Experiment, g’wan, TRY!

The piece above contains two elements created two years apart. As I was digging around in the kiln room these two pieces just seemed to want to connect. I placed them together and decided that they would indeed collaborate in existence. The loud face screaming into the small profile of a face along the edge of the pancake-like blanket of buff clay, moved me; it spoke to me about politics and about desire to shut down; to close our ears to the madness and the shouting and the lies. The piece has the title ‘Shut Yer Face’.

I have just been informed that one of my ceramic works is going to be highlighted on the 2017 Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize page in August. I am delighted to know that I will be getting this audience for my work, and have plans to expand further throughout spring and summer.

Building work directly into the kiln is something which I will be able to experiment with over the next month with the kiln almost exclusively at my disposal. The movement of work within the kiln once it reaches temperature is incredibly exciting. It is always full of risk.

Developing work with oxides has also been something I had wanted to explore. The surfaces are still experimental and the nails pushed into the clay add another layer of uncertainty in terms of what one expects to see when the work is returned. I also mixed (why use the instructions when you can wing it?) some powdered opaque glaze and drizzled it over some of the surface of the sculpture. Again, I did not know what effect this would have in combination with the oxides. The resulting work is largely brown and black and it has the presence of some kind of iron bird taking flight.

I have recently commissioned a carpenter to make some bespoke plinths for my ceramic work – hopefully this will make thoughtful supports for sculptures whilst also leaning towards their sense of being up-cycled, reused; and having the illusion of looking, themselves, vulnerable.

The following are notes I made for the written part of the MA course. They bring together some of the ideas I have been exploring over the last year; including artists who I am inspired by. There is order and disorder in the notes, reflecting the very nature of my materials and spontaneous style.

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