New arrival

I was lucky enough to receive one of the art council grants to set up my own home studio as a result of having no access to equipment since March! I have used this grant to purchase a kiln and a pottery wheel. It was such a difficult decision to know what type/make/size to choose! 

After a painful 10 weeks of waiting, my wheel arrived this week…and it is amazing! It’s an adjustable height, quiet, powerful and the foot peddle is really responsive. I was a bit wobbly to start off with but soon got stuck in! It’s so handy having access to the wheel at any time of the day because pots can be trimmed exactly when they need to before they become too dry. 

I have been experimenting with different forms and scales which is exciting, I will post some pictures next week of what I have been making! 

How I converted my shed to an art studio

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S T U D I O  V I E W

I have always wanted a home studio and with no studio access due to Covid and lots of time on my hands, it was the perfect opportunity to start converting. The shed is a cosy 2m x 2.5m so I needed to be efficient with the space. There is a lot of equipment, materials and space required to store, make and recycle clay, so it was a matter of trying to put a system in place which could work! 

After clearing out the shed I set about cleaning and painting the interior. The white made such a difference, it made the space look so much bigger and brighter, which is so important when it’s a dull day!

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P A I N T I N G  T H E  I N T E R I O R

I wanted a shelving area where I could store my glazes and finished pieces. And I also needed somewhere to keep drying pieces and works that were ready to be bisque fired. We had an old wardrobe in the garage which the previous owner had left and which was a dull cream, so I set about up-cycling that! We also had an old tie rack that wasn’t being used so I cut down the panels to make some shelves. It was great as the majority of the materials which were used were old repurposed wood! 

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O L D  W O O D  N E W  S H E L V E S

Despite the white wall the floor was really still very dark. When working with clay, everything has to be wet-washed so the dust doesn’t end up in the air, and I didn’t want the wooden floor getting damp. I found some vinyl which I felt really complimented the space and which would be easy to mop and clean. The pattern was really busy as well so I could get away with it being a bit dirty but not looking too messy! 

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P R E – U P C Y C L E

I needed a sturdy table for hand building and glazing, but I wanted one that also folded away so that if I needed to work on a large sculpture, I wasn’t restricted by space! I found a really solid, Lifetime table which has been perfect…I can also take it outside on sunny days! 

It took me about a week to complete and that included waiting for some materials as well! Since completing it I have barely left! Its so convenient to be able to make or quickly finish the work at any time of the day (I can also get a snack and cup of tea whenever I want which is delightful but dangerous). I shall post another up-to date photo in another blog soon as this picture was taken just after I had completed it…when it was cleaner, tidier and comparatively emptier! 

Digital colour schemes

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D I G I T A L  C O L O U R  S C H E M E S
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P A I N T I N G  P R O C E S S  S H O T

I have never been drawn to digital drawing before as I like being unrestricted by a canvas size and I enjoy the messiness of the creative process. However, no access to the studios due to Covid has resulted in me bringing my messiness home, which with cream carpets isn’t a very good combination! When deciding on colour schemes I always mix lots of different colour variations until I find a combination I am happy with. To avoid the messiness, I thought I would try my partners iPad, so I downloaded the AdobeSketch app and started experimenting. It is such a good alternative –  the process is quicker, you can make as many mistakes as you want and it is mess free!

I have put an image of my digital drawing alongside a process shot of me painting so you can see how the digital sketch translated onto the sculpture!

The process of making tiles

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G L A Z E D  A N D  R E A D Y  F O R  T H E  S E C O N D  F I R I N G
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G L A Z E D  A N D  R E A D Y  F O R  T H E  II  F I R I N G
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G L A Z E D  A N D  R E A D Y  F O R  T H E  II  F I R I N G

A collection of my newest hand painted ceramic tiles which are awaiting to be fired. They explore different glaze colour combinations and patterns! I am really excited to see how these will turn out. For those who aren’t familiar with the process, these tiles above are hand built and then left to dry completely before bisque firing (the first firing). The work is then ready to glaze. Unfired, the glazes look muted and pastel colours, however when they are fired for the second time, they turn rich and vibrant in colour. The transformation is truly amazing!

Keep a look out for when they have been fired and see how they change!