Welcome to my news page which I keep up-to-date with any significant information about me and my work, such as exhibitions for example. You can find more detailed and regular updates on how I work on social media. You can access them through my website or go directly via my Instagram or Facebook accounts.
 
This news page started its life in autumn 2016 when I was required to write a blog during my MA degree course in Ceramics at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, UK. Thus, going back you will find many blogs chronicling my artistic developments along with more personal observations made during those two years. 

Food Project: Initial Drawings

Working in my sketchbook drawing lots of shapes that may be used for developing pots. I use different methods of drawing which combine an element of random chance which I respond to. It is my way trying to avoid being too tight and controlled.

Testing Underglazes

I wanted to test what effect different firing temperatures have on my underglazes. So, here I've painted a swatch of colours on tiles of porcelain paperclay and covered them with a clear glaze. The left shows the colours pre-glazing. On the right are the tiles after firing. Even though in the earthenware firing the colours are brighter, especially the reds and yellows, I was pleased to see that the colours remained quite true at stoneware temperatures.

Second Assignment: Crit

Today we all got our pottery pieces together for the group critique for our "Stand & Deliver: Maximalism v.s. Minimalism" assignment. We took turns to present our pieces, which didn't have to be totally finished and glazed, and explained our thoughts and developmental steps. It was great to see the diversity and different approaches of everybody. This is a great opportunity to learn from other people's work. At the same time each of us was challenged to think about how we could develop and push ourselves further. Group shot of all the pieces lined up:

Some Glaze Test

Out of the kiln: testing black underglazes fired to S/W in oxidation. Top tile is AWS/1G clay with strips of Tenmoku glaze (far left) and Mushadon (right) Umbrella is Crank with clear strip of clear S/W glaze Same glazes and same clays but fired in different kilns. Top: in Electric kiln Bottom: in Gas kiln Four tiles on the left is a combination of oxides and three glazes, the four tiles on the right have underglazes with clear S/W glaze.

Second Assignment: Finishing the Figure

Today my figure got out of the bisque firing. I was nervous to see how many cracks have appeared but, so far, I've not found any. That is great! I think this is largely due to my choice of clay, which was a crank. Unfortunately I don't have the time to glaze it before the crit tomorrow. But, I still attached all the charms around its neck even if I have to take them off again before glazing. Here are more detailed notes.

Second Assignment: Glazing the Marquette

As so often, especially when you don't go through the trouble of doing glaze tests, the finished glazed pot is a total surprise. I have learnt that black iron oxide does not give you a black finish after firing and that a celadon glaze gives you a very olive green when fired in a gas kiln. On the main hull of the boat I envisioned a contrast between shiny and matt black and a pale green inside on the medium boat balanced on top.

Wendy Lawrence's exhibition in Mold

Our final visit of the day was to see our tutor Wendy’s solo exhibition in the Oriel Gallery in the theatre of Mold, Wales. I was very impressive to see so many pottery pieces made by one single person. This exhibition is very well curated and it is a pleasure to look at Wendy’s pottery in this setting. Even though Wendy's style is very far removed from what I do, I appreciate the beauty of these pieces. I really like the subtle colours along with the surface structures, which remind me of weathered lichen covered stones or barnacle encrusted stones that have been immersed in the sea. There is a real liveliness to her pottery pieces.

Visiting Anvil and Brockhouse potteries

Next on our agenda in Wales was a quick stop at a village pottery, The which is run by Allan Hughes and Krithia Roberts. It is housed in a draughty, ram shackled and terribly charming building opposite the village church. The pots were very inexpensive but well made. They were all of a certain style and glaze. However, they would also make bespoke pottery to a client’s wishes. Despite having electric kilns this pottery felt like it had stood still in time. Our next stop was a stark contrast. We stopped off at the Brookhouse Pottery run by Margaret and David Frith. This is a very organised and professional pottery with big showrooms, roomy pottery studio and multiple kilns both in and outdoor

Ruthin Craft Centre visit

Today our MA course went on an excursion to North Wales. It was a day packed full of pottery. Great! We started off with having a look around the Ruthin Craft Centre, which hosted exhibitions of two artists along with mixed craft exhibition. For me, the pottery exhibition “The Language of Clay: Earth, Fire and Salt” by Micki Schloessingk was the most interesting. Her pots are mostly utilitarian and rather simple in form. The simple shapes show off the beautiful salt glazes she uses on many of them. By far my favourite were her ginger jars, in particular the ones with the bluish salt glaze and their domed handle-less lids. However, I also liked the decorated flat plates and how the glaze has

MA Learning Agreement: first drafts

Having had a very good and productive discussion with Dave and Anna about where I am and what I intend to do on this course, I have now reworked my draft of my Learning Agreement. Probably to be amended and changed a few more times during next coming two years until submission of my MA work. However, it does give me a focus, which, hopefully, will prevent me from straying too far from my intentions. Links to previous or later versions of this Learning Agreement: 1st version, 2nd version and 3rd version.

Second Assignment: maximalism

Once I got a good start on my minimalist piece I decided to concentrate on the maximalist 'Stand & Deliver' piece. I had no intention of linking these two in any way, except that they should be distinctly different from each other. Just as the minimalist boats were more an exercise in shape and form and reflected my minimal emotional involvement with these pieces, the maximalist piece was to be highly personal and charged with emotion. I have decided to use my strong feelings about the Brexit vote earlier this year as a topic of this piece. This is not supposed to be highly balanced, refined and political response to the outcome of the referendum but a polemical outlet for my highly objectiv

Second Assignment: Starting to make figure

So, having made the marquette, I realised that this sculpture would involve many pieces which I would first make individually before assembling them into a whole. Crucial would be to keep all pieces at approximately the same wetness so that after assembling they wouldn't crack to due different clay shrinkage. I started with the torso of the main figure. Its size would determine the size of all other pieces made afterwards. Felt a bit weird to be working with just a torso... And here is every detail in detail: Starting Figures

Demo: Introduction to Glazing

A brief introduction to glazing by Wendy introduced me to some new glazing elements I've not uses before: Engobes, Silicon Carbide to make volcanic glazes and Lustres to bring out texture. I have got a bottle of platinum lustre, which is waiting to be tried. So far, I've been reluctant to use it as it seems to precious - literally. The use of Engobes may also be useful for me even if they seem to be limited to lower firing temperatures. Above are some of Wendy's lustre samples. Here is my full write up of the demo: link glaze demo.

Second Assignment: maximalist marquette

So, once I've done some drawings I reach the point at which progressing my sculpture in 2-D is too limited and I need to sketch in 3-D. Luckily there were some toothpicks around to help me prop up the arms. This was a good indicator that my final piece would probably also need some extra supports. As usual, here a detailed account of my reasoning behind making this marquette.

Second Assignment: minimalist 2nd marquette

So, having rejected my first boat marquette, I am doing out a second marquette of a boat that doesn't have a flat bottom. Also, I thought it would be nice to combine it with other boat hulls of different sizes. Different scales add visual interest. This is working much better for me. I quite enjoy its function which is a stand holding a boatload of olives and a little shoot to dispose of olive stones. At this point, the whole thing needs to be placed on a board. Maybe a sort of bottom saucer could be added to hold the discarded stones, should I develop this one further. Here is a detailed write up of the development of my second boat marquette.

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