Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bird in the Astrolabe

I am quite startled by this plate; I wanted to do something with planets for this bird, but not realistic illustrated planets (maybe that comes later). So I looked at Astrolabes and sky maps as a starting point. Then I reinvented a completely fictitious night sky for this bird to rule over.

To me astrolabes are completely captivating; I think it is the idea of holding something so small that is the key to something so vast in your hand that starts the magic off. It is a Greek word and it translates to mean “Star Taker”
The astrolabe is a very ancient astronomical computer for solving problems relating to time. Then when you have sorted out the time you can use the astrolabe to show how the sky looks at a specific place at a given time. It was not usually used to navigate, but more as an instrument to find out a specific the time of a celestial event.

A very good explanation of the astrolabe here from Wikipedia 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

More Bird

I am managing to get a bit more time on this bird today. Actually getting any time in the pottery is proving to be very difficult at the moment, but weekends are easier for me to get some hours in. So here she is and below with red stripped socks on. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Bird Starts Life

Day one. Very fast drying on the plate (hot day) has allowed me to get a base white on the background and loosely paint in the outline for the next bird.  Start on feathers tomorrow.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bird in Black Stockings

A new plate of quite jazzy colours just off the bench measures 20 centimeters across.  This plate starts what I hope will be another series of small and large plates of birds "what I have known". There are another three on the bench waiting for paint tomorrow.

The temperatures are in the high 30’s Celsius here and tipping up to 40 on Wednesday so the clay needs very little time to get to the right dryness for working on. The house is nice and cool and so is the studio.  There is very little light in the house as a result and I am back to the swathes of sopping wet towels in the studio to try and control the humidity. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Universal Symbol of Peace

The Universal Symbol of Peace, ca. 1958
Designed by Gerald Holtom, British

Mr. Holtam a long time peace activist designed the symbol based on letters from the flag-signalling alphabet, N for nuclear and D for disarmament, then placing them within a circle symbolising Earth. Although the symbol started out as "no more nukes". It has become the universal symbol for peace.

The latest pots from the kiln are 40 mugs shown above. All are available here in this gallery on the beach in Worthing. Below is a Ginger Jar that is going to an art and gastronomic event in Granada.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Two Plates

Because these were commissions I have had to keep the hidden. Both plates are with their new owners now so time to unveil them. Top one is big and only just went into the kiln. 50 cm's. The square one is tiny, about 18 cm's.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

How I do it

People who have visited me in my studio are probably surprised to see that as part of my creative process I start with what can only be described as piles of papers, but that is because deep down I am a collector.  For years, I have been filling boxes and folders with saved scraps of paper that interest me. It is these papers that eventually end up as the starting point for a new pot or collection of pots.   

Normally, in my ordered folders things stay among their own kind.  Bicycles are with road markings and toy guns are, at a push, with water pistols and ray guns, but separated.  Storing pictures and information for my artwork is very important and this super organised system works, but only as a depository. When I actually need to do something with them, I need a bit of chaos.  The images and scraps that I have gathered together are like the ingredients for a recipe that need to mix and start talking to each other.  I think it is when the interest in the collected subject (s) becomes overpoweringly compulsive that I begin to move pieces from that pile to join another. This then begins a new, potentially explosive, mixed pile that I might work with. However if a mix doesn’t work out then everything gets separated back into their own folders for another time.

This is exactly how it happened with the latest collection with the Zoom lollies and the peace symbols, latterly joined by the ray guns. This mixed box is still active and is on my work bench now.  All the original colour copies are substituted by line drawings so that they can be replicated and re sized and so that I don’t spoil them. 

See below the current mix, new additions are the eyes (best copies), used once before in the vase of 55 eyes 2009.

It is a peculiar way of working that has evolved from my early days of childhood scrap book making. This was an activity that I loved; Gloy glue that you oozed out of funny red rubber top with a slit (I once tried it on my lips because it looked like lipstick).

It all comes full circle to my being a collector of information and material. Early childhood conditioning showed me that to own the paper copy of the coveted item was as good as the real thing and actually probably better.

So, it is interesting how this early “hard wiring” of the personality is still core to the way I interpret and manage all the "stuff" that is out there.  Once things are in my scrapbook, box or folder they are mine and I lay claim to them. Many of the objects I am attracted to now have been with me all my life as memory, by collecting the paper versions I am sorting them out. They are quite literally the fabric of who I am

Ironically, in the end, the true collection is what remains in my mind. The pieces of paper remain, but they become so disorganised once worked with it can take years for the process to throw them up again.

According to Susan Stewart in her book “On Longing”, a collection seeks a form of self-enclosure where history is replaced by some form of classification. She says; “The collection is a form of art as play, a form involving the reframing of objects within a world of attention and manipulation of context.  Like other forms of art, its function is the creation of a new context, a context standing in a metaphorical relation to the world of everyday life.”

For me the collection is a continuation, an intrinsic part of life and creation.  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Back to the Wheel

The Arundel Gallery Trail exhibition was a great success, thanks to all those who came and to all those who bought pots from the collection who could not make it in person. I am very happy to say it was a sell out all bar one pot, Mr Whippy stands in my studio, looking like a wall flower.
I am now working on the commissions I received, I am also taking orders for more demi-tasse mugs. These are Zoom, FAB, Whippy, Cosmic peace, Asteroids with space ship and the iconic black and cream peace mugs. Some people have ordered saucers too, so anything goes. If you are interested in ordering please get in touch. All this size is £35 each, see them here. Named mugs (where I started!) also by order. Delivery dates October and December, or mail order.