Thursday, 30 June 2011

Look What I Found!

Found this little chap the other day. A beautiful cigarette dispenser. I've never smoked, but if ever there was a reason to start (not everyday stresses, two young kids etc etc!!) this would be it. I have another with inlaid veneers, but it's maybe half the size of this one. I paid the grand price of four pounds for this. I love it! I always thought i'd end up working in wood one day, but pottery got there first!... no reason i couldn't do both...

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Smile At The World...

... and the World smiles back. It's very true. You know sometimes you're walking along as miserable as everyone else around you, absorbed in your own world, your own troubles. Then you pass someone and they smile at you and it takes a fraction of a second to register and then it pops you out of you own head and it  feels good. That's the power of a simple smile. These beauties were created by my very talented friend and illustrator Martin O'Neill, go check out his beautiful collages and immaculate blog.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Ghost Is Clear

I made this for my studio buddy Gaz's birthday. A test run, using tracing paper and removing backing from the frame. I want to try it with glass frosting and masking the clear areas.


Friday, 17 June 2011

Black Slip, Sprigs, Face Jug

This is the 'Beast' I've been working on.... yep, i've literally thrown everything at it to see what sticks!
My earlier post had shown what was going to be thrown into the mix. I'm happy with it so far, i know it's not conventionally beautiful, but it works for me. I wanted a dark pot, so knew my white slip wasn't going to do it this time. Had to mix my first batch of black slip (thanks Matt) and it got me playing around making little stamps for the pellets of clay. They're quite meaty sprigs! I've learnt how little clay you really need for each one, but i wanted them quite 'significant', like the lumps on the Jim McDowell pot. I also did a bit of plaster carving to create the little face on his cheeks, like you get on Bellarmines (or Bartmanns). I wanted to do more of these and get them a bit more complex and refined. I just sponged the white slip on for teeth and when it dries i will scratch the lips through to the clay to tidy them up and add another level of colour. I'm now chasing up a few leads to try and figure out some way to get these things fired, glazed and fired again. I need to see a 'real' pot now. Time to see how they all work out, then i can think about where to take it. I want to do a black slip sgraffito pot next i think.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Flat Folk

Here's a couple of things i've been playing with. Remember my "folk" series way back? well i thought I'd flatten them.... just because i can! and now they've come in very useful as my Father's Day card ( i used 'Larry' with the cap). I hope my Dad doesn't see it here.... but considering he doesn't even have a computer/email or even know how to text ( he may know how to Fax !!!... remember that??) I think i'm pretty safe. Now i hope no one has forgotten to post their cards off.... Quick... run!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Making Sense

I stumbled across this fantastic jug in the V&A last week. I haven't been there for years, what an amazing museum that is. The ceramics section blew my mind, so many amazing pots. I could feel the anxiety kick in as the overload of pots sank in, i knew i was going to miss something great and that i was probably walking past stuff that in years to come i'll be obsessing over.. arghhhhh! I always get the same feeling in libraries too, so much information and stuff you'll never see, or find. Deep Breath... Anyway, this pot, that was in some other section of the museum, really struck a cord. It was an old heavily sprigged jug, great size and shape, and it was a face jug! perfect. The teeth, which my photo doesn't show too well, was just some slip which had the teeth drawn through. I've got to try some sprigged pellets now. It really helped join up the dots for me. Below is a Burlon Craig face jug and a Jim McDowell face jug with little clay pellets, both from America... and below them are some sprigged pots of Matt's, great potter that he is ( and thanks to his little videos i've seen him apply the sprigs). Hopefully I'll get started on a few bits this week, if i have any energy or time once the kids have gone to bed!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Sgraffito Hair

Can you tell i enjoyed doing this?!... I'd wanted to do some mad stringy hair for a while and this jug was the perfect opportunity. It was a good practice piece and saw my first spout, pulled handle and thumb stop. Get me. I know i don't know what came over me, suddenly i believed i could do stuff, imagine.
This little mug was a bit of a test piece for the hair concept.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Brede Ogre

I drew a 'picture pot' of this character a while back and now here he is in clay. It was a bit hit and miss and his head sits a little large on top, but hey, so what? His head did have a handle, but i had my first collapse after slipping it. I made a quick repair and it'll do me for now, it's all progress. He's about 11 inches tall and i learnt a lot making him, which after all is the purpose of all this.