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