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. 

Second assignment: Finished

I am very pleased with the final result of my Brexit piece. I really like the contrast between the bright colours of the 'charms' and the browns of the main figures.

Raku Firing

Today we did a Raku firing out in the yard of the university. Not sure whether everybody in the building enjoyed the smoked-kipper smell but we had great fun and some stunning results. It's such a quick and immediate technique during which one can see the firing and melting of the glazes. Very satisfying! Here is one of my pieces using two glazes (white crackle and turquoise lustre glazes). The black is the soot from the firing. Here are just a few impressions of the process:

Clay trials

These are some test tiles of different clays fired at different temperatures. I'm trying to find a nice white stoneware clay that suits me for hand building sculptural pieces. I have read the clay manufacturers descriptions and found that they are not always that reliable. At this stage I am testing four different clays. They are supposed to be stoneware clays but I have decided to additionally test them at earthenware temperatures too. Bisque fired with black, red and blue underglazes. I have then partially covered them with a clear glaze for firing. The Superwhite clay at the bottom seems to be least white in colour - especially in reduction firing. However, the PF700G is looking promising

Exhibition: The permanent Africa collection at the British Museum, London

After the South Africa exhibition I made my way into the bowls of the British Museum to visit their permanent Africa collection. I have been here many times but always manage to see something new and of interest. I particularly like their inclusion of new art into their historic collections and the way art mingles with craft including a decent representation of ceramics.

Exhibition: South Africa: The Art of a Nation

I travelled to London in order to visit a couple of exhibitions which I hoped would be useful for my contextual writing assignment. The South Africa exhibition at the British Museum was my first. I had high hopes and spent a long time looking around. Unfortunately, once inside I was not allowed to take photos (except for these). This exhibition left me with mixed feelings. It was not a mind-blowing revelatory visit and, though it was relative informative and I got the chance to see some new pieces of art, I felt let down by its contemporary section. I was hoping for new and exciting new art but there were too few pieces. Maybe my expectations were misguided: this venue is not an edgy new art

Food project: ready for firing

My quirky food vessel is finally ready for its bisque firing. It has been a struggle coming to terms with the new clay I'm trying out. However, the finishing stages were great. I have used shellac resist to introduce some subtle textures. The brown colour will burn off and the whole piece will be fired with a white glaze to fulfil the brief we've been set. Now I just need to think of what kind of food I can serve in it on Friday for our Christmas buffet.

Creative Mindmap

Here is my first attempt at creating a mindmap. I actually rather enjoyed this process. However, to be of real use for my current project within this MA it could have been more focussed. I may come back later and make another one. At least I've now got this one out of my system.

Trying Out Design Liner

I am delighted with outcome of my four test tiles. I set out the see the different shrinkage of porcelain paper clay when firing at stoneware and earthenware temperatures. At the same time I wanted to see how I managed to get on with adding detail with a Design Liner (in black). Because the colour flow isn't so easy to control it adds an organic quality of line. The shrinkage is quite remarkable, especially at the higher firing temperature of stoneware (on right). This will be useful when size is an issue when making items in paper clay. Accounting for shrinkage I would need to make them about 13% larger in size.

Food Project: Hand building

We've been set a new project to make a ceramic piece on which to serve food at our Christmas buffet. We are challenged to come up with an unusual way of presenting food. I am taking using this as an opportunity to try out a new clay. I want to see how this Superwhite Stoneware works for me when hand building and coiling a bigger pot. I am searching for good clay that fires very white at high temperatures and is be nice to work with when hand building. So far, I've not enjoyed the hand building process with this clay as it is very floppy and has no grit. However, once leather hard the smoothing and finishing is a real joy. The more I worked on the funnel the more it reminded me of Georgia O'K

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