Devon Potter – A photographic Essay and tutorial – Douglas Fitch

I was lucky enough to be invited along to witness Douglas Fitch’s latest firing of his slipware.. you can find more about Douglas on his website or his Blog

I also used this opportunity to teach Claire Borlase some techniques for shooting in Low-light with her Nikon D700. So it was a double bonus really. I love getting down to Devon anyway and meeting fellow creatives and getting to teach and help other people is something else I also enjoy.

Thursday saw us rock up after lunch at Dougs secret slipware location. Where the firing was already underway.

Doug has a real talent for making things with his hands as can be seen through his workplace.

After arriving and making our introductions claire and myself set about taking some shots of dougs wonderful work… all without disturbing a think.. right claire 🙂 Here we have claire deep in thought photographing some of the slipware.

We saw these little fella’s wandering around.. we could have put them in the kiln.. but that would have been a delicious mistake.

Here we have Andrew Grundon helping his mate out with the firing. We can see the glow from the fire, but also that it’s still bright outside.

And this is the firebox being fed with wood and raked.

This is the firebox the other-side with claire getting a different angle on this shot.

In this one we have Dougs guitar – which looks well used to me.

I love this one showing the pots and workspace, very atmospheric.

Here we have the man himself Doug – an environmental portrait showing off his workspace and a creative in full swing

Here is Mr Grundon again… I don’t *think* he was doing head, shoulders, knees & toes…. but my memorie could be playing tricks on me.

Here we have Andrew again feeding the fireboxes.. I love the slight bit of motion in his hand.. it depicts.. ermmmm.. motion.

Here we have the inside of the kiln – you can make out the outlines of the slipware… it’s all heating up.

Here’s Doug feeding the firebox some more – i’m loving the glow from the fire.. couldn’t ask for a nicer light.. plus it meant i didn’t need my coat on.

And a slightly different angle.. I hesitate to say a wider angle shot because it was the same 35mm lens i just used my foot zoom 🙂

Here we have a third player. Mark Bristowe. Love the look of concentration on his face here.

And working in tandem here with Doug to add fuel to the fire.

You can see from Marks’ face how much heat the kiln is kicking out by this point, must have been close to 1000C (thats pretty warm)

The fire coming out as Doug checks the firing and the true kiln temperature.

Love ths plume of fire here as Doug checks the temperature at the rear of the kiln.. like purely by firelight!

and here we have the final image in the series, doug by his kiln (lit by a CTO gelled speedlight triggered by pocket wizards to camera right).
Love the dark and light in this image and the mood. Sums it up to me.

Thanks for having me along Doug and hope your firing went well – it was a pleasure to watch you in action and thanks for the hug 🙂
A big thanks also to Claire for having me down to teach (and giving me the opportunity to shoot Doug) and also for being such a great student.. you have a great eye and from the photos of yours i’ve seen you have a great future ahead. You can see Claire’s photographs here on flickr, well worth a look.

Greg is available for One 2 One photography tuition, commercial, editorial and portrait photography work. I’m based in Dorset, but, have a car and a passport so can travel to most places 🙂



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