Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Aston Pottery

On day two of our holidays we headed to Aston Pottery which is a few miles from Witney. We visited last year and I treated myself to one of their lovely mugs.

This time we were booked onto one of their ceramic painting workshops. It was a very simple technique using plastic stencils.

No surprises for guessing which stencil Chickpea chose to decorate her plate with!

I went for a wildlife theme and subtler colours. We all really enjoyed it and it was a great way to spend an hour.

After the painting, we went on a tour of the workshop to see how the pottery is made. Someone asked how you get the empty space inside a teapot. Basically you pour liquid clay into the mould and leave it for an hour. The material the mould is made of is porous so the clay starts drying out around the outside. After an hour (or however thick you want the outside to be - longer = thicker) you just turn the mould upside down and pour out the excess clay - magic!

Next it was time for lunch in their cafe. Naturally they use their own pottery.

I loved that the light fittings coordinated with the pottery.

The last thing to explore were the gardens. I couldn't get enough of the rows and rows of dahlias.

Just beautiful and so colourful.

This is the Pleached Hornbeam Jubilee Walk, filled with gorgeous cottage garden flowers.

A pink echinacea was covered in bees and butterflies. This one is a small tortoiseshell.

Look closely and you can see a brimstone. I so wish it had opened up to show you the incredibly bright acid yellow of its wings.

This was the best I could get of a peacock too. Having seen the flowers crowded with so much life, we actually called at a garden centre on our way home to buy one. It had been planted less than half an hour before the first butterfly landed on it!

And did we buy anything from their shop?

Of course we did! Again, no prizes for guessing which one Chickpea chose.

We had to leave the plates at the Pottery to be glazed but, a couple of weeks later, Gill brought them up for us. It's amazing how much more vibrant the colours are now and we were both thrilled with them.

Our visit to Aston Pottery wasn't the end of our day though as we headed on to another destination - more about that next time. x


  1. I love pottery and I had a one year course some years ago.It's a wonderful and useful hobby!It seems you had a wonderful time and your plates look really nice. I hope you'll have them filled with nice desserts!

  2. Pottery, tea shops and gardens- what a great day out. I love all the pottery you brought home too- enjoy it:)

  3. Oh I would love to try ceramic painting! The plates you made are just lovely and such a nice reminder of a lovely day out with your daughter.
    Marianne x

  4. What a great day out , your pottery looks wonderful

  5. I've always liked to watch the whole process of making pottery but have never had the opportunity to try it myself. I love both your plates but yours is my favourite because of the motifs and the colours you chose. What a great way to spend some time together.

  6. What a beautiful garden and I love the plates you decorated.

  7. I love days out like that! I went on a hen do to a pottery once, it was so much fun. And it all looks so much better when it's glazed, too. I like your natural, autumn theme. x

  8. Hi Julie! thanks for explaining how they make teapots. I had never thought about that before, but it was fascinating to hear about. Those gorgeous English gardens ~ wow! My arid Colorado climate just can't compete. I enjoyed your Foodie post too. I'm a go for dark chocolate daily! Take care!

  9. Dear Julie,
    I love this post from beginning to end. That Jubliee Garden Walk, oh my goodness, I am swooning! Those dahlias! Lucy from Attic 24 had some on her post too and it made me wish I was in England right NOW! Also, I love that you got to make your own pottery, that would send me over the moon!
    The fact that they made the light fixtures the same colors as the dots on their pottery might seem just a little thing to some people but it's the kind of thing that tickles me no end!! xx

  10. The flowers are so gorgeous -- don't take them for granted, they are rather sparse and less spectacular around here. I'm impress with your plates. The one time I have done this I just painted a giant red and white peppermint on a round platter, nothing as detailed as yours:)