Tuesday, 28 August 2012

New project beginnings

Lots of things on the go as usual in the studio. Various taster sessions were held this month, a couple of one off workshops, student projects finished and discussions underway for other projects.  Plans are also underway for a print and ceramic workshop which I've been invited to hold in Margate for the Pushing Print festival in October. My own classes will start at the studio in September.Cyan Clayworks is now officially registered as a Community Interest Company, which will hopefully open up various possibilities...!

It also mean I can separate my own work to some extent. In between teaching, firing/glazing and filling out application forms, I've started my own work after a long gap. 
This will continue with the natural history theme. I've started things off by a visit to the National Museum of Scotland to look at and document the animal collections there. Various test pieces have been made to explore potential forms- lidded containers and surface imagery. The lidded container was used as a starting point after seeing a Victorian tobacco jar made from a rhino foot in Traquair House, and jars used to store specimens in museums. My versions of animal themed containers will be simplified forms and will make a more subtle reference to these sources.

All my new work now is project and research based. A lot of time is spent initially gathering source material, exploring and defining ideas, images and forms before beginning to make resolved objects. I've also bought a Victorian tanager bird to draw in the studio...

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Update from the studio

Hard to believe its August already...the year is going by very quickly! So far in the last month we had the open event at Cyan Clayworks which went really well. Student projects are almost complete..just the final glazing and firing to do this week. More equipment was bought so we now have a newly renovated slab roller.

Have even managed to start some of my own work...will post some details in the next blog. I'll be continuing with the natural history collection theme, but exploring some new forms and images. I find the process of working through ideas by making small test pieces really useful; often the ideas start to really develop through the making process. Quickly made small scale objects are used to make decisions about proportion, variations within a particular form and how they interact as a group. I like to separate form from surface at these early stages, with imagery developed in the next stage of development.

It will be interesting to see how my work evolves in this new space; a larger scale is now possible. I'm looking forward to having the room and the kiln size to make larger scale work again. The addition of the slab roller will enable relief printing so opening new possibilities for printed images. Each time I've worked in a new space, whether temporarily during a residency or in my own studios, I find it has quite an impact, often generating new ideas and approaches. No doubt spending more time working with other people will have an effect as well.