Mixed Media Plaster Panel

Over the last ten days or so, I’ve been playing with cast plaster panels. I used all the techniques I learnt at college to mould, soap, build clay dams, pour and pull a plaster of paris piece. Unfortunately, despite all that work, I completely forgot about overhangs. I ruined both the plaster mould and the panel as I attempted to separate the two with a screwdriver.

Undaunted, though slightly miffed, I went back to the drawing board and tried again. This time I pressed items into a clay slab and took a direct cast from that.


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Missing an end of term deadline…

I’m normally one to meet deadlines with time to spare… for instance, all my Craftwork Card samples are always delivered in time for the shows on Create & Craft.

This project was started in my final term at college, some two years ago now. It was part of my geometric constructions for lanterns (featured here), and I made a wireframe cage based on the same shape. The idea was to then grow salt crystals over the wire frame and photograph it as part of my final major project. As anyone who has tried growing crystals knows, it takes time – and in this case, the piece didn’t finish ‘growing’ until 6 months later, well after I’d finished my extended diploma. Since then, it’s languished in its protective bucket on a shelf in my studio waiting to be photographed. Prompted by a need for more space, I got the camera out late last night and took the photos. I think it was worth the wait…

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College Course – Term 6 – Final Exhibition

Where has two years gone? Seems to have flown by! And so, I come to the close of my course, and here are the pictures of my final exhibition. I have studio pictures of the final pieces to post as well, and they’ll come in due course. I’ve used a bit of Photoshop jiggery-pokery to get some of the detail right in the exposures, but the light level on the day was more the dome pic than the globe pic (i.e. not as dark as I’d like, but hey ho!).

Keep an eye out for the individual pieces as they will be for sale, complete with free light! I don’t have enough room to store them or display them, so it’s only right they should find a new loving home 🙂

College – Term 5 – Final Ceramics Piece

This piece from last term won’t be exhibited at my end of course show next week, so now it’s been fired and assembled, I thought I’d share it with you here 🙂

The brief was to create a ‘Cornell style box’ (i.e. an assemblage) based on my chosen collection, which, for last term, was beads. The base and top were scaled up from a metal filigree bead, with the top flowers being formed from a mould made using lucite beads. The hanging flowers were sliced from a clay extrusion using my own custom laser-cut perspex die and then individually hand carved and pierced. The clay used was earthstone which goes cream/white when fired, and I decided to keep it unglazed.

The filigree section was formed by sticking down D-shaped extrusions to form the pattern, using slip, and then I used a fine potter’s knife to cut out the enclosed sections. This obviously took the most time! Just as the box was finished, I managed to drop it – a gut-wrenching moment, but happily not much got damaged and the clay was still soft enough to work out the kinks. After that, I was a lot more careful!

It’s been a bit quiet…

… on my blog for the past couple of weeks. That’s because I’ve been busy behind the scenes perfecting the art of casting and carving porcelain ready for final project pieces for college, applying and not getting a part time job, digging and planting the allotment, settling into the new studio, researching and buying fire safety equipment, public liability insurance and registering as self-employed from the beginning of next month!

College finishes with an exhibition at the end of the month, after which I’ll be able to post some pictures of my final project pieces, and from then on I’m freelancing. The timetable for the summer includes workshop planning, sample making and a couple of studio open days for groups I’m involved in.

In the meantime, I’ve posted the ‘small print’ for the workshops so that I am compliant with all the various guidelines for internet selling as well as being as helpful as I can be! They’re here if you’d like a read. If there are any workshops based on products or projects you’ve seen on my blog (or anywhere else for that matter!) then do let me know 🙂


College – Term 6 – Final Major Project – another light shade

It’s another light shade, this time featuring cut-outs using silhouettes based on my own observational drawings. I’ve cut the silhouettes from heavy interfacing, used Bondaweb to fuse to a layer of white cotton, and then machine stitched them onto the card frame.


And this afternoon, I spent a couple of hours in a darkened room. The stress hadn’t got to me (though the same can’t be said for our tutor this morning!), but the need to photograph all my creations to date had. Here’s a selection:


College – Term 5 – Final Major Project – another paper craft light shade

Well after a flurry of activity over the last two weeks watching my new studio get installed, and then decorating it, constructing furniture and moving in – as well as emptying out and putting back to right the dining room, conservatory and some of the craft room – I have my first ‘working’ day in the studio.

Of the various things I have to catch up with, college work is one priority as I have a mid-way assessment tomorrow. Consequently, I have taken pics of my latest light shade in my series. This one features one of the patterns I gleaned from a visit to the Islamic artefacts at the British Museum, drawn into Illustrator, adapted for the round and then screenprinted in opaque white ink onto thick tracing paper, and then constructed onto a card frame. As with the previous post, here are photos of the shade in daylight, and internally lit at night.