I have been into the studio a couple of times, in a rather listless manner. I did a bit of sorting out, I washed the floor, I threw some stuff away. I generally felt a bit lost. But now I have given myself a bit of a shake and written a To Do list – the first for at least two weeks.
1: A proper tidy up! My studio, my workspace at home, the rest of the house. They are all covered in stuff that needs to either be put somewhere appropriate or binned.
2: My sister gave me some clay a while ago from the foundations of an extension that she is having built onto her house. So far it has sat, neglected in a plastic bag awaiting my attention. Now the germ of an idea is forming – site specific art from peoples homes, in their homes. I need to know what this clay is about. What colour does it fire? What temperature does to prefer? What does it mix well with? Get testing!
3: Even longer ago I discussed a collaboration with a fellow artist from Wimbledon Artists Studios who paints in oils with a lot of texture and some fabulous colours. Now I need to do something about it!
4. Development. If I am honest I did not feel pleased with very much of my final exhibition. It seemed more like work in progress. Actually I don’t think I even liked it by the end. However, there is definite potential in both the fragile work and the more robust pieces. How extraordinarily complacent it was of me to stop making before the end of the course. This work is NOT the finished pieces. It is one small step. Now I need to get the angle grinder and the polisher out and attack this work giving it a more interesting voice. What was I thinking!
And whist I start making whatever I would like to make, without a specific deadline, without the scrutiny of my tutors, without the need to have it marked I know that I have the voices of my wonderful tutors there in the back of my mind: ‘edges!’, ‘just do it’, to name but two. So I am not alone. I just need to focus in a different way.
This week I visited the New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham for the first time. Not surprisingly, given Farnham’s reputation for ceramics, they have some stunning clay work. As I walked in, the first thing I spotted was a display of work by Luke Bishop. I know that name! He was on the course before me at City Lit. So two years on he is represented by a fabulous gallery in the heart of a ceramics town – there is hope for us all! Around the corner there were several artists work which were there as a part of the Crafts Council, Hothouse scheme for emerging makers. Exciting, interesting and beautiful pieces. The application form for Hothouse is on my desk. Perhaps I can put off the tidying up for another day whilst I complete the application!