Plans after graduation

I have been in the education system for nearly 20 years, so I would like to have a break from education after graduation. For six months I will be working full time, saving money for travelling in January 2018.

I will be going to New Zealand, Australia and Thailand, coming back to the UK at the beginning of March. This will be a massive source of inspiration for me, a complete change of natural environment compared to the UK, there will be plenty of moments I can sketch. I am especially looking forward to going on the 90 mile beach in Auckland and exploring modern architecture- such as the Opera House- in Sydney as well as century old temples in Thailand.

I am currently researching into buying a small kiln so I can start making things at home over the weekend, on my days off.

And then next year I wish to do INC space. I feel I need a year to step back in order to re-focus; and to get a detailed business plan together.

Along with this I wish to volunteer at the Pitt Rivers museum, having sent off an application to be an object handler, I am waiting to hear back from them! This will be a brilliant place to extend my contextual ceramic knowledge as well as share my passion of the material with the public.

I am exhibitng my degree work at New Designers the following month and also  going to Hatfield in August. In preparation for this I have made business cards and my website will be complete on the day of my degree show ready for the public to look at.

The creativity never stops, I am continuing to make in the studio, as its essential I have enough stock for Hatfield. I am selling my tiles as table coasters. Because of their tessellating nature, customers can buy just 3 or more, and play with the composition, giving them the option to use their creativity and make interesting arrangements for their dining and coffee tables. imageIn the long term, it would be a dream come true to do a Ceramics residency at the V&A. About a year ago I had a really interesting chat with Amy Hughes during her open studio day. She made fantastic coil built vases, inspired by pieces from the museum. It excites me to think that I could cast century old ceramics from the V&A’s ceramics collection and use parts of them to create other objects in completely new and innovative ways.

Alos, Thomas Heatherwick is a huge source of inspiration and the projects he has done with the Heatherwick’s Studios are amazing. To have a large scale installation/sculpture in a building like he did in the Wellcome Trust headquarters with Bleigessen is the pinnacle of my goals.



G39 Bob Gelsthorpe Thursday 2nd February 2017

It was very interesting hearing Bob, from the Cardiff gallery G39, talk about his creative practice; amongst other things, it was relieving to know that from his experience you don’t need much money to set up a studio. . He provided a wealth of knowledge, including organisations artists can apply to to get funding, and unusual ways you can set up exhibitions etc without it costing you a fortune.

Bob Gelsthorpe

Fine Art graduate originally a painter

Work is not commercial, he has accepted he wont make any money from selling the work but he has found a way to make it sustainable… go self employed “last week I was laying laminate flooring for a friend, now im with you”

Performing art and video pieces- work is about advocacy 2014- devotion- what it means to have faith in someone or something and to have that reciprocated- related to kim fielding passing- giving back to him via hi practice

Solowit letter eva hess- letter comradery, having that friendship whilst making work

Stay in touch with absolutely everyone you’ve studied with!

Network and community of support

Bulidng up that tool box to be as articulate as you can with what you’re doing

Exhibition reviews are good at enabling you to articulate your artwork

Milkwood Gallery- applied to a marketing job but was told he was more of a curator

Guest curatorship- Made in Roath, painting show, solo show for an artist- all voluntary

Tactile Bosch- gallery studios performance art space- encompasses all arts

Fashion shows, raise the roof parties,

Kim Fielding- proactive approach of just having conversations with people and what theyre doing big influence on James Richards

Fringe Arts Bath- exporting Wales artists and tapping into a different audience

Started up own studio! Not difficult, incredibly easy.

Coach house in splott, opening party to help pay for it

 Arts ecology is always changing… G39 has been running since 1998, it is an organic space ran by artists. It strictly supports the artists

WARP- wales artists resource programme, sister to g39

Start up grant- government scheme

X marks the bokship x-op

Palaces and cabins- sal

Vulpiz vulpiz- itinerants 6 people have made art their life

Sluice- commercial artist led art fair


Archives of the artist led

Contributing to a wider aim. Cardiff has a young contemporary visual arts sector… open and friendly

Arcade Cardiff Rob Kennedy and board of trustees Rhiannon Lowe-editor for CCQ

Kim Fielding award 5000 pounds, John Lawrence- solar pessimist, spit and sawdust skatepark

Working with artists who have very conceptual or abstract work- demonstrate that level of ambition and supporting the work first and foremost


Trustee-Paul Herley- performance artisit based in Bristol, southhampton microbial resitance

Bob is also a trustee

Spit and sawdust art programme, café exhibition, pizza oven and burgers are incredible

Hangover club

Critical of organistations- artes mundi, how does it have correlation with other projects in Cardiff

Organisations are willing to be more transparent, this it what were doing please come and talk to us about it.

Artist led sector is becoming a better way of working

Anti establishment Art schools- Broadway drawing school, school of the damned(4th Sunday of every month), metal southend (support from the whitechapel, democratic), the alternative ma, clay school in stoke (bcb part of it)


Arts council funding: getting tighter and tighter every year

Nester- really good for digital work, artists who have a commercial ability

Elephant trust- London- give money exclusively for new presentations of work- apply for grants year round

Oakdale trust- more in tune with community tinged projects, or which have a tangible public benefit

Laura Ashley similar

Wales Arts International- research trip, advice- ring them up! Large scale stuff

National Probation Service- 200 hours com service- borrow the boys for a few days etc

Artists Information Company A-N 36 pounds a year, offset it against your income

Start a blog on there, series of bursaries- released grants for people to see the Venice biennale etc

Access Web- membership scheme, insurance, opportunities, artist of the month

Waterloo foundation use it for education purposes, use funding to bring out fave artist to do a talk at a workshop you’re running

Henry Moore foundation- big ambitious projects

How important is virtual presence

Really good, helps you articulate your practice publicly, gets you used to keeping in touch with what you’re doing- which gets difficult when you graduate

Stream of thoughts- do it on AL

Helps you with writing proposals etc

Blogging is a slow burner and helps you

 BE Open to having a number of things going on at the same time

Dan Rees

Helen sear

Tactile bosch show in berlin

Bedwyr Williams

Angharad pearce jones

Turner house Ragnar- poem his ex wife wrote, his ex is in the film

Louisa faircliff- Bristol, works with 16mm films

Making sense of yourself in whatever climate we’re inat the moment

Phoebe Cummings 11th November 2016

As part of our studies, every Friday, Natasha arranges for a professional to speak to us about their practice… This week we had Phoebe Cummings. Below are my notes from her talk; what she told us was very insightful, as it has made me release you can be successful even if you are creative when money is tight; for instance, Phoebe didn’t have a kiln, so she didn’t display fired work. This may seem crazy to a Ceramicist, but it is thinking outside the box which enables one to move forwards, and for Phoebe, displaying unfired, raw clay is one of her trademarks now.

BA at Brighton and MA in Ceramics at RCA

Between 2005- work installed in building she was living in- not firing work.

Threshold 2005, St Pancras Crypt shortly after graduated- made with wetclay

“Maybe I don’t need to fire work”

Declared herself bankrupt because of money spent on studies

Had to work without a studio space and didn’t fire her work

Started building directly on site. Bolwick Hall, Norfolk, 2007

Above and Below… temporary. Below lasted a month before disintegrating.

Residency in Greenland done through a museum- Applied together for funding through the arts council. More research than producing clay work.

Co- Bathroom manufacture factory at Wisconsin- 3 months

Finding a way of hand building with slip. Wasn’t interested in the casting facilities there

Applied to residency at VandA- glass studio space

She doesn’t have a permanent studio space so used the studio space as her installation space- her inhabiting the space for 6 months

Death of the Bear, After the Death of the Bear 2010

Picking up on modelling details. Collection of fragments made by Meissen had a lasting impression on Cummings. Particularly on how the installtions she makes will become pasrt of a collection, fragments- her installtions may have some sort of afterlife as fragments

So much effort preserving things

Replicas last longer than the real artefacts. What is real and what is fictional and the different timescales between the two

Photographs as she goes along- in the end the only artwork which remains is a photograph- but Phoebe sees this more a documentation

Newlyn Art Gallery- Border- Telecommunications mixed with layerings of natural landscapes

Shown with a sound recordist’s music- immersive experience

Siobhan Davies Studios, London, Production Line 2011

Glustani Naples 1800 -1820 Details from ink stand

Interested in working a very public space- enables her to have conversations with people

The Delusion of Grandeur Musuem of Art and Design, New York

Vanitas Jerwood Space, London 2012- at some points your respond to a material and others you control it

Sealed environments- using glass is a recurring theme

Camden Arts Centre London 2013

After the Death of the Bear Britsh Ceramics Biennal


Duncan Ayscough 8th November 2016

As part of helping us understand contextualising creative practice, Duncan, one of our tutors explained to us his timeline of creative practice, what inspires him and his progression of research. Along with this he also told us poignant one-liners about making the most of university and what it has to offer.

So make the most of uni, after all time is money

As he only has 15 days a year to make!

Hans Coper 1969

A predynastic Egyptian pot… a passive yet potent object… minute quantum of energy

Working on the wheel- when something is right on the edge of breaking

Looking a whirl pools and vortexes

Sense of motion

Coloured glaze- material process of copper red glazes energy and tension held within tight forms

Whirl pool galaxy Messier 51a

“I love making something which is moving at the same time”

Energy caught in time- fossils

The anatomical pot

Language and the words that we appropriate to describe a vessel are the same as describing a body


How we appropriate all the different words in our language, but also limits our experience. Always mindful how language can form us and not to let them define you eg- what is an artist and what is in artisan?

Ethiopian pots- ceremonial pots, graphite glaxed pots- British Museum

Roman Amphora- bug vase

Used as measurement

Body scars- Nuba Women of Sudan

Ceramic Decoration

Grayson Perry

Curious pots which have a symbolic notion- embodiments of ailments

Extracting your cough and taking the vessel away and burying it

Waja People- Nigeria

Functionality is just one part, ceremony is another

Anish Kapoor Marsyas- Greek Mythology- a man who had his skin flayed from his body-

A big formalist body, visceral colour, about a body, and tension, about someone to be better than they should be and be a god.

“Sublime moments of realisation- one of those moments seeing Kapoors work

Defining in the power of what creative practice can be”

Exploring values of identity, personal identity. Finger prints of artist (Hans Coper). Index finger is the one he most needs, sense of biometrics and information which makes you “you”. Laser etching onto vases- vinyl cut then sand blasted

Duncan Pottery

Took him to working with a felt maker- Heather Belcher- Academics working within material based practice- textiles, woodwork, graphics

Creators’ synergy of a project- thematic values you may share

“Hand” is one of the oldest word in Northern European language

Stains left on boards became one of the most interesting things

Making felt and pouring slip into it- Felt Matters

Groupings and still life’s

Celadon- colour mid 18th Century from a failed Romantic hero, would always wear pale green. PASTORAL themes mid 18th century: from French céladon, a colour named after the hero in d’Urfé’s pastoral romance L’Astrée (1607–27).

Felt absorbs light- the very opposite to what Duncan work usually looks like

Guldagergaard- Project network

International Ceramic Research Centre

Crucible- different vessels and culturally the names we give them and why they have the names they do

“They’re not useful… But they are useful to look at”

Looked at drug jars from late medieval periods

Medieval apothaceries

Physicians of Myddfai

Title given to different welsh fairy tales

Hannah Ayscough and son Isaac Newton- a real alchemist- father of science- trying to control the material world around him- creativity of alchemy and the science- edge which Duncan finds particularly interesting

Damien Hirst Medicine Cabinet 1989

Mission Gallery in Swansea- 2015


Use your time well and your energy well