A couple of weeks ago a friend gave me a few moulds which she was throwing out. At the time I was not sure that I was going to get much use out of them but she was eager to clear the decks and I can’t bear seeing things go to waste so I stuck them in the car wondering if I would ever use them.
This week, whilst in the studio trying to resist the temptation to fiddle with my hand built vessels before they were ready for the next stage, I decided to divert my attention by having a go with some of these moulds. The results were beyond my wildest dreams. Lovely shapes began to emerge; jugs and mugs with really great proportions. I am really delighted to have found something to do with myself to prevent me overworking my main pieces and I think they might be quite popular in the gallery at Klay in Camden.
At first I was not too sure about making functional ware as well as my more contemporary sculptural pieces. They are not in the same league and I have been thinking that I needed to stick loyally to one thing and let it speak for itself. Indeed, one of the debates which we entered into during the diploma was about this very subject and I had come down firmly on the side of staying with what I am trying to say. However, the comments which have come back about them have been encouraging and a number of people have told me that the two different ways of working will complement each other and increase interest in my work. Plus I have already seen what sells on a regular basis at our gallery and it tends to be the smaller, functional pieces. I cannot bring the costs involved in my main work down very far even if I do make them small. In addition I do want/need to sell enough work in the gallery to make it a worthwhile venture so perhaps it is a good idea to have the two strands running parallel.
So, here goes, all I have to do now is fire them, polish them, glaze them and fire them again. Then they will find their way to Klay and to the next open studios at Wimbledon. If they prove to be popular at these two events I shall take a whole load of them to Kew Gardens for Handmade next autumn where I have just heard I have been given a space to exhibit with the Design Factory .
So thank you , Paula, for my new toys. I am having a lot of fun with them whilst my other work firms up.