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 šŸ™‚

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!

College Course – Ceramics – Term 4 – Final Project

For our final project this term, we’ve had four weeks to work on either a ceramic bird house, or a Cornell-style box. In principle, we had to slab build the box and then use at least two of the techniques we’d learnt to decorate it. I’ve gone for the Cornell-style fine art box:

IMG_3339_wOnce again, all the work is based on my bead or button collection – the filigree is the back slab layered with D-shaped extrusions and then pierced (two techniques already!). The flowers are one and two part plaster moulds taken from other beads (sprig moulds, technique three). The box will dry over the Christmas break and then get fired – it’s white earthstone, and we’ll be playing with glazes next term. The box will hold vertical strings of ceramic beads, which I made by designing my own extrusion die, slicing this into uniform thicknesses, piercing and then carving (and there’s technique four):

College Term 4 – Painting Week 1

I had to hit the ground running this week, with the first day back at college for Year Two, Term One. We’re starting off with six weeks of Jewellery, several weeks of Drawing, Life Drawing, Painting and lots and lots of Ceramics. Later on we’ll be doing some more Print.

The theme this term is ‘collections’ and we’ve been researching ‘artists who collect’ from those that seem to curate lots of objects (e.g. Portia Munson) to those who do assemblage (e.g. Joseph Cornell). I have to say I fail to appreciate the artistic creativity in curation, but I’m sure someone will put me right! I know these curated collections are art by definition, given it is commissioned and displayed and appreciated, but not what I would see as creative arts by any means.

Painting this week was set to stretch our comfort zone. We were handed bamboo pens, black Quink ink and told to draw our collections and then use clean water to move the ink around the page. We were encouraged to explore the media and work loosely. My collection is of beads and buttons, just in case you can’t tell from these images!

The ink has so many different colour pigments in it, more and more become obvious as it moves with the addition of water. Wet-on-wet creates more feathering, and translucent wash layers can be built up. I left the paper-white areas as highlights. It was difficult to add more ink back into the image as the paper had become more absorbent and spongy. I think I did ok…