Its been a long hard slog getting here but I finally managed to get my work finished and ready to be photographed for Celebrating Art in the Garden. Well I say finished I am actually having to remake one piece due to tripping over the foot peddle on my wheel, setting it off full blast, with a piece I had literally just finished flying off in all directions! The moral of the story, don’t keep going when you’re tired. A lesson I will never learn and hey its only mud!
Here’s a few work in progress shots of MerNeith and the finished thing. MerNeith may have been the first female pharaoh and the earliest queen regent in recorded history and seemed a fitting name for such an elegant looking piece.
Into The Deep is another new piece. The steel sections were made by Tim from Cobbaton Combat Collection, they have been made to rust over time (on the outside, the inside is sealed to protect the metal). I love this shot that John Russel took in my friends stunning garden.
I have been working hard creating new sculptures for this fantastic garden exhibition. There is a stellar line up of artists and it is amazing how finding yourself amongst such a group of sculptors makes you seriously up your game!
Here are a few of the pieces I have been working on and a few smaller pieces I have been using to test glazes for the large scale work.
Very much work in progress!
Its been a long cold winter spent in Jon Rodney Jones’ metal workshop. JRJ is the kind of person who if you say can I do such and such, he will say yes. This is in some part the truth but taking on a project of this kind should come with a warning! Yes you can; but its going to be a long, hard, painful process! That will teach me to be full of bright ideas. I do however feel so privileged to have been able to learn how to cast in metal, to pour molton bronze is quite something. I am also very grateful that Jon allowed me to be involved in the whole process from making the moulds to angle grinding the finished piece. Mostly I am grateful to still have all my fingers and my eyebrows!
Here are some photos of the process of casting metal handles:
Part 1: clay former and silicone mould
Part 2: Casting in wax and then shaping and moulding
Part 3: The wax gets covered in a plaster type solution, this takes a long time to build up the layers to make a strong mould.
Part 4: Lost wax
Part 4: Metal casting
Part 5: Cleaning up, grinding back the metal and fitting to the ceramic sculpture
I would like to say never again but…
I am delighted to be showing my work at Delamore Arts and Sculpture Exhibition again this year. Delamore is based in a traditional Dartmoor agricultural estate house and gardens, it takes place annually and is open every day in May.
This year my new work has been inspired both by the English costrel and the Korean moon jar, creating full bellied satisfying shapes finished with rope, leather or copper. Rope is a link with the maritime tradition of trading in pottery between North Devon and North America. Small details such as copper rivets and orange rubber are a nod to boat building and the sea.
I have spent time around local shipyards and visiting my hometown of Ilfracombe. I grew up on the coast and I love looking at old boats, rusting metal, rivets and fishing paraphernalia. More of the industrial side of small coastal harbours. It turns out that some of the rope I have used came from a lifeboat called Lloyd II which was in service in Ilfracombe in the 1980’s a strange but happy coincidence.
A big part of this project has been learning to cast in metal. This is an extremely time consuming process, I have so much respect for anyone who casts in metal and am very grateful to Jon Rodney Jones who gave up his time to teach me the process. I still have my eyebrows too! I will add the photos of the casting process in another post.
Say hi to Phil from Mitchell’s Timbercraft the very talented craftsman who makes my gift boxes.
As a bit of a perfectionist myself I was finding it difficult to source the type of packaging I wanted for my new product range. For me its all about quality, creating something special, in the end only handmade would do. Plus I get to support another local maker. Phil was a perfect choice as his attention to detail far surpasses mine, to be honest when I am looking for someone to work with if they are a little OCD you know they are going to do a great job.
Large whiskey tumbler with gift box, £59, size of tumbler 8.6×8.5 (hxw at top)
Double shot with gift box, £58 Size 8×3.5cm
Don’t they look lovely. A perfect gift for Christmas and available here
Now Phil also makes lots of other gorgeous things here are a few examples.
Check out more of his work on his Facebook page here pop on over and give him a like. Most importantly don’t forget to buy local and handmade this Christmas 🙂
I am very excited to be showing my porcelain range at Decorex International next week as part of the Design Nation stand F17. The show is on from the 18-21st of September at Syon Park, London. I hope to see you there.