Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gotta keep movin' on

Sometimes I think ceramics has a lot in common with depression, there are days of excitement, and anticipation, bursting with creativity and hope that are often followed by disapointment and bleak negativity and it seems that we are perpetually setting ourselves up for a fall....or maybe thats just me!! No, its ok, I love what I do and feel very lucky that I can work in my own space, with a material that, generally I can do anything with and can to express myself every day through work that I can sell, you can't get much better than that. But the downside of working alone is that just as there is often no one around to share the elation of successs, there is also no one to help disperse the feeling of disapointment when things don't turn out the way one had hoped. Its easy to think that you are the only person that this happens to, especially when we see such fantastic work on other peoples blogs and websites, but I know that this impression does not reflect reality and that behind the scenes we are all working very hard to realise in material form something that starts as a vague notion in our heads. Its a constant challenge and often a struggle but we all know that we love the successes and that failure is part of the process, and often we grow to love the 'failures' too!

So, to cut a very long story short, I'm glad I photographed those plates before they were fired because that was the last we saw of all that detailed brushwork, some of the colours burnt out, which I knew was likely but I'm going to rework a couple of them with some onglaze colours which will, I hope add some depth and to them.
Some, I'm happy with, black is always good but I'm also thinking that I need to use some better quality colours so I'll get some body stains and make up my own to suit the palette that I'm looking for.
I've just put this one in to a bisque and I've got some new shapes in there too.
ps can anyone tell me how to get photos in the right place within the text on blogger, it takes me ages to get them to move to where I want them?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bowls, Birds and Indian Princes - sorry - Chintzes

After a very busy Christmas and too many home renovation projects going on at the same time I'm back in the studio and I've got that new term feeling - thats the one you get when you have a brand new pencil case filled with sharp pencils, coloured felt tips and a couple of fruity erasers - not when you've forgotten everything you learned last term. Thankfully it comes with lots of new inspiration and surfaces to decorate. The surfaces are my slip cast birds along with some larger plates and bowls made on some slump moulds that I made a couple of weeks ago. I had a lovely workshop day at Rose's studio, Ang and I went up there to make the moulds and Rose made a 4 piece mould of a little plastic sumo figure. The decoration is inspired by my visit to the Chinoiserie exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria last year, I have always loved that style of rich, colourful, over the top decoration and don't need much encouragement to get my fine brushes out. I'm using Indian Chintz designs as a source, which at first I pretty much copied on to the plates but as I'm getting more involved I am realising that anything goes as long as it resembles a leaf or a flower and I can be a lot looser with the designs. I like to break up the surface a bit before the design goes on so I've used some wide brush strokes of slip as a background or dipped fabric into slip and laid it on the surface to create some interest. These photos are of the unfired work, I've put these up at this stage because they look good now but that could all change when they are glazed!