York Trip Part 2

York Sculpture Park. We had a pit stop before we arrived at the city centre. Unfortunately, it was raining and I didn’t want to get wet… So I resorted to sketching from inside the confines of the cafe.

Cafe At York Sculpture Gallery.jpeg

Taking centre stage at CoCA is 10,000 Hours, 10,000 slip cast bowls created by Clare Twomey.Twomey’s installation is designed to create an impact in the transformed space within York Art Gallery. It is her response to CoCA’s collection of ceramics, the dedication of the artists that produced them and equally importantly the collectors… Bill Ismay being one of them- his dedication to collecting pottery could be regarded by some as borderline obssessive. He strived to buy 1 pot a week, often living without other means of luxury in order to afford them.img_3900

Fiona Green- Accessible Art in The Burton Gallery. This sculpture is a 3D piece made entirely of cardboard, inspired by Paul Nash’s Winter Sea. One can see the likeness to the angular representation of the waves with the layering of the cardboard. Also when one runs their hand over the bumps of cardboard layers- members of the public are free to touch it! -one can feel the Jenkins depiction of the sea. The undulating waves as they rise and fall. Unfortunately, Jenkins died later that year of an inoperable brain tumour… Wave was made under Jenkins’s instructions by his son and a handful of friends. The curation of having Gustave Loiseau’s depiction of Port de Goulphar Belle Lie en Mer – alongside Jenkins’s Wave made only recently in 2016 is just beautiful, and a great way of engaging the audience with a painting, which would never have been touched on a multisensory level. Also it is introducing the audience to a genre of artwork they may not be so familiar with… the use of cardboard to make a sculpture isn’t the norm, it’s quite an unusual material to place in a gallery.


Large Flask Elizabeth Fritsch. Inspired always by optical illusions and geometrics, I like the sense of perspective she creates. Almost turning a 3d object into a 2d painting. Vice versa. Recently went to see her work again at the National Museum of Wales. I didn’t realise how flat they were… I noted that her work is almost 2d trying to be 3d, or making 3d look 2d, it’s a bit of a mind boggle actually. An interesting point to consider though, as ceramic art is often 3d, to make something ceramic which is 2 dimensional and have it looking 3D is a challenge of perspective. After doing a little research, she considered her work to be’the space between the second and third dimensions’, a concept she first described as ‘two-and-a-half dimensions’.


Anthony Shaw’s Collection- Kerry Jameson Reworked Horse and other Ceramic pieces in Shaws Collection. I enjoyed viewing Shaw’s collection in a domestic environment. Shaw’s collection is displayed in a way in which ceramics may be placed in a home. A domestic environment has been created for people to really tactilely immerse themselves in the ceramics medium. Most of the pieces are sculptural and painterly, the textures varying from a shiny glazed surface to a sandpaper-like roughness. Interestingly he commented about the art in his collection saying “I choose it with the gut. I don’t choose it visually…I’m not interested in what I see. It is what I feel.” This really turns the idea of gallery aesthetics around. But I enjoy this refreshing point of view. Touch is equally as important as vision. And Shaw is giving people an opportunity to engage their tactile senses in his exhibition.Looking at optical illusions, and my next step is to paint them on to tiles.kerry-jamieson-reworked-horse




York Trip Part 1

Harley Studios, Nottingham


Kyra Cane– inspired a lot by the sea and Pembrokeshire is a place she frequently visits, she likes to sketch, drawing landscapes, the sea is a big source of inspiration and how it changes and constantly moving. Her studio space is a very peaceful place to be, it smelt wonderful and felt very clean. She also made it a point about how rigourous she is with her recycling clay, and that it’s surprising how many people will chuck unfired scraps of clay out instead of drying them out, crushing them down, mixing them with water to remake the clay.


Steve Handley– very charismatic guy, we stepped into his studio and it was like an old curiosity shop. A ceramicist turned furniture maker, his work is humorous often reflecting his love of poetry. For example, one of the designs in his portfolio he showed us was of dressers made in a “pastry board style”: the legs are rolling pins, and engraved onto the doors are the names of the members of the family it was commissioned for. The engravings are also of recipes and old quotes too. His work has a very narrative style, as if it has jumped out from the pages of a story book. The chairs he has made he calls thrones; one of them, was a bright aqua blue, called Jacobs Lad, with the words Jacobs Lad inscribed up the side. That did make me chuckle.


Waller Hewett felt art was great because we could touch the pieces. Ruth Waller was actually saying that she has made pieces for people with autism as they respond well to the tangible art.It’s nice to see other artwork, not just ceramics. Although I primarily work with clay, I do draw and I do enjoy the other forms of visual arts… I am always making a conscious effort not to just look at ceramics as a source of inspiration.

Mini Project

Next week we are going to York to visit the Centre of Ceramic Art, otherwise known as Coca (I feel quite odd saying that as it makes me think of hot chocolate so I’ll stick to saying the initials CCA).

Natasha gave us a brief on a research and development project we will be undertaking for three weeks. This is a warm up if you like, to get us in gear for what criteria we need to cement in the work which will be assessed at the end of final year.

Aims include to make a plan of what we’re actually doing: this is essential, Ceramics is a subject which requires master time management (like many other things), but the whole issue of getting things fired, booking into workshops etc adds pressure… in other words, GET A DIARY.

The next pointer is to find sources of inspiration, the notion being that we need to find our footing.. what area of practice am I most comfortable with? Am I a Hans Coper or an Elizabeth Fritsch? Purely a figure of speech, obviously, I’m not either of them ha, but I very much like their work. This can simply be done by looking at a piece of work at the CCA which I connect with (I could hate it, but that’s still a connection isn’t it?) and doing an in-depth analysis of it.

We have then got to draw all of our ideas floating in our heads… This could be through putting pen to paper, photography, collage and film. It’s important to document our journey, to show how we get to the final outcome of a finished ceramic piece.

Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination” as wisely said by Drake.

Second to last, we’ve actually gotta make some stuff. All this talking no action! This involves making some test pieces –I don’t want my work to be a complete disaster do I? – and some sort of material evidence.

Finally, we’ve then got to present all of the above at the end of the three weeks, in a way that everyone else (just the art lot will do ha) understands.