Saturday, 30 October 2010

I finally finished the rabbit... er... meerkat!

How does something start out as a rabbit and end up looking like a cross between Yoda and ET? I don't know, but here it is.

He looks like he's meditating doesn't he? Honestly, his head isn't really that big in the flesh, the camara lies.

Less than two weeks before my first show now. So am I finished making all of my pieces yet? Umm... no.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Busy doing nothing

Wow, I have been really struggling to get clay time recently, which put me in an incredibly bad mood today. I can only go so long without clay before I seriously start losing the plot and feel like doing violent paintings again! I don't even know what's been getting in the way, just rubbish things, like gas men, and feeling too tired and things like that. I even followed my counsellors advice and scheduled it into my diary, and it still didn't happen! The end result is that by the time I actually managed to get my clay out today, I had lost my confidence again...

I started on a piece weeks ago that was supposed to be a rabbit, except it looks nothing like one! So I started altering it a bit to try to make it into a meerkat - something that a couple of people have asked me to make - but today I seemed to be struggling with that as well! And I have less than 3 short weeks before my shows begin!

At least I know I will be able to fire my pieces now... oh yes, we've had lots of fun and games in the kiln department! Someone came to change our electric meter (I would say "upgrade" but I hate that word!) and he noticed that the kiln was completely bypassing the meter! So he had to make an "emergency call" to "abort" (yes, he really said that). I was expecting the CIA, to come crashing through the window from an overhead hellicopter...

Needless to say, it is all sorted out now, otherwise I wouldn't be joking about it. But it was extremely stressful and it cost us an extra £153 to have it put right (which we are trying to get back from the electrician who wired it in), but at least they didn't disconnect my kiln, or our whole house supply, or have us sent to prison, despite treating us like criminals even though we had absolutely no knowledge of what the electrician had done.

Rage - from ... umm... a long time ago

So, I have actually made some pendants, because I can just about manage cookie cutters...

... and I made some log things with birds before I lost my confidence somewhere...

... I'm thinking I really need to find my confidence again because I've just spent about a million pounds on glazes... and of course I have those shows coming up, so the timing isn't great. If you see it anywhere, please send it home :)

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Busy busy busy!

Hello people! It's been a busy week here! Specifically, it's been a busy week with clay, I'm glad to say!

My week kicked off with clay class on Monday evening! I don't really need the classes now that I have my own kiln, but I go to accompany my lovely niece Sophie. Sophie is 16 now, so she qualifies for the adult learning course, but she has Autism and so she needs a carer to be with her. And I get to catch up with some of the other students who have re-enrolled!

Sophie is a wonderful artist. She can sketch an outline for a drawing in minutes! She particularly likes to draw Pokemon, but she draws other things too, mainly in that Anime style. What amazes me most is that she draws everything on a graphics tablet! I tried using one of those things recently and I couldn't even sign my own name without considerable practice! There are so many of her pieces that I love, (and I don't have all of them) but here is one that she drew for her Mum recently:

Anyway, she seemed to enjoy the clay class and is looking forward to this Monday coming. I shall have to remember to photograph some of her clay work!

Back to my own studio, I tried to get as many pieces finished in my white clay as possible before getting out my brown/black clay, because it stains everything! I could still do with making lots of little pieces for the Arts and Crafts fair coming up in December, but I wanted to get my main pieces for my two main shows out of the way first. After a very busy week I am nearly finished! Phew!

Some of the last white pieces I made were some Jane Austen coasters. You wouldn't believe how much I struggled to make a few simple tiles! Although I manage to keep them flat during drying, they keep shrinking out of shape! If you look carefully in this photo you can see:

In the end I scrapped the ones I made at first and made some more, but this time I let the clay shrink a little before cutting them out! It seeems to have worked.

Here is one of the black/brown pieces I have made this week:

I only noticed after taking the photo that the news paper that is wrapped around the tube has a picture of someone in an army uniform! Kind of ironic! Anyway, the areas I plan to glaze are painted in white slip. I have made quite a few pieces similar to this bird one...

... but they are all standing on end while they dry! So they're not really in the best position for photographing! (If I lay them down while they are soft they will collapse under their weight)

And that's this week! I have a couple of pieces to finish today, and then I need to make one more animal (maybe a Meerkat, since someone asked me about that recently) and then I should have enough for my two main shows! Yippee! After these three shows I have a whole six months until my next show! So I predict lots of animal sculptures! :D