What to do when you are watching TV and you want to draw? Wait for the ad break and draw something quickly.
I’m watching something called the Great Pottery Throw down where twelve potters compete each week to make the best ceramics. This week the challenge is to make a six piece coffee set with a caffitierre, two expresso cups and saucers and a toast rack. Really enjoying watching people design, make and fire pots. Watching clay dry and drawing… Fun!
I had already hollowed this head out a bit but I was able to carve out more today. I came across several bubbles so at least it’s less likely to explode if it does get fired. The grey pile is the scraped out clay. X
The British Ceramic Biennial has some hands on workshops that are free and open to the public. Last week I made a flat back pot using a mold of a boat with Donald Trumps head in profile and a pair of boots walking in the other direction. There is also a lion with a union jack, a monkey, and other figures and plants. There are other pots shown above. Each of them has been designed by an artist, so they are possibly controversial, maybe a bit tongue in cheek.
Today I painted glaze on my pot that had been fired. I didn’t remember to take a photo of it, but I have taken photos of some of the larger pieces now they have finally been fired.
I’m glad I had a go, it’s definitely worth a visit.
In the play we are doing this weekend my partner has to pretend to throw a pot on a wheel. We don’t want anything big, heavy or breakable, so I’m Papier-macheing a black plastic flowerpot. I had to buy some pva glue but only wanted just enough, not a great big tub or a tiny bottle. So instead of the adult craft section I found a bottle of clear pva in the children’s section at a craft shop.
Got home and started ripping up newspaper. This is many layers later, I’ve added a few layers about two thirds up to give it a slight bulge. When it’s dry I will paint it white as a base coat then a pale brown “clay” colour with shading to make it look hand thrown. I’m hoping it will look reasonably realistic.
I just found this sketch of International Women’s Day from about a year ago. I had a stall with art for sale at Burslem school of Art. I think this was the first time I ever drew the main gallery and I also tried to draw the banner that was on display there.
The school of art is very crooked. Burslem is old and suffers from subsidence or is undermined by coal mines. The whole of the city is built on clay and coal and the coal field under the city has caused a lot of damage over the years. Parts of the city also have geologic faults running underneath them so it’s not surprising that the buildings are affected.
There is also a volcanic plug where I live, the very base of an ancient volcano that was worn away by erosion over thousands or millions of years. The hill that is left dominates the valley of the river Trent, but the ground rises in other places too. There are coal tips (slag heaps) where the spoil from the collieries was dumped as the coal was hewn from the ground.
The wonder of Pottery and artistic design was the result of the geology in Staffordshire.
No not the trade marked version. But old windows at Spode. Dusty and dirty and empty of footsteps, no faces staring out of them, no lights behind them, no shapes of pottery stacked. Life is quiet for the factory, silent. The place is shunned, surplus to requirements. How can it still exist?
Time passes, new movement as people take up spaces. Shift of light, shift of direction. Art and theater, people sleep on site now in the hotel. The chance to regenerate like a time lord. The site has age and power behind it. The ghosts look on, seeing the lights, wondering what will happen next. Will they be evicted from the deep soft clay dust that coats their footprints and hides their breath.