn't matter if your best friend is a Lab like mine, a tiny terrier or a Great Dane, the offer is basically to design make and illustrate sets (pairs, 4's or 6's) of small espresso mugs or larger cappuccino mugs (these I can do singly too) - they will be of your dog and can also include some wording. Please message me if you'd like to know a bit more 🐾 at Pilgrims Way


I've been experimenting with ways to present my work online. Here I have adapted my pottery wheel to display this small illustrated vase in a way that shows off its "story". It was inspired by the day I nearly lost Uly over the cliffs at the Seven Sisters! Funnily enough we count dog years in sevens against our human lives. I suppose if a dog has to go then over a cliff is possibly the most exciting way imaginable - for one brief moment he can fly! Seriously though it was a heart-stopping moment and it was probably only that Uly is trained to stop on the whistle that saved us from disaster that day. A mile or two up the road is Beachy Head which is famous as a lovers' leap. Next post will be a happier subject I promise 🐾 Please let me know what you think of the video! at Pilgrims Way


Hope we can all have some days like this in 2018 😀🐾 . . . #grasmere #lakedistrict #Blacklab #Labrador #walkswithmydog #greatbritain #nationaltrust #dayslikethis #olleypottery at Grasmere


Work in progress to take me and Uly into the new year and hopefully beyond. At this lull in between holidays we look at our past endeavours and aim to build upon the small successes and attempt to avoid some of the mistakes and errors that occur alongside. We look at the amazing work being created by craftspeople and artists the world over and anticipate greatly seeing their new creations also. at Pilgrims Way


It's a wonderful dog's life ☺ at Pilgrims Way


That's a big wet seasonal kiss from Uly and a firmly shaken hand from me. We wish you a Very Merry Christmas! 🐾 at Pilgrims Way


Getting a lot of snow in the studio right now! at Pilgrims Way


In heavy training now to cope with onslaught of festive turkey over next few days 🐾 at Pilgrims Way


Right, or Left? ☺ at Pilgrims Way

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