Friday, 30 March 2012


This week has been difficult. I haven't slept which means I've been a bit uncommunicative, so that's the main reason for the silence on the blog.

Best bits of this week were figuring out how to make the figures look more uniform and less like mud men. Other highlights include Daniel and I celebrating 6 years of being together, over a quarter of my life! The sun's been great. Knitting at the Tyneside cinema with Meg, lovely. Had a brilliant afternoon in the library, just thinking about things, honestly, just thinking.

Thought I'd share some links with you-
-One great reason to enjoy coffee
-Another chance to see this piece
-I joined pinterest this week!

In other news, I nearly bought a camera that wasn't digital this week, out of sheer confusion, and am sad that New Girl has finished or is on a break or some such nonsense, what am I supposed to watch with my Friday night burger?

Have a great weekend and head on down to the Newcastle Library on Saturday for some comicsy goodness with the Art Heroes crowd.


Monday, 26 March 2012

Meet and Greet Monday- Alice Thatcher

- Use five words to describe your work


- What makes your work different from anyone elses?

Even though all of my recent paper-crane pieces are made in the same way, each piece is unique to the next. I fold each form individually, then paint the porcelain paper-clay slip onto them before firing. Once these pieces are fired, the paper burns away removing the original hand-crafted piece. This technique almost fossilises the pieces, but at the same time removes the original form. I believe this is quite a unique way of working, as clay is something that is usually worked with in a hands-on way. I could easily slip-cast these pieces, but I believe this would take away the fragility and the uniqueness of the work.

- If you had to work in any other medium, what would it be?

I would say paper. Since researching and learning about paper-craft, it has definitely become something I am really interested in. Clay and paper are both very sculptural materials and both have a similar sense of hands-on manipulation.

- What is the biggest challenge you face with your work?

At the moment, my biggest challenge is creating as many porcelain paper cranes as possible for my up-coming degree show installation.

-How do you want people to react to your work?

I enjoy creating a sense of uncertainty with my work, with these recent pieces, I want the audience to have to look really closely to realise that the forms are actually created from clay, not paper.

Alice will be exhibiting her work at her degree show at the National Glass Centre between the 16th and the 22nd of June. Then at New Designers between the 27th and the 30th of June at the Business Design Centre in Islington. For more information on her work visit her ideastap portfolioher pinterest boards or email her at

Thursday, 22 March 2012


Working on installation techniques. I want to get a sense of them encroaching on your space.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Preparation. Prep. Be prepared.

Tomorrow I'm off down South to the New Designers Prepare Day. Hopefully, I'll get some awesome tips on how to set up the booth and chat to some other student reps.
It's my birthday weekend too, I should mention that, I'm not just trecking down to London just for the love of my fellow students, there's some real selfish motives too. Like yesterday, I broke my favourite mug. And I happen to know London has mugs. Mugs in Liberty, mugs in Heal's, mugs at the Midcentury Modern show.
Beyond mugs, I heard Garth Clark speak at the National Glass Centre yesterday, he's writing a book about Ai Weiwei. Weiwei has been in my peripheral vision for a while, and like most things that would do me good, I've ignored him. But Clark's talk about the 'ultimate showman' has got me all fired up to see his show at the V & A.
The V & A are advertising a residency at the moment. I call that cruel I do. Never the less, I'll go and I'll imagine a world where I can make terracotta people in that little glass cube and be asked questions by pensioners (the only real change to doing this in the glass centre and the V & A would probaly be the quality of comments, someone genuinly said to me once 'Not doing very well, are you dear?').
Beyond those plans I intend to stop for tea and cake every day I'm there and sketch everything like a mad fool.
In other news, another batch of little men survived a firing. This much good ju-ju is freaking me out, last year things exploded left right and centre, could it be, am I learning?

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Do the Kiln dance

They're in the kiln. I shall proceed to slaughter a goat under a full moon and maybe they'll come out in one piece.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Lily Daniel's Presents

Presenting my work to a crowd of my peers can be daunting. Distracting them with the task of making small figures was a real breakthrough. It meant I could chat away to people who were growing in understanding about what I was trying to do because they were trying to do it.
I don't like to present my work chronologically because my work doesn't really improve, with some people you can see clear thoughts and progressions of styles and whilst that might be true, I hate looking at old work. I'm done with it. Instead I compare myself to my favourite artists. By making a little checklist of all the things I admire and then seeing if I meet up to my high standards it means the presentation really means something to me. Because I really evaluate my work and refine what I think is important.
The figures the class made were beyond wonderful, really. Let's take a look.

Mike Holden

Helen Stafford

Someone deeply disturbed.

The innimatable Sylve Petrova who said to me;
"Not really a figure, but spheres are perfect."

Thursday, 8 March 2012


Spring is hear, hurrah for spring! More of that vitamin D stuff, more green stuff and a little bit more energy. It's nicer to leave the house now, although, for a while, leaving the house has been the highlight of the day. Refurbs are horrible, if I ever move house I think I may just live in it and change nothing but the bedding.

This, thoroughly bizarre thing, is a sculpture I made that was supposed to be suspended so you could look through it. The (very vague, first year of art school) idea was that the light would flood through the gaps, which were the same shape as the gaps between branches. They were a technical nightmare for me at that stage, and became so heavy, cracked and patchily glazed as to be considered a bit of an 'epic fail'. They ended up in my mothers garden. I'm sure lots of undergrad art goes in the garden.
But this did something truly odd to the dwarf daffs my mum plonked this on. For a while they were sheltered from the frost and ice and then suddenly, without warning, as if in some heist film, they started their escape.
At the moment, I feel all sheltered and protected and am scared witless by the idea of suddenly growing up but if a daffodil can do it, so can a Lily.

Friday, 2 March 2012

If art hangs in a gallery but no one sees it; is it art?

The AV Festival has started, a month long programme of exhibitions, screenings and activities. Today I attended the launch of Mirror Neurons at the National Glass Centre.

There's some fab work to see, Thomson & Craigheads Several Interuptions is a hypnotic tryptic of videos taken from youtube of people holding their breath under water, it has that dreamlike rubber-necking quality that so much social-media based work transmutes.

Then there's Catherine Richard's I was scared to death/I could have died of Joy which made me uncomfortably aware of my own physcality. But what I really need to talk about is Simon Pope's Recall from Memory the Space of Another Gallery.

If I'm understanding Pope's intention it was to form the same set of thoughts as Scott Roger's Between Nonesuch Place which had a lot to do with perpetual motion, energy sources and such. Where Roger's had an impossible product, Pope had an intangible exhibition.

Pope's space holds nothing, but some very nice ladies, who talked to me about other exhibitions I'd been to. Now, from the press release I see I was supposed to 'walk them through' a space I'd been in where as I actually talked them through a space. It was a nice chat, but I was left feeling a little like I'd been shown the Emperor's new clothes and wasn't appreciating them fully.

Some of the problem is that I'm 22 now, and we all get a bit more right-wing in our old age, so some of me was worrying about what the reaction to it would be. Part of me was thinking "This could be written on a card and be the same." And it could.

Imagine an exhibitin you've been too. Walk around a space as if you're there.

Done. So, is Pope's work a literal waste of space? No. Because I'm talking about an exhibition I've been to. When was the last time I did that? But, Grayson Perry said something like 'a good idea doesn't make good art' and I feel like that's where the piece falls down. If Pope's point is to show us how an audience in an exhibition is like fuel then it's not enough, because we're doing all the work, I want work that makes me marvel at someone else's creation. But I understand that that already means you can count me with the passe watercolours.

Take the lovely Megan Randall her new work uses the audience as both fuel and content. The show runs at the National Glass centre until the 20th of May, I urge you to go.