Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Finished! - Just in time for Christmas.

Its been a bit of a struggle in the cold but the 4 figures are finally finished...
Now all I have to do is manage to deliver them in this weather.  The roads are fine but the big hurdle seems to be getting the car up the drive - I think an entire drive shovel is in store....ho hum...

So... Seasons Greetings to you all, and hopefully much more to come in the New Year.


Pinkie Nurse

Pinkie Nurse

Gay Gordons

Gay Gordons

Monday, 20 December 2010

Bisque Success!

Thankfully, all 4 figures were successfully fired to 1150C this week.  Below are the underglazed figures, having been taken inside overnight.  Firstly to dry and secondly, to make sure they dont freeze out in the garage, its well minus double digits here in the North East...

The translucency and colour of glaze on top of the underglaze determines how the finished figure will look, it also emphasises the words and tears on the clay, as well as giving a depth to the surface which cannot be achieved by 'painting by numbers' with glaze. 
A selection of hands and tools

This pair will be in red tartan eventually


Pinkie Nurse

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Still Making!

These are the updates on my Christmas commissions, I only have the head of the top secret commission (TSC) to complete and its slooooooooow firing....



Can you tell what it is yet?

Pinkie Nurse

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Commissions in progress...

Finding the motivation to layer up the hats, gloves, leggings and jumpers in this weather is difficult but I am very pleased with how these commissions are going.

The Gay Gordons has finally been made with the Man's hand going in the right direction! The head is mark 2 as the first one I made was far too old and much too small - it looked like a peahead...
I am also pleased with the Pinkie Nurse.  Getting the poses correct is a delicate business, its best not to start off with a concrete idea of how you want the pose to look as it sometimes takes a few tries to get it looking right.  Proportion is always tricky, I've lost count of the number of arms I have made for figures which had to be scrapped due to them looking like gorillas...

Gay Gordons, with the green version behind

This commission has words included which are personal to them - and some unpronouncable Orcadian words!

Shoes belonging to the Pinkie Nurse

The ruler is to prop the arm while drying - it also gives an indication of scale

These figures are s-l-o-w-l-y drying and the first firing will be crucial.  With all the cold weather, its difficult to tell if the clay may have frozen and thawed in parts creating tiny fissures and air bubbles.  The only way to be sure is by firing incredibly slowly and crossing fingers.....Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Christmas Commissions

Well, after the great success of Teacosy in Rosemount.  I must get on with the other work in hand.  It seems everyone wants a pair of 'Fit/ Like' Earrings - I sold 11 pairs on Saturday!

I have finished couple of Doric Delft boxes which were especially comissioned at NEOS and thought I would post a few pics if my (now all sold) earrings.  Theres still Shakkie/ Doon and Broth/ Stovies earrings left though!

Made for a well-known Scottish Blogger and Author

'Heelster Gowdie' more Buckie than Peterheid!


Earrings are incredibly popular, stay posted for more...

Thursday, 2 December 2010

TEACOSY on Saturday!

'Tea Cosy poster'.
A message to everyone who values handmade, quality, one off Christmas Presents; Teacosy is back!
At Rosemount Community Centre, Belgrave Terrace, Rosemount, Aberdeen. 
12pm till 6pm
The first 50 people through the door will recieve a free goodie bag!
Here was the snow at my house 8 days ago - its just got worse since then....If I can make it SO CAN YOU!

Confused chickens - never seen snow before

You can barely see these shrubs and the barrel now
Here is a sneak preview of the goodies I have been making for this year - they are freshly made in the pics, raw clay with no glaze. 
Swedish style tree cones

'Sunty Claas'

More cones

Thursday, 25 November 2010

New Start

A couple of weeks ago I decided to start on my commissions and some new smaller work for Teacosy.  After a few days, we cleaned the garage/ studio and now I have a spanking clean workspace, ripe for Christmas decoration production and figure making!

I have several pieces to make; There is a Gay Gordons with red tartan in progress, a Pinkie Nurse and a top secret commission, only to be revealed after the person has recieved their Christmas Present!

I am also working on a Napoleon Bonaparte, A Tartan Chef and an updated figure from many years ago for a very special birthday present... Phew

Remember, this Friday, if you are in Aberdeen to visit ME-IDEA, an exhibition/ installation by Philip Thomson at Peacock Visual Arts.  Also Teacosy is on at Rosemount Community Centre on 4th December from 12 - 4pm, Come along early for a goodie bag and the usual cakey treats as well as the most original Christmas Shopping around....

My work is still showing at Junction Art and Gifts until January 2011 too, so theres no excuse!

Hese is the progress so far....

Tidy shelves and new storage drawers

Clear surfaces..
Starting by rolling out and drying the clay a little - its very cold so this atkes overnight
Cling filmed beauties

Ready to be worked on...

I like to keep figures around to comare size and shape

Top secret Tackety Boots

I'm quite happy with the creases in the clay.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Last Day of NEOS and thoughts for the future.....

Well, that's all folks!

What a wonderful week it has been, I've met some fantastic, talented people and spoken to lots of enthusiastic visitors on the heid o the road for NEOS.  Huge thanks to Gabi and Phil for organising the Wyness Hall and putting together such a fine group of people.
The Whaler has gone to a good home and most of the first batch of 'Doric Delft' will hopefully adorn many a household in the land.

So what of NEOS?  So many people will be in the same situation as I, enthused by meeting the public and receiving great feedback on their work.  I have taken part in NEOS twice before but only as a gallery participant but always had my own entry into the NEOS booklet, I have managed to secure commissions, gallery shows and great general recognition from having this entry alone and urge anyone thinking of taking part in NEOS to do the same. 
However as a 3 time NEOS entry and participant, I am not sure how long me or my fellow booklet entrees will be able to sustain both in goodwill and financially, the many NEOS beneficiaries who decide not to partake in the booklet and pay the entirely paltry sum required.  Think of how much extra booklets could have been printed, how much people will recognise your name and work, how much people have a year-round directory with your contact details in it and how great you will feel knowing you contributed to the sustainability of the largest event of this kind in Scotland.......just a thought

So many people have been so kind about my figures this week and I have so much hope and enthusiasm for the shape of my work in the future.  So what next? well, theres Make at the Mill on the 9th October in Fife.  Teacosy on December 4th and perhaps a few inbetween!
Heres how the hall looked at the end of the week, a few spaces on the wall and generally depleted stock after all the selling!

Doric Delft set up, or whats left!

Doric Delft
Doric Delft Brooches, necklaces and earring, the earrings did particularly well, sold 7 pairs in all
Perfect size for the new business cards
'Gay Gordons' (Professional pics to come)
'Strip the Willow' (prof pics to come)
Part of Neos set up
Figures at NEOS
Gaia Photography, Elaine MacPherson, Lynne Strachan, Lorraine Taylor and Gabi Reith-Thompson's table of work
Gabi's framed works
As you come in the door of the hall (and a cheeky monkey!)

Lorraine keeping the troops entertained at the craft table and Monica's work (left) and Gabi's paintings (right)

A happy customer enjoying some Guinness Choc-Cake (thanks Gabi!) Right before it got very very busy.