The Credit crunch doesn't seem to have reached Suffolk yet. Local artisans gathered under the high eau de nil ceilings [embossed with intricate blindingly white plasterwork from an earlier era] of the nearby posh school to show our work this weekend. For some unknown reason persons flocked in and we took a record amount of boodle, nigh on £3000.
My earnings were a small percentage it is true but still it was a warm feeling to be swished by the waves of approbation, increasingly swirled by the sharp elbowed under current of bargain hunting .
Our strict Baptist farmer always benefits from these predatory urges to find a classy Xmas present that looks classy and costs so much less than if you were shopping in London. He turns wood, and produces remarkably beautiful bowls and vases, excellent to send as unbreakable gifts all over the country. Monkey puzzle trees are his current prey.
This bowl is "spalted" [elm or sycamore maybe] which means, I learnt, that the tree dies and a fungus sets in amongst the grain. It has to be killed as the spores can be carcinogenic [as is so much it seems] and then when the wood is turned you end up with these impressive markings.
Recently villagers have complained about his wood pile, as mixed with other farm detrius it was accused of bringing the neighbourhood down, so he had to sort and display it in a more refined manner. Didn't stop them coming and snapping up his bowls of course.
His Baptist life style means he can't steward on a Sunday, but I notice that as his bowls play an increasing part of his income he now bowls in on the Sunday evening to pack the remainder up and totter home. On Saturday he wore scarlet cordroy trousers, black shirt and scarlet patterned bow tie, that's new too.
The potter here is a German lady, Usch, who throws these wonderful jugs and then glazes them in startling colours. I couldn't resist taking the photo with Maggie's quilt behind, stunning.
Maggie sold the quilt to her plumber when he came to do a job at her house, not sure which way the money went in the end. Mags usually flies to Houston for the quilt fair around now with empty suitcases and comes back with them full of fabrics and one or two cheap tracksuits from the A&P that clothed her while she was there.