Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Man with Beard

This is the fella, he's bronze and he's lovely.

This is my stoneware version...different, eh?
I put him in an old plastic bag so he wouldn't dry out but it obviously had a different body in it and now he looks freckley like Morgan Freeman. Who, come to think of it, would be a really great subject for my next teach-myself-to-sculpt project.

Monday, 20 June 2011

A great big bushy beard

You learn to draw by copying, I'm learning to figure out the human form in similar ways.
This handsome chappy is based on an ancient bronze sculpture, I've lost the name of the piece, when I find it you'll get a chance to see how awesome it is.

Sunday, 19 June 2011


No, no, no, not that weird teen musical where seemingly no one is hetrosexual, but camping. And camp too. Camp camping. I'm talking about the editors brief from IdeasTap, the creative network, it's about camping and our lovely British attitudes to said past time. You can read the brief here but I'm not all about the sharing. I'm gonna use this space to try and think out this brief whilst listening to Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and drinking Yorkshire tea. If I were smoking a pipe or wearing a mini then I'd be a little more British, I'm not but if that's how you choose to imagine the scene, who am I to stop you?
So, camping. I used to go camping in Angelsy every year with my mother, who went every year when she was young with her parents, who actually brought along my aged great-grandmother one year so technically, we've been camping there for 4 generations. Nifty, eh?

If you've seen the new Clash of the Titans film (poor you) then the scene at the end when he's racing down a beach on a horse? Yeah, Anglesey, we were there, there were men with walky talkies who irritated us to no end. It's lovely and Welsh, Anglesey.
What I remember most about seems to be the special eating equipment, if we'd brought along our own mugs then they were weird because we were drinking tea in a field. A combination of plastic and enamel stuff that was all a bit mis matched and childish.

How English and exciting does that look? Camping has that blitz mentality attached to it, really, all your doing is surviving in a field but we bloody love it! It's one of the reasons I don't understand luxury camping.
So, something about our love of being hardy would be a bit great I reckon. What would you submit?

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Not sketching

This week I was supposed to sketch some shapes for vessels for my illustration buddy Jenny Cox to have a look at so she could think of some surface design concepts. It's been a weird week and now I'm nowhere near a scanner so...what to do?

I figure, I'll link her up with some other blogs, artists and such so that she can see what I think is awesome so we can come up with something super-duper mint and become prize winning artist designers. Flawless plan.

First blogs first, let's head over to Jonathan Adler, American Maximalist whose bold, sexy almost classical designs make me want to be a better person and a better potter.

Let's move along to the work of Kitty Shepherd whose blog I've only just started to read. Again we've got some classical forms here but her decoration is totally different from Adler;s work, it's that kind of cluttered, over the top Grayson-Perry-y post modern funk that totally uses the whole pot.

Kitty Shepherd vase

Something completely different? How's about the man who made me want to be a ceramicist? Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Takeshi Yasuda.

I know, I know, right? The movement, the jucie-ness of the glazes, gorge-ous. Contemplative, involving and technically breath taking.

Awh, he's lovely. I don't know if I could ever be that lovely. But I'm willing to try. And, a little out of left field is Kiki Smith, who seems to be stalking me a bit. A lecturer of mine recommended I look into her work. i nodded and smiled and had no intention of doing that. I don't like to take inspiration from the people who surround me, ownership of my work is tricky for me. Then I'm flicing through a book and see something striking and it's a Kiki Smith piece and then it happened again. She's haunting me!

Kiki Smith Lilith

Great thing about Smith beyond everything? How people react and write about this stuff, she really gets people's pulses going.

Oh- and that picture is supposed to be that way round.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Creatively Moribund

Having finished university for the year I thought I'd rest up and thenget started on some projects that I wanted to get done. Little things, like making this blog look better, photographing my work somehow, getting some none-brief work made so I can wood-fire again this summer. But I just can't get into gear.
I got some feedback that I need to do more research which is probably fair does, it didn't used to be. I used to be the research queen, I could drop names and movements and all sorts to do with my ideas but it wasn't getting me anywhere so I stopped. Last b
it of work I did I just had an idea and made the thing. I didn't sketch it out or research all that much and although aesthetically it was alright, beyond that it ended up being a bit vapid. So...hard work here we come.

I was meant to go to uni and throw today, get in a bit of practice for when I'm a penniless potter but then I thought I should go to the library first and learn from my lessons. And now it's 7:30 and all I've done is read, watch telly online and sketch. Do you own a copy of 'Making Contemporary Art; How today's artists think and work' by Linda Weintraub? You totally should. I've never read it, I've read many little bits of it because as soon as you open it you go 'Ooooh! That gets me thinking...' and rush off and well...make contemporary art! So today I opened it at the 'Sourcing Inspiration' section as I feel so empty of ideas it felt like the best place for me. And I read that inspiration is;

'the deity within us who breathes that divine fire by which we are animated.'

Spoken by Ovid, who sounds pretty smart. Considering Mr Ovid's wise, wise words that resonated with me (the idea of a little person who breathes fire would appeal to most potters who make little people and play with fire) so I started to try and imagine my muse. My little person. I did this with lots of googling and Jaime Hernandez's biography by Todd Hignite 'The Secret of Life and Death' and here she is ladies and gentleman, my lazy ass muse, Suzie.


Get up? Or go back to bed?
Go back to bed.

She's pretty awesome even if she's frustratingly unmotivated. Just like me.