Now that building has started in earnest, we decided to celebrate by getting something nice for the visitor accommodation. 

We want it to be a really special little place, just right for two people.  A cosy, private retreat, with fantastic views and filled with beautiful and interesting stuff.  Locally made, to encourage people to explore and see what the area has to offer.

We drove down to Cygnet and arranged to see Ian Clare, a local potter who makes my very favourite kind of thing – objects that perfectly combine form and function;  beautiful and a pleasure to use.  Unlike the ‘reed canoe’ we were greeted by outside the old apple shed that houses his studio.  It would be a real pain in the backside to sit in and certainly wouldn’t float, but you have to admire the form and the sheer effort to turn a bunch of rusty old barbed wire into a work of art.  I hope the maker wasn’t too scarred by the experience.

Ian’s pottery studio.
The man himself

Lots of things to look at in the studio – it was just a matter of working out what we liked best.  The added bonus is that you can have everything exactly the way you like it.  Want your dinner plates smaller/bigger/different colour?  Your mugs a different shape?  No problem, because they’re all made right here, to order.

We wanted something in earthy, understated colours, to suit the timber in the house and the views of forest and water outside.  The ‘tealeaf’ glaze on the right caught my eye, as did the green glaze on the left, which the photo doesn’t do justice to.  We’ll start off with enough for two people, dinner plates, breakfast plates, bowls and mugs as well as egg-cups and a salad bowl.  They are stoneware and made to be used, not just admired.  We can add to it as needed, which is great.  I can’t wait until it’s all finished!

While we were down in Cygnet, we went to nearby Ranelagh to check out the Huon Small Farm Expo.  Good fun.  At this stage, we’re only planning to farm wallabies and tourists, but who knows?  We might diversify into rhubarb or something else.  I had a cattle farm for many years, but I don’t think I’ll be getting into cattle on five acres.  Not even miniature ones.  Been there, done that.  It was lovely to meet some goats, though.  Mama the dairy goat was one of my very favourite animals on the farm.

Beautiful goats

The poultry shed is always a favourite, too.  Turkeys have to be some of the weirdest creatures around, don’t you think?

Who says dinosaurs are extinct?

It was a real country show, with pony-rides and tractors, machinery, animals and all sorts of gear and gadgets.  Being a small farm event, everything was in miniature, from the cows to the tractors.  The ice-cream was standard size, though, and all and sundry were lining up for it.  It was a nice, warm, sunny autumn day, just perfect.  We’ll be back next year, for sure!

Everyone’s lining up for ice-cream