Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Meet and Greet- Amy Edmondson

This weeks Meet and Greet is Amy Edmondson, Amy is new to our class and has flung herself into it, she's a considerate little soul and (I think) that's what makes her work so haunting.

Use five words to describe your work


How do you make your pieces?

In autumn I collect the fallen sycamore seeds like a crazy woman, scratching around in the leaves. Once they're dry I systematically hang each one up and coat it with my own blend of porcelain paper clay slip. I then remove the seed pod from the bulb and place it on a tile to be fired. If they're going to be glazed I drop very watery glaze inside them and put them in sand to stop the glaze sticking to anything. 

What makes your work different from everybody else’s?

This work has really gotten to the heart of a lot of things in my life. While I've been working on it, a lot of things have changed but it couldn't be more current or appropriate. I never wanted to make a piece of work which was personal but that is definitely what makes the work different from everybody elses. Rightly or wrongly, I've put 22 years worth of feelings into it meaning it has more aspects to it than I care to remember! It deals with issues from when I was much younger to things which bother me daily. I hope when the work is complete and constructed I can accept the inspiration  behind it.

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

Pen and paper. No question. Although not in terms of writing but drawing. I love how permanent a drawing in ink is. When you put pen to paper you and truely committing your vision to paper without being able to easily alter it like pencil allows.  Drawing is so portable, it's a beautiful tool, allowing you to record places and events in a completely unique and deeply personal way. 

What is the biggest challenge you face with your work?

I had the idea of porcelain sycamore seeds long before I knew whether it was possible. I spent months figuring out that porcelain paper clay was the best medium to cover them, then started making my own ratios of porcelain to paper pulp.  Once I'd deduced the best ratio I experimented with the number of layers and application method. I tried different firing temperatures and positions in the kiln; small changes here made all the difference. Finally I needed to engineer a way of getting the glaze inside the seed and preventing it from sticking to the shelf during firing. Although the early stages of the work were by far my biggest challenge I preservered and either over came or found ways to work around all the teething problems. Although frustrating at the time I am incredibly greatful for them. I have an appreciation for the tiny seeds I don't think I would have gained any other way.  To many people this might sound like the most dull process but I work in quite a scientific, structured way and it couldn't have been better suited to that.

The personal aspect to my work is something I'm not used to and as such I've found it quite hard to deal with. I've shyed away from talking about the real meaning behind my work and in a lot of ways I still am. I know very shortly I'm going to have to put it out there to either be accepted or over looked as another bit of conceptual rubbish. 

 How do you want people to react to your work?

I suppose it's the obvious thing to say but I really want people to consider the work in order to deduce its meaning (in that case maybe I should've made it more clear). I whole-heartedly believe everyone could take something from the concept behind the work. Although its very personal its important people look beyond that at how it can affect and hopefully improve their life rather then how it fits into mine. 

Check Amy's work out at our degree show site and visit her blog for more info. Don't forget to see her work in person at our degree show from the 15th of June at the National Glass Centre.

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