For quite some time I have had a desire to ‘go large’ in the studio so when I saw a really enormous beach ball for sale in the village post office I simply couldn’t resist the temptation to make a really bit mould. When I got it home, I discovered just how large it really was – maybe I need a bigger kiln!
In fact it isn’t TOO big. Once I have done some manipulation of the clay and there has been a bit of shrinkage I am confident that my current kiln will be just fine.
The next thing to do was to create the mould from the shape. As a general rule I would have built up the clay all the way to the mid point of the ball, constructed a wall around the entire thing and started pouring plaster of Paris until the cows came home. If I had done that this time I would have used a ton of plaster of Paris and ended up with something so big and heavy I would never have been able to lift it so I thought I would go for something different. The following images show the main stages:
The result is that I now have a fabulously large mould. It is light and easy to manoeuvre and I can’t wait for it to dry out fully so that I can get making.
So here we are. Christmas comes again! What a year this has been. Full of surprises, tragedy, political upheaval and the rest! The end of 2016 cannot come fast enough in some ways and yet, for me personally, it has been a remarkably good year too: Sales have been good; interest from important directions has been exciting; activity on my social media sites has been incredible and the learning curve has flattened out a wee bit giving me time to consolidate some ideas and try a few new ones. So here are some of the highlights of my ceramic year.
2017 will see the ‘Grand Migration’ to Cornwall which is an enormous step – one that I have been wishing for since I was about ten years old, so not long really!! I am hopeful of collecting some more exciting and interesting commissions; I am taking part in a 3 person show in May – 2 painters have asked me to provide the 3D element to an exhibition at highlighting the best of Surrey’s landscapes at the Fountain Gallery in East Molesey, close to Hampton Court – and it kicks of with Top Drawer which is a huge trade show at Olympia in January. I wonder what, if any, surprises That will send me!
So I would like to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and a successful, healthy and happy 2017. Let’s hope for calm waters and sticky mud!