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. 

Back to work: marquettes & large figures

It is time to get back to some serious figure building. It's something I've put off to after the summer break. During one of my tutorials before summer it was suggested to me to make more elongated versions of the large figures I did before. Hm, I've been mulling this over and just cannot imagine it to be working for me. So, best to make some small marquettes and try it out: Oh, this is so not what I want to be doing. They are far to complicated especially if they will be heavily surface decorated. They look far to much like a collection of bones. I ended up with them as I was trying out to come up with longer limbed forms that can be turned and positioned in various ways. Luckily my course

Searching for the right fake celadon glaze: part 3

I thought I had found the perfect transparent high gloss glaze that could double as a fake celadon by just adding Copper Oxide. However, when passing on the recipe to one of my fellow students, she pointed out to me that it contained Barium Carbonate, a substance which may not be food safe. So, whereas it may be perfectly safe to use on my sculptural pieces it may not be appropriate for my little pinch pots. After all Barium Carbonate is used in rat poison, doh! So, I trawled the internet to see what pottery sources had to say about Barium Carbonate's safety and found opinions not 100% consistent but the advice generally is to err on the side of caution and avoid it for pots that may get int

Researching patterns: Iznik ceramics

It is about time to catch up and fill in the blanks of the work I've been doing over the summer months in order to preserve a continued narrative for my contextual diary required for my MA. In about May/June my tutors suggested that it may worth my while to have a look at Iznik ceramics. I was just finishing off my research into geometric Islamic patterns and was looking for a new set of patterns to get into. Even though the Islamic geometric architectural patterns are highly sophisticated I found them quite difficult to adapt to my pottery. Their rigid geometry, which is based complicated mathematical proportions, does not lend itself to my organic forms. Thus, even though there are crossov

Planning ahead & keeping focussed

My next larger project is to make three larger figures each using a different clay. I am basing my new experiments on the results I got for my first set of three larger figures finished earlier this year (from left to right): A white stoneware clay: AWS/1G from Spencroft. A porcelain white stoneware grog clay: PF700G from Valentine Clays. A professional smooth black clay: PF680 from Valentine Clays. These are the issues I had with my clay choices: Despite its name the AWS/1G used for figure 1 is not white at all - not when fired in oxidation and certainly not in reduction like this one. Figure 2 developed some cracks during glaze firing. This was probably due to rushing the drying process af

Summing up this summer - just a personal take on it

Okay, before this summer becomes just a distant memory I'll note down some of my semi-relevant experiences and impressions. After a busy first year on the Ceramics MA at UCLan I decided to have a bit of a break from pottery and give my family a chance to reacquaint themselves with me. We spent a week in the South-West of France visiting a friend and another two weeks in Germany catching up with family and friends. As said, I tried to switch off a bit from ceramics but it doesn't mean that my appetite for culture (and a few pots) was non-existent. Here are some of the things that I came across during that time. Who knows whether they'll gain some relevance in my work somehow... France: In Lod

Testing different black and red clays: Part 1

Parallel to working on my larger sculptural pieces I need to trial different clays with slips, glazes and different decorating techniques. I am doing my tests through a combination of test tiles and cones and little pinch pots. The tiles and cones are a way to get fast results. The pinch pots offer an additional bonus that I may be able to sell them along with my larger sculptural pieces. Below are the result of testing four different black clays under three different firings: to E/W temp, S/W in oxidation and S/W in reduction. The group on the left shows the sides with underglazes and clear glazes. The group on the left shows their reverse sides which give a good idea of how their body colo

East Asian Art section at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg

Having left the Islamic Art section I headed upstairs into the East Asian Art department. What I noticed, if I compare it to other museums I've visited, is how empty the exhibition spaces are. Not only were there very, very visitors but the artwork on display is spaced generously and has lots of space to breath. It is a really relaxing way to view and enjoy them. For me it was lovely to so much ceramic work on display, which I homed in on and focussed on. The first two pieces I cam across were these two Chinese porcelain plates from the Ming dynasty, c. 1403-1435. These really look so clean and perfect that it is hard to believe that they are six hundred years old. At the time they were prod

Islamic Art at the Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe, Hamburg

I wasn't really aware that the MK&G had a complete Islamic art section but remembered that they had lots of ceramics on show. As a matter of fact, this is where I attended my very first pottery class at the age of about eleven or twelve. I did a pinch pot, a dove inspired by Picasso's ceramics and a standing Egyptian pharaoh figure. I was fantastic to have given the freedom to roam the museum unaccompanied except for the company of likeminded kids after closing time. I loved it! Anyway, I left my own twelve year old to lounge on the sofas and explore the excellent Keith Haring poster exhibition while I went to explore some 'boring' (her words followed by "You cannot be serious!") pottery. Wh

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