Monday 29 August 2016

Our Woods - Spinning New Dreams - Scoping

For the past few years artist Phiona Richards and I have been working together, mainly in Lincolnshire for Transported Art, as The Eloquent Fold

We are delighted to have been commissioned to create a walk and a workshop for the Deep Roots Tall Trees "Our Woods" Festival. 

Our events are called Spinning New Dreams taking place on Sunday 4th and 11th September in East Carlton Park. The walk is quite short in terms of distance but we hope to help participants make a hop, step and a jump in terms of imagination and inspiration!

We have spent quite a bit of time

scoping in the park, getting to know it's pathways

deciding which way to go and what to do where.

We also spent a rainy afternoon in the cafe

embellishing some rather plain, spotty teapots

as we're planning a lovely afternoon tea at the end

of our print and stitch session on the 11th.

We've been enjoying changing colours of 
the leaves and berries and are looking forward
to sharing this lovely woodland park with you.

If you feel tempted to join us for the walk on Sunday 4th - Book Tickets here and / or for the creative workshop on Sunday 11 September - Book Tickets here.

Saturday 20 August 2016

Clay Summer School 2016 - Commemorating in Clay with Steve Dixon

Artist Steve Dixon guided us through an amazing week of clay and commemoration at the wonderful Spode Works organised by the British Ceramics Biennial. The course was an introduction to hand building, mould making, transfer printing and raku. We were asked to think and develop ideas about ceramics as a carrier for commemoration, memory, history both personal and public. You can see my hand built disaster vessel hiding in the middle of the kiln. It went through many stages of ugliness with brief moments of beauty (bit like me really) but at the end of the day remained a pigs ear rather than a silk purse. It was however an excellent reminder of just what magicians and alchemists real ceramicists are! The thing I regret most is not understanding how the oxides and glazes would react and change, I did make one beautiful sample where oxide and glaze met, married and lived happily ever after, but alas it was just a sample. I also remembered, yet again, just how clumsy and lacking in finesse I am when learning something new, and this was all relatively new to me.

Artist In Residence - Jo Ayre

I had a bit more joy the simple mould making and I'm am very glad to have the basic principles in my head now. I chose a salt spoon and a shell, both objects were very thin, both objects had meaning for me and the process has given me lots to consider. 

We were also able to sneak in a little clay monoprinting during Neil Brownsword's course and I would love to experiment more with the process. I know that the platter will come out of the kiln in two pieces but I don't really mind. I am curious to know what the colours will be like, so how can I get back to Stoke and try some more?

I absolutely loved Steve's method of simple transfer printing, I know that making pots is not my forte but using vessels as a surface to draw and paint on really sings to me. I've had a few tantalising experiences so far, should I, could I, will I be able to take this any further?

The prints were black before firing 

but turned sepia after firing. 

Our test tiles all worked beautifully but the other objects I decorated were strangely inconsistent, some images on one side were strong but on the other almost invisible. 

However a few of the tiny cups and plates 

survived well enough to become part of 

Everything about the week was quite magical, great tutors, inspiring space, lovely people, delicious food. Thank you BCB, it was all just a bit wonderful!