It was a great way to start the weekend! I was given a platform to speak about my work as part of the Hertford Arts Trail 2019 launch night at Hertford Castle. The audience were a sea of new faces to me so very unlike the teaching experience of more recent years (I am also remembering presenting to large delegations of surgeons in a previous working life!). It was a warm welcome and I really enjoyed the experience. Thank you Hertford Council and Courtyard Arts for the opportunity!
It was a great to meet so many people at the Nude Tin Gallery on Friday night. The opening was a great success with collectors and artists meeting and talking about their interests. Thanks very much to the Nude Tin Gallery for a wonderful opening and for these photos of the night. The show is open until 29 January. Please take a look at the Facebook events page for full opening hours .
This piece explores the complex relationship between feminine beauty, making, work and feminine power. It works with a figure from my own mythology that emerged as an image in a dream.
It presents an unconventional beauty pressing her breast against a brick wall as she reaches forwards in an exaggerated gesture. Her boundary is only in front of her; there is no brick wall behind her.
The body of the woman is a solid piece of clay: the brick wall is built around her. Surface decoration is with contrasting matt and gloss slips and glazes. In particular, the white slip and pink glaze wash on her body accentuate the texture in her skin as they shrink and crack during firing. Her ‘makeup and nails’ are coloured gloss glazes.
These materials all develop when fired to 1260°C. She is an object that has emerged from my lived experience but, more widely, queries boundaries of work within which the feminine operates. A solid form, raw, cracked and imperfect, fixed in a gesture that reaches forward.
My latest piece has been a long time in making. The finishing of wisdom is, as one might expect, a slow process! But in all seriousness, the qualities in this ancient moustachioed man really touches something about the nature of wisdom.
This piece explores the societal expectations that accompany traditions of knowledge and wisdom.
It presents the archetype of a single man, supporting his head with his dominant hand. The head and the mouth are hollow vessels, containing and expressing infinite knowledge. The moustache, in the form of a generous blue bow on an enlarged white glazed mouth, is a symbol of male societal traditions in beauty, age and rank.
The figure emerged through the ‘making first’ technique; taking a piece of clay and making without directing thought or expectation. Surface decoration is with contrasting slips and glazes and are fully developed at 1260°C. In particular, the gloss blue and white of the mouth and moustache speak to the large historical catalogue of blue and white ceramics.
A man made by a woman is a significant: it refers more widely to a movement towards healing and wholeness that is central to my practice.
It’s been a quiet day in the studio; woman’s hour spoke to me it seemed with a comment about beginning new work “how do I begin again?” Still, there was calm and happy progress and am delighted that the work is in the new Black Friday sale at vinterior. Head over to the collection for more: https://bit.ly/2RDvJGD
The move to the new studio feels more complete now I have a doorstop! It feels like the great punctuation mark in the flow of my practice and moment to reflect on which step to take next.
There has now been a solid 9 months of making in the new space and the Open Studios was a great way to open up to the world and welcome it in. I am glad to say the ‘world’ visited!
Much of my making is directed by intuition and the last 9 months has been happy conversation between tableware and figurative sculpture. I realise now on a personal level that the tableware has been a process of homemaking, literally moving in and finding function for the new space. The result is a bold quality and function combined, which, as a thrower, is a subject I return to again and again. It has really worked well. Now I feel more able to focus on the making of figurative work which is in many ways more demanding but much more rewarding for it.
Happy Saturday folks!
I am delighted to say that I am now working in collaboration with Vinterior.co
Select pieces will be listed on their site for purchase online. Direct enquiries here are still very welcome as well.
Visit my Vinterior collection here.
A little detail of one of my #thrown #handmade #stoneware #ceramic #bowls #tableware #Herts #HertsOpenStudios #yellow #white #turquoise #Pink £345
I am really looking forward to welcoming you to my new studio space. It has been a big inspiration in creating the new work and it would be a huge pleasure to welcome you to the place where it was made.
Open Studios is part of a month long season of open studios under the auspices of Herts Visual Arts. Hertfordshire is a large county so there is lots to see. Click on the link below to see the full online brochure. I am venue 23, Barnet and North London.
Open Studios Showcase
I am also a selected artist for the Open Studios Showcase on 30 September at St Albans Museum and Gallery. This is great opportunity to buy work and to take part in a ‘make and take’ drop-in activity to experience the wonder and immediacy of making with clay.
Bring yourself and other art-lovers to the studio on 8 and 15 September and to St Albans on 30 September.
HVA open studios online brochure