Saturday, 25 June 2011

Back from holiday! Lots of news!

Hello everyone! We're back from our holiday! Actually we've been back for a week, but it's taken me this long to get round to updating my blog!

All week I've been thinking that there is so much news and so many photographs to share that this will be one incredibly long post! So I've decided to cut the waffle, give you the news in brief, and put all the holiday photos in a slide show at the end!

So on with the news...

Umm... yeah. I can't remember it all now! Umm... Oh yeah, well, after sleeping for nearly our entire holiday, I got my blood test results and they are all clear. So unfortunately I have nothing that can be cured with a little magic pill.

About the holiday - we slept a lot. It was so quiet and peaceful - exactly what we needed. It rained most days, but we had fabulous weather on the Tuesday so we went to the zoo! It was incredible. The animals are so beautiful. I wish I was allowed to stroke them! I did get to feed an elephant and a giraffe though!

Despite being so tired, I had a crazy idea this week to make 12 animals in 12 months! I was shopping for a diary, and saw a calendar with a different animal picture for each month, and the idea was borne! What this means is, I will have to scrap what I have made of the panda so far, because I will need to keep each animal at a reasonable size to be able to finish each one within a month. Of course, I suppose this also means that it will be 12 months before anything is fired or glazed, so I won't have any finished work for a long time. I'll play it by ear...

And the final piece of news is that I have lost half a stone in weight! Go me!

Now on with the photos...

Friday, 10 June 2011

Plan? What plan?

The panda is well under way...

Umm... ok, I know it doesn't look like a panda... actually, Scott said it looks more like a toilet! As usual, I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm just sort of making it up as I go along. I usually have a better idea of what I'm doing the second time around... ok, I know that didn't work with the squirrel, but I built the second swan much quicker, and it came out better... until I glazed it...

Anyway! So I wanted to make a smaller panda first, and then make a bigger one once I knew what I was doing, but this one sort of... got big. It's not as big as it would have been if I had decided to make a big one, but it's not really that small either! (You know it's big when I have to wrap it in a black bin bag!) You see? No plan. There's never a plan...

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

He's done!

Yep, I finally finished Mr Squirrel and moved him to the "drying cabinet" today! (which is really just a portable green house, but it works just as well)

Last night I hated him - today, not so much. I "tweaked" him this morning, so he looks very slightly different to these photos from last night. Not much, just a little in the wrists, which I think look a little deformed here (well, mostly the other one, which you can see in the 3rd photo).

This is the best I could do with his hands.

He kind of looks like he's sitting down instead of squatting on his feet. I tried to correct this a little by bringing the bottom of the legs in, but he still looks a little... laid back.

And I'm still not really sure about the tail, although it's not quite as flat as it looks in the photos.

I made this one to replace the squirrel I gave away (you see, I don't really want to part with them). In some ways I think this one looks better (the hands and the face, and the ears are positioned better), in other ways not so good (I like the tail on the other one, although it should have been wider at the top, and the other one was rounder and leaning forward more), but I'm hoping overall this one will be better once I have glazed him. Looking back, the glaze on the last one was awful!

The "other one"

I gave this one to my brother and sister in law as an anniversary present, and I must say, they looked very disappointed! Last I heard it was being used to keep a cupboard door shut!

Time for my panda!!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

You can't have it - it's mine!

I know I'm strange, but my feelings about my art seem to change more often than the weather, and in the UK the weather is always pretty changeable. I think it must be because I haven't been doing this for very long, and maybe it takes a while for us to decide where we want to go with our art? I mean, one minute I want to have a successful exhibition (successful = lots of sales) and the next minute... well, they're mine! I want to keep the things I've made!

I think part of it comes down to the type of objects made. Maybe if I sat at a wheel all day and made very similar items I wouldn't mind parting with them (and I'm not suggesting for one minute that this is easy or not art). But when you hand build sculptures, each piece is a unique and time consuming project, and I suppose you kind of "bond" with that piece. And I suppose there is always the question of whether you can ever recreate that piece again.

Believe me, using a wheel isn't easy!

I still want to learn how to use the wheel, but actually I really enjoy making animal sculptures, and I've kind of decided that that's the direction I want to go in. I have tried to sell my animal sculptures previously, but now I'm glad they didn't sell. And I know deep down that if I successfully manage to make the large and detailed sculptures that fill my mind each night, that I won't want to part with them either. So I suppose I'm destined to be a poor and unknown artist after all!

I find hand building much easier

Ok, I know that last image is of a vase, but the shape was a fluke, and I like it, so I want to keep it. And please don't ask about Mr Squirrel. I hate him, and yet I know I won't want to part with him either.