Its all about the Edges

so much to do
So much to do, so little time!

During the Ceramics Diploma, at City Lit, last year we learned a few of the tutors’ personal mantras.  This week I have been in the studio for every free moment.  I am currently making work for The Great Northern Contemporary Crafts Fair and  a Sculpture & Ceramics exhibition in the Royal Opera Arcade Gallery off Pall Mall, both of which are taking place next month .  There is a lot to make as I want to show as many representative pieces from my post-diploma ideas as possible.  All week one of the diploma mantras has been running round my head to such an extent that I think I am now saying it in my sleep.

Ceramics diploma: Coil project, year 1.

My first hand built piece for the course was, frankly, looking back on it, an embarrassment.  I think I even felt so at the time but now, two years on, it shames me.  So I am doing myself a bit of cathartic good by showing it here!

If we ignore the fact that I did not know then that mixing tin oxide and chrome oxide results in a very nasty colour, I look at this piece now and hang my head – what was I thinking?

Well time has moved on.  I now have two years of Annie Turner’s wise words – It’s all about the edges – running through my head.  It is very true.  You can get away with a multitude of sins if the eye goes straight to a good looking profile.  It doesn’t matter what the edge is; it can be bevelled, flat, thik, thin, what ever you like.  But if you get it wrong; uneven, thicker in some places than others, it takes away from everything else that you are trying to achieve.

2015-09-17 09.14.13
Hours of work is now going into my edges.

I have sweated over my edges a great deal this week and I know they are not in any sense perfect.  But I do believe they are coming.  And I firmly believe that Annie is right – you can hide a lot if your edges look good.  My latest pieces do look a million times better thanks to the edges.  So now it is simply a case of getting everything else to match them.  I only need to concentrate on the shape and balance of the piece, the surfaces, the glazing – all whilst not losing sight of the importance of the edges.  So there is very little now to do before I start making masterpieces!  Approximately another 10,000 hours should just about do it!

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Bridget Macklin

I am an artist working in the field of ceramics creating fragile porcelain pieces which are inspired by the environment or by peoples relationships with the environment and with each other and which often incorporate finds to support their narrative.

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