Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Back to class, and the year in review - part two

I can't believe so much time has passed already since my last post, and I still haven't given you the lowdown on the second half of last year yet! A week ago my neck and shoulder went into a spasm for no apparent reason, and I have been in excruciating pain ever since, putting me completely out of action again, and I'd only just recovered from being ill for 5 weeks with a flu/virus! It's so frustrating. It's still very painful, but I did manage to get to class last night - the first class after the holiday, and I wasn't going to miss it!! And guess what? Anita has joined too! She's been wanting to come to the clay class for such a long time, but wasn't able to due to her commitment to teaching the painting and drawing class. But this term the class had been cancelled, so she was able to join our class instead! And last night she seemed to really enjoy herself. More about class later though, for now let's get back to the review... which will be very short...

In my last post I left off in June, which was really the highlight of the year for me, when Swanee and Polo came out of the kiln, beautifully glazed! What a relief! Classes pretty much finished for summer then, and I was hoping to be productive throughout the summer months before classes started again in late September. But, things didn't exactly go according to plan. I was feeling pretty washed out all summer, and only managed to make one vase!

Yup, this is the only thing I made all summer

Classes Started again at the end of September, and a had a few pieces to glaze from June, but by October I still hadn't decided how to glaze my little vases, despite having the whole summer to decide! I toyed with the idea of leaving them plain with a little design painted on them in iron oxide and having them fired to stoneware, but not knowing when the class would have enough pieces to warrant a high firing, and having the Pytchley exhibition in November drawing close, I decided to glaze them after all.

how they would have looked...

...and how they ended up

I also experimented with making a figurine in October. It was nothing amazing, but I had nothing else to do at class that evening and it was something I had been wanting to try for quite some time. It kept me busy for the evening, but I didn't keep it and I seem to have deleted the photo of it.

In November I had lots more glazing disasters. My little bowls were streaky; I tried to touch up my damaged little ivy vase and it got stuck to the shelf; and the crackle glaze on my large ivy vase didn't crack! Despite all this, the month proved to be a busy one, and not a complete disaster. I started making lots of "goblets" which I decorated with sgrafitto, in preparation of my girly night (which I had to cancel because I became ill!) I also received my first commission of a couple of goblets for a Christmas present (which I... didn't have ready in time because I was ill). Oh dear, maybe November was a disaster after all! No, no, it was a good month, because November also brought my first exhibition in Pytchley, which although I didn't sell anything, the organiser was very positive about, and encouraged me to come again next year. Of course, my display was smaller than planned, owing to the fact that my small ivy vase stuck to the kiln shelf and my fairy vase got damaged... What a month!

Then of course I spent most of December being ill, but I did manage a little more sgrafitto - my "Marianne" design (which I have since altered).

I look forward to using this design more in the future, on vases for example, as well as trying out a new "Emma" design... which leads me nicely into my goals for the coming year...

Goals for 2010

I'm not very good with goals. Goals make me anxious. There are things I would really like to accomplish this year, but they won't be set in stone so as to create unnecessary pressure.

First of all I would like to do the three things which I meant to do last year but never seemed to get round to, and that is: slip trailing, finishing my second tree fairy vase, and finishing my portrait of Scott when he was a little boy, even if it means starting it again.

I'd also like to be more prepared this year for any exhibitions I may take part in. Hopefully the FPAA will accept ceramics for their exhibition in June, and of course I shall exhibit again in Pytchley in November. Edit: I should also add that there will be another Open Art competition this year in my town, just as in 2008, and I plan to be well prepared for that also.

As for goals regarding clay - I always have so many new things in mind that I would like to try that it would be impossible for me to achieve them all in one year, and for some of them I feel I may not yet have the skill to succeed. I suppose they are more long term goals, but for this year, at least, I would like to create and expand a Jane Austen collection. I'd also like to make at least one more animal this year. So I suppose they are my main goals for 2010.


mona said...

Cool! So okay apparently I missed something from your posts, but what is this about a Jane Austen collection?

Undaunted said...

Hehehe, I was going to ask you what you missed, but I suppose if you missed it you won't know what it is! But then... how do you know you missed something??

Anyway, the Jane Austen thing... I've long been a fan, and drew a little sketch of Marianne pining for her Willoughby, and successfully (I think) translated that on to clay. Now I have done another little sketch of Emma, which I hope will translate on to clay equally as well. It's given me the idea of producing a selection of items with Jane Austen characters on them, although I haven't had any more ideas for other characters so far, and I don't want to "force it". I really started by drawing Marianne because I love the story so much, which I think is the best kind of inspiration. :)

mona said...

Ahhhhh. I know which piece you're talking about for I just didn't relate the Marianne as Austen.

I imagine all this book reading ought to be really helping prime the pump inspirationally speaking for future Austen pieces.

Very cool. :)

Undaunted said...

I hope so Mona :)

JafaBrit's Art said...

oh dear spasms are so painful! Hope it mends soon. Sounds like you have some nice plans laid out for the year :)

I seem to be doodling along, here there and everywhere LOL! Hopefully something cohesive will come out of it.

Undaunted said...

Thank you Jafabrit :) Now if I could just get myself moving!!

I think your pieces are so much more creative and imaginative, due to your "doodling along" and just playing. And the results are always cohesive without being contrived. :)

Julie Ann said...

Oh my gosh- the only thing you made this summer?? That's one Gorgeous vase!!!! You should be proud!!!

Undaunted said...

Thank you Julie Ann :) I'm a bit hard on myself sometimes, and think I should be creating something new every week! I'm really touched that you took the time to look through my blog :)