My work in progress clay work has been sitting in the corner of the room I use as an office. I look at them often during the day. And I think about how to decorate them, or what to make next. One day I was looking at the initial batch of three items - the face plant pot, the tiny pinch pot, and the penguin - and thought that something I could use every workday is a coaster. I currently use these on my desk and thought that having another one to choose from what be a good thing.

The size is the size of the largest round cookie cutter I have in my baking cupboard. The first attempt didn’t dry flat, and by the time I realised that and tried to remedy it, it was already too dry and cracked. Attempt two is much better, but the drying process was slower as I kept it pressed under a heavy book for much of the first couple of days.

Once it had dried, and I’d sanded it into something mostly flat and mostly circular I started thinking about decoration. And I remembered the beautiful skyspace installations I’ve visited in two different places - Kielder and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Given that I mostly see the sky through my office window at the moment due to lockdown rules, I thought that my coaster could become a portal into it. So that’s what I attempted.

I applied a white base coat and then used acrylics and a sponge to get a sky and cloud effect. And then finished with a few layers of sealant. The photos make the brush marks from applying the sealant far more obvious than they are in real life. I’ve also struggled to get a good colour match as well.

It’s far from perfect, but I’m pleased with it. And that’s all that really matters.