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!
This week I dedicated every day to practicing throwing. It was great to get really stuck in and focus solely on one thing! I have been learning a lot about the boundaries of the clay: how far I can push it until it collapses or how wet the clay can be when turning and shaving! I have also been experimenting with the form itself, creating different widths and movements of the shoulders, neck and lip. The image shows this weeks outcome, however this is only a fraction of the pots thrown, the rest didn’t make the cut! All the clay is recycled within the university so nothing that isn’t fired goes to waste!
This has been by far the busiest week since starting the ABF programme, with the fellowship review on Thursday, the CVAN takeover Monday – Saturday and lectures to the third year students…it has been non-stop! It was great to put the sculptures and paintings into a gallery setting and give the work space to be observed individually. The experience made me aware of how the ‘multiplicity’ aesthetic is incredibly poignant to my work as I felt due to the vastness of the space, there was an unwelcoming spareness within the installation set-up. It also really told a story of both how myself and Grace have developed over the last 6 months! For myself I feel I have really developed my ceramic process, skills and glaze knowledge, I hope the next 6 months brings lots more development!
The lecture to the third years went well! It felt quite strange talking about my own practice for half an hour, I had the worlds driest mouth by the end of it! We had a lot of positive feedback though and I will be giving the same lecture to the first years next week!
Exhibition Installation! I spent the start of the week delivering the artworks to Milton Keynes University Hospital. The hospital have a large storing and framing area where they prepare the works to be hung and keep over 200 artworks from their permanent collections! Both paintings and sculptures cover the interior of the hospital walls, they really transform and uplift the atmosphere of the hospital. My artworks have been placed in a sunny area next to the children’s ward, if you are passing by or near the area its worth a visit!
Decorating Ceramics The majority of the week was spent decorating ceramics. I have been experimenting with different ways to apply glaze. This method required me carving back into the glaze surface to create a raised texture.
Also, I applied a shiny glaze to my smaller ceramics to see how it would affect the sculpture. I felt the shiny finish distracted from the pattern and also made the ceramics look wet however, it both deepened and brightened the colours of the engobe. I used Instagram to gain further feedback which was incredibly helpful with 56 voting matte and 22 for shiny. Coming back after Christmas, I will start trying to find out how I can achieve a matte finish with vibrant colours!