Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Grays Short Course Raku

Its that time of year again and these are a few pics from last weeks fantastic Raku class...
Lighting the gas burner

slowly at first so as not to crawl the glaze

adjusting the flame

marshmallow toasting tutorial

Perfecting the art... 
getting the sawdust ready - making 'beds' for the work

Just about there...

1-2-3....lift - and its 1000C


Firey pots

lots of smoke

put a lid on and let simmer till cool.......

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Day Two

Its been a long one but I will make this brief - I have spent the day shaping the shoes which form the base of my figures.  To all of you ceramic novices out there;  these are hollow to allow heat to build up evenly in the clay  - too thick or solid and the heat will be uneven and pieces will crack and blow up - not to mention being heavy as Hull.

I have cut paper templates of all the small bits which make up the forms - I swear there's probably just as much 'bits' that make up an actual shoe pattern.
The pieces only start to come together once I 'paddle' them with a wooden spatula - I can then from and refine the shapes before smoothing with metal scrapers and finally, with a rubber kidney.

I have wrapped each foot individually so they keep nice and moist before I begin to build up legs.  Tomorrow, I will begin to cut and shape the details on each shoe, which should be fun as I have 4 pairs of Ghillie Brogues....

like little soldiers all in a row

offering up the cut-ots before taking them all off and scratching them to join

After paddling and smoothing

A homage to the cartoon shoe that was 'dipped' by Christopher Lloyd in Who Framed Roger Rabbit...

One of the 11 pairs of lady-shoes


Pile of scrap that will be dried and made into paperclay next week


19 pairs of feet in all

Dont they look preddy?

Friday, 25 March 2011

....And so it begins

For those of you who know me, you will be aware that I have a particularly large amount of work to make for a particularly large show in May.....
I hope to show you my making/ panic process and see if I can begin to evolve my making process and to make it more streamlined.

After a large order from Monsieur Kettles, I have approximately 200kg of clay and this week I have borrowed the facilities at my work to roll out slabs  and make extra plaster slabs to work on.  Couple this with the better weather and a new bottle of Butane in my gas heater - I seem to be getting on fine today.

Task 1:

  • Decide on shape profiles of feet and cut out

Sketchy - with G+T in middle

  • Decide on depth of shoes and cut strips of rolled clay to start making 3D shapes
And so the production line begins... I have decided on 17 figures; 9 Ceilidh People and 8 Fisher People.  
I am also making 2 figures for the Aberdeen Artists Exhibition (with any luck)

Canvas covered slabs

cutting the pieces for all the feet before scratching and slipping together and reinforcing the joins

ready for fashioning the tops tomorrow
I have a huge task ahead of me but hopefully I will be able to deliver some nice new work to Gallery Heinzel by the end of April.

Friday, 11 March 2011

New Year, New Start, New Challenges

After the launch of the lovely Affa Fine, things for 2011 have exploded.  I have upcoming events at Crathes Castle Easter Weekend alongside the Affa Fine Quines; Aubin and Gabi.  A rather large exhibition at Gallery Heinzel in May and a very exciting collaborative project (wtith the Affa Fine Quines) at the Portsoy Boat Festival in July.  Not to mention making fresh work for Aberdeen Artists Society Exhibition and NEOS in September!

I have no new pictures to show as yet but the McGee household has invested in a rather nice piece of hardware which will be helping with all my designer (and blogging) needs:
Shiny thing make it all better...

Looking forward to keeping you all updated with my furious making processes