Up Against It

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.

Wisdom

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.

Doorstops: punctuation and the studio move

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!

Open Studios Announced: save the date, 8 and 15 September 2018

 

 

 

Happy to announce that the next Open Studios will be in September.  I have joined forces with  Herts Visual Arts, bringing together the amazing range of artists that live and work in Hertfordshire.  I will be open on 8 and 15 September 11.30am – 5pm.  New work will be on show and there is an opportunity to buy direct (works from £150).

This promises to be an inspiring month with a great depth of Hertfordshire’s artistic talent on show throughout.  Hertfordshire is a large county so there will be a lovely thick booklet to whet the appetite and to keep everybody engrossed for the whole month.  I will be listed as ‘Enterprise Arts’, and will be showing with a colleague, Hilary Kidd, who works with mixed media 2d photography and print.  See more of her work at www.hilarykidd.com.  

Register your interest by contacting me via the contact page to receive the brochure but watch social media for updates and developments:  #hertsopenstudios

Figurehead: girl

‘Figurehead: Girl’ is a piece connected with with ships figureheads and the concepts of youth, beauty, function and feminine power.

The figure emerged through the ‘making first’ technique; taking a piece of clay and making without directing thought or expectation.  Surface decoration is with a very light porcelain pink glaze that travels across the surface of the clay during firing to produce a toasted look.  The glaze is fully developed at 1260°C.  Her gaze is at the far distance.  The head is a solid piece of ceramic and sits on a brass disc, supported by a solid wax plinth which is itself supported by a copper disc.  All of these materials are connected with square riggers and ships figureheads.  

She is an expression of the youthful feminine.