Willing summer into being with clay. Dreaming of new growth, layers of vegetation & vibrant plant life. I have been continuing with my sculptural floral series (these individual elements will all be combined in a final piece for exhibition in the late summer). And more recently, I've also been making some vessels decorated with 3D slip forms, trying to build lots of texture/layering with dripping slip. I love the fractures that the layered slip creates as it dries (pictured at top, left). Hope it survives glaze firing.
Slowly but surely, I'm getting to an interesting place with the sculptural work for the mentorship program. Here is a quick "bouquet" I arranged from greenware & bisqued elements (some slip trailed, some hand built). This week I mixed a quick batch of paper clay, using old Laguna Frost casting slip and some paper slurry (water, toilet paper, immersion blender). I've never used paper clay before, but have watched other artists sculpt with it, and I knew it would enable me to build & join the porcelain with more ease. I was definitely able to work the paper clay more aggressively. I treated thin slabs of it like fabric and cut it with scissors to create petals. These are just the first efforts -- blossoms and greenery roughly based off the memory of the plants in the floral nursery where my mom worked when I was young and where I was lucky to spend time every day (our house was right beside the nursery, so essentially I grew up in a flower bed...think 80s bedding plants -- lots of geraniums & petunias).
My second experiment was to create a hybrid of the Laguna Frost casting slip & the paper clay mixture, so I could still draw quickly & gesturally with the bottle of slip, while taking advantage of the strength of the paper clay. This allowed me to make flat components that I could sketch out and then slip together later on & build into three dimensional forms (pods, layers of flower heads). The possibilities of this method are really exciting. I keep veering between wanting to work in a very free and intuitive way, yet all my drawings/concepts are more uptight. When I went back to my sketchbook I saw the words WILDNESS vs. RESTRAINT and yelled, "AHA!" That's my theme, 100%
Pictured above is a quick study of what the original elements (just Frost slip, no paper clay added) look like when presented on a bold, painted wall surface (gauche). I'd love to create a whole wall like this, with many porcelain elements integrated onto a wallpapered pattern. Again, wildness vs. restraint.
Since I have resolved that 2015 is my year of creative & professional development (shouldn't they all be?), alongside the mentorship program, I'm starting an exciting new e-course tomorrow with Molly Hatch & Ben Carter: Think Big! A Branding Series for Ceramic Artists
Happy New Year, everyone! What creative goals are you pushing for this year?
Welcome to my new home on the Internet! A lot has happened over the past few months. My husband, cat and I uprooted from Toronto and moved a wee bit south-west to Hamilton, Ont. This city is pretty damn remarkable. First off, I am terrible at moving. I get super attached to houses, neighbourhoods, places, and people, so after living in Toronto for eleven years, moving away felt like a sucker-punch to the heart. We moved because we were itching for change and wanted a place to call our own. When we found our house, in the dead of winter, complete with a pottery studio, we knew it was time to make the jump. We have received such a warm welcome from our Hamiltonian friends and new neighbours. This small city with a big heart is charming, gritty, and is the kind of place where you feel like you can actually make an impact. It's not pretentious, is surrounded by the lush, green escarpment, and is already a host to many artists & craftspeople.
I am in the midst of setting up my new studio. Here's a picture of what it looked like this spring. I can't tell you how happy I am to have my very own, dedicated space to make new work. Right now the studio is bursting with pots in all stages of the making process as I prepare for the Christmas One of a Kind Show
. As most artists do, I started producing work for this show in the summer, so I'm itching to show you all what's taken shape. Hope to see you there! Stay tuned for product sneak-peeks, discount coupons to the show & giveaways!!
Plus, very soon you'll be able to shop directly from this site!
Thank you to all the lovely people who have welcomed us to our new city & hi-fives to Miro Wagner for all his help launching this new website!