(Updated May 2015)
Through a fortuitous alignment of the planets, coupled with my advancing years, 2015 will see me - after 45 years' "meddling in mud" including 10 years' commercial 'spare time' practice in ceramics - setting sail with my 'ceramicano' boat sculptures (and others) into full time ceramics! You'll see from my events list that the summer is already filled with ceramic fairs, including an additional southerly foray with an early show in Discoed to coincide with the Hay Festival in May, a first appearance at Hatfield Art in Clay in July and a return to Ceramics in the City in Hackney in September. I have offers for more shows in the autumn and have begun workshops from my studio. With a modicum of lighting experience and following some recent extra tuition, I invested in my own portable photographic studio set up - to take 'press quality' snaps of my own work - this led to commissions from other artists needing professional images of their artwork and this is something I will develop alongside my ceramic practice.
Currently I'm making new forms, 'mussels' and 'nuts' which, like my 'waveforms' are scale independent and lend themselves to compositions of multiples in various arrangements, sizes and naked raku finishes.
A tiny version of 'big boats' assemblies - or rather, moulds for the use of - is my next 'plaster project' to offer a scale below the current 'big and the small' versions. Just as the small version 'nests' beautifully within the bowl section of a 'big boat' segment, the 'tiny version' will 'nest within the small version offering even more variation options like a 'Russian doll'. On their own, a 'tiny boat' should fit more people's shelf space and pocket?-)
Canted, rather than straight, connections of the segments provide a new dynamic direction ( working title 'dancing sharks' ) and heavy reduction after raku firing promotes metallic finishes from the copper based glaze. The 'waveform', with variations in shape, angle, material, finish and 'family' composition will be a major diversion this year as I settle into my newly built studio space. 'Prayer engines' (NJNZ) are disposable votive vessels usually only made to commission (carrying a secreted wish that cannot be read without destroying the piece).
I work principally in raku where clay takes a spectacular elemental journey through fire, air and water to become ceramic. Random crackle glazes dress tightly controlled, thrown forms evoking aeronautical/spacecraft engines, seedpods, nuts and flowers. Decoration, where applied, is simple and geometric using tape or pre-cut paper shape "resists" counterpointing the crackle, which is the "signature" of raku.
I also use the "naked raku" process where the bisqued pots have a layer of raw slip and sacrificial glaze applied, which is removed after the "smoking phase" of cooling the red hot pots to reveal the carbon patterning which has impregnated the pot body.
I press mould larger sculptural 'big boats', have new colours for the thrown work of seed, squid and tube vases, and have gone 'freeform' into narrative patterning on vase forms as well as deforming them into oval variations. Working on intriguing new, hand-built hollow forms called "waveforms". This form lends itself to manufacture at many scales and in many materials including ceramic. Its edge describes a sinusoidal waveform when seen at a particular angle and the form's two sides offer wide possibility for contrasts in finish, pattern and texture.