17 Sep 2018
The new term in the Bristol School of Art!! the 8th! Yay!
Can I call myself a potter now? The potter? A ceramicist? Can i call myself something? Please? How many years one needs to knead, roll, cut, score, pinch, coil clay to be accepted into the club? Is 7 years enough? Yes, but of course it was not 7 years as i am doing it within the Art College student terms timetable…
The new year brings the the same question: WTF I am going to make this year?
Think, think, think…
As everything was already made in the art world, we apparently are just re-interpreting stuff. Does it really just mean nicking something and tweaking it to suit your liking? How vulgar.. Is it?
24 Sep 2018
I am going to make a large, beautiful and cool pot…Yes…
Kind of African. Heavily decorated…But understated…Wabi bloody Sabi…Help…
Coiling crank clay.. R on my left is raging about the Brexit and Trump… Let’s chip in with the news about Stormy Daniels and everyone lightens up to the prospect of something jolly and smutty (our potters’ group average age is 70)!
Collective opinion in the end: Stormy Daniels is a cool girl for exposing that Mr. Trump and revealing the size of his penis..
8 Oct 2018
Missed the last Monday as we went to Chicago.
The (beautiful understated) pot has held for 2 weeks, some water spray softens ages and all is workable again, R on the left has a plastic pot with a clay slip that I shamelessly help myself with – scooping the soft warm clay goo with my finger, R does not mind as i will do the trade with a tea and biscuit when he comes for a tea a chat later in the week..
The Teacher comes to help with a problem of the sagging clay at the base of the neck of my pot and brings the hot gun (we totally excel in H&S issues!!! We do!).
15 Oct 2018
Slip decorating: I will be nimble fingered, sublime, quick and elegant with the brush…Promise.. Talked to N about slips, she is brilliant and generous to share what she knows..
Well, the reality is slip decorating takes AGES, I am more cack handed than nimble fingered, very slow and bored as hell with the endless repetitive strokes. Get me out of here!
The pot looks crap. It really does.. Can i make it look better? No.. But I can make it look worse…
Dash to the studio for serrated metal kidney, wooden fork and other scratchy tools.
Oh, joy of the assault of my own pot – scratching and brushing, and scratching and brushing.. Will call the the deconstructed pot. Here. Still ugly but as if it meant to be that way. Off to the the biscuit fire kiln..
22 Oct 2018
I was soooooo disappointed with my ‘deconstructed’ pot being still in the biscuit kiln… Oh, well.. Had a bright idea to do some throwing, got bored and frustrated at the same time: bored with a repetitiveness of the whole thing and frustrated with rubbishy uniform or uniformly rubbish results..
I am mentally taking this day out of my diary, so it did not happen..
29 Oct 2018
It is half term, no ceramics studio today so I got my glazed bricks out – they are a result of trying different combinations of slips and glazes without ruining actual pots. They look like kind of adult sweeties.
They cheered me up.
05 November 2018
Half term is over, what have I got?
The big pot is out of the biscuit kiln looking like a crappy pot disguised as a crappy pot…Now, I tried to be crafty and clever but who am I kidding..
I am not decisive and creative now, I am just felling trapped, can’t undo anything – only onward and upward.
Decision is made – to do more surface damage and then glaze the bugger!
Iron oxide is on, painted, sponged, smeared…
Clear glaze – on the middle part, Lavender Black – inside and bottom. Masking tape – the best potter’s friend!
Called the Teacher to help with glazing: he stuck one arm inside while I poured – the neatest glazing I have ever seen: clean pot, clean teacher, clean me, clean floor and table, not a drop of glaze anywhere!!
Glazing is exhausting – mostly emotionally… Imagine if you have a baby who you want to decorate (to get an arty kind of baby) – opportunities are endless, options are plenty BUT the baby does not think it is a great idea and is trying to escape, bored, jam smeared all over the face, some jam is thrown at you and finally – a tantrum! It is a very similar story with pots… Really.
On the reduction shelf. Dear Gas Kiln, please work next week.
12 November 2018
The Gas Kiln is getting packed – fingers crossed…
The plan is to coil a very simple pot for a clump of beautiful grass and put it outside the kitchen door: see, how the definition ‘beautiful’ has shifted from pot to grass – serves me right for being too ambitious with previous work.
Coil, coil, coil…. where did I see the pot like this before?
In the Garden Centre for about £5.50!
19 November 2018
It’s interesting how the whole established social group dynamics change with one person not being there. R is away and nobody mentioned Brexit or Tories today BUT instead we talked Concord, rugby and Christmas cakes (that is wicked C from the morning studio – the wonderful baker was singing her Siren’s cake song to us, luring the naive into the deep…).
Where was I?
I am boycotting the stoneware clay as the Gas Kiln has not been packed yet!
The only problem with terracotta clay is it finds its way into everything around me including mobile phone.
I am making a shallow large oval bowl which is constantly threatens to collapse. so using a hair drier – another best potter’s friend to dry it a bit. White slip on and onto the drying shelf.
It is oval, honest!
Without R it is very quiet in the good way, J next to me just made 3 large holes in his pot, probably for something multi-neck.
Next Monday the gas firing should be done, how exiting is that?!!
26 November 2018
The gas kiln has been fired! Three things out..
Little egg bowl has small blue splashes – nice.
Vase – ok, a bit too bright I think as all iron oxide I put in is gone.
Bowl – the first time EVER shino glaze looks good, my stubborn return to it again and again has paid!
The highlight of today’s group discussion is a bad memory for poems, so everyone tried to remember a limerick or two. The Teacher won with one by Spike Milligan:
The Thunder God rode out one day
Upon his favourite filly.
“I’m Thor!” he cried
And the horse replied:
“You forgot your thaddle, thilly!”
Very appropriate for the general daftness of conversation. R is still away so there is no Brexit and politics…
17 December 2018
Last day of the term – missed 2 weeks while travelling for work.
My new big garden pot has not been fired, boohoo, I need to wait for the 14 January 2019.
The end of 2018!!