Friday, 22 January 2010

Just a quick update, as I have no new work to post at the moment.
 Had an excellent day in Ceramics yesterday, creating a book out of paper pages and clay slip, similar to the method used to make saggar firing kilns, painting each page with slip then drying with a hot air gun. This will now be fired and hopefully become a very fragile book  (I have a 20% chance success rate according to Simon our ceramics tutor, so lots of crossed fingers please ;-)) I will then use more clay and/or textiles to make further additions, consisting of moths and/or butterflies.
I spent the whole day doing this and expected it to be quite boring, but have to say I really enjoyed the process even if I did take more clay slip home on my clothes and person than I left in the studio! and if doesn't work this time I am quite prepared to try again ;-)
Tidying up my digital photo library I came across a couple of my cloth doll pics, so thought I would post them here as due to changes they are no longer on my (new) website. The second (clown) was made from a pattern, designed by Jill Maas

Monday, 18 January 2010

Ideas for Ceramics

I started my ceramics workshop last week, having lost a week already due to the weather I am very aware that I only have 2 weeks now to do my project.  I have an idea about making a clay book, as perfect and beautiful on the outside as I can get it, but with "things" stuck, squashed or crawling between some pages.
Originally I was thinking of maybe  a small "dead" bird or creature, but think the feasibility of actually being able to find or create this is limited, so am now thinking along the lines of a broken (wings) fairy, not a pretty fay type, but something a little edgy, this would tie in quite neatly to my sculpture project, which partly consisted of casting an ornament of a fairy on a ball which turned out with varying degrees of success and as usual I preferred the broken versions ie minus feet, bits of wing etc. Hopefully this project will symbolize the outward idea of striving for perfection and "good"  the other "stuff" inside is imperfect, or "bad" (or just human?)  - broken fantasy (dream) fairy tale and magic, escapism in reading. Hope this makes sense ;-)
will add some pics of sculpture/3d up soon

oh well  "so little time, so much to do"

Sunday, 17 January 2010


Well I intended to work on my Secret World (college project) commission this weekend, but as usual things have not gone to plan and I have managed about an hour on it so far! I have been looking after Leah 8 and Sam 2 (my GC) this morning and after watching Polar Express (a little later than I originally intended!!) we did some drawing on big pieces of paper on the floor and I showed leah how to do indenting and relief with oil pastel under coloured pencil which she loved.

I was searching through some old Photo-Bucket photos trying to find some pics I had put up of Kara's (Leah and sammy's mum, and my daughter) two cats a couple of years ago, as leah wanted to print them for her " all about me " box she is doing for a school project, when I came across this small (A4) pastel I did for my sister's partner who is Austrian, and thought I would post it.
I remember thinking at the time that landscape was not my forte', but looking at it now it doesen't seem so bad! The composition is a bit "iffy" but I do think there may well be something in the idea of leaving work you are not happy with for a while (Ok, maybe not a year +) and coming back to it!

On another note I have found more artists to add to my ever growing list of inspirations and influences. When Kev (husband) and I went to Edinburgh at Christmas we visited amongst others the Scottish National Gallery (much to his delight !) I was really taken by a series of very large Embroideries

by Phoebe Anna Traquair (1852-1936)

Traquair was on of the most accomplished artists of the Arts and Crafts movement (which we have just covered at college) and her work is very appealing to me as I have dabbled with textile and needlework as well as being very inspired by the style of her artwork, feeling very similar to Mucha,and even Klimt in the more ornate pieces.

So upon investigation, on Amazon I discovered a very nice little paperback (which I have ordered) and also came across "Doves and Dreams" a book about the lives and careers of Frances Macdonald (1873-1921), sister of Margaret Macdonald, and J. Herbert McNair (1868-1955), the two artists who have hitherto been considered as adjuncts to the Mackintoshes, (The Glasgow four),
the blurb on Amazon quotes
"Doves and Dreams" will spotlight the achievements of two remarkable artists: McNair, the innovator and inspira
tional teacher, and Macdonald, an exceptional talent who produced some of the most remarkable symbolist watercolours of the twentieth century. The original book was rather expensive but luckily I found a second-hand version at about half the price! don't you just love Amazon ;-)

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Snow Show 2010

Not many of us managed to get into college today, but those that did were put to the task of creating a blog with a show of snow around the thought I would add a few here to show how hard we worked!

not so much The Terracotta Army more a little snow patrol!

snow show Joe

and of course this would not be complete without the inevitable snow ball fight

and some pretty pictures.........

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Christmas Commission/

Could not post this before as it was a surprise for my clients husband, but have had an email to say he was delighted with his "girls", so thought I would update. Not a brilliant photo due to lighting and reflections.........