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!
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!
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!
I wanted to make colourful and vibrant mobiles to suspend from the ceiling as an installation which could be walked under. I used thick watercolour paper to paint on, however, completely saturating it caused the paper to warp. I decided to learn how to stretch paper, a simple process which can prevent this buckling. This process involves taping the paper to a flat surface and saturating with water and allowing to dry before painting. I was really happy with how the watercolour paint and acrylic inks dispersed across the paper.
The tiles came out of the kiln and I am really happy with the vibrancy and intricacy which the glazes achieve! I am going to do more tests of the glaze next week without a matte glaze on the top to see if it effects the shine and colour!
Two of three sculptures
I have made a target of three large sculptures to create before the end of March. They will be constructed using the same process, aiming to be complimentary of one another but still exploring various forms. I have decided to return to the smooth form as the ‘clay lumps’ which I attached on the first sculpture were too separate and alien to the form, they created an uncomfortableness.
Building Biomorphic Forms
I began to coil build a large sculpture. I started with a wobbly shaped base and this made the form more interesting and less spherical. I also decided not to add the lumps onto this one as I felt it would be good to see if the sculpture is more effective without. I also have been researching different glazes and I believe I have found the resolution to the matte/shiny/colourful problem. The only set back is that the glazes I require are sadly quite a lot more expensive, however I have ordered a set and shall see if they are worth the investment!
I also spent the week making small wooden pieces with the idea to make an, installation which is a collection of colourful organic shapes. I was really happy with the results and I am going to explore other woods which could be used to cut and possibly see if I could reduce the making time by getting them layer cut.
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!
The majority of this week has been spent preparing for the Milton Keynes exhibition. Due to this year being the first year of the fellowship, we have been struggling to get a license for Photoshop. However, this has been a blessing in disguise because I have found a free software called Gimp which has basic tools to edit images. Although the software is more long winded and quite difficult to get used to, it saves the cost of purchasing a license in the following year after the fellowship.
I decided to design and create a poster to promote the exhibition. I also created a small leaflet to go alongside the exhibition. This had some drawing and colouring exercises in there for the patients, staff and visitors, with information about the artist and purchasing artwork. I included drawing exercises as a tool to provide a moment of distraction away from problems and to promote the importance of mindfulness which can be achieved through drawing.
The prints themselves were printed at a family printing company, I try to source my materials locally to support smaller businesses. I was really happy with the product, they had a highly professional finish! The prints are now available to purchase through my website: https://emilyhett.co.uk/shop/limited-edition-prints/