You Have Arrived At Your Destination.

I spent a very happy day at Klaylondon this week enjoying the space and chatting to the lovely people who dropped in to admire the work in the gallery.  I think the gallery is looking amazing and it seems as if people are now beginning to talk about it and seek it out.  I have it on good authority that we sold a remarkable amount yesterday, but I digress.

The point of this blog is to dwell for a moment on where one thinks one is going as an artist and whether you ever actually get there.

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The Gallery is looking great.
Whilst I was enjoying the gallery a number of people came in specifically because they had spotted one of my pieces in the window and wanted a closer look.  In conversation with one of my fellow artists she told me that she thought it was clear that I had arrived; I knew what I was making; I had a great USP and all was going extremely well for me.  I was flattered!  I puffed myself up and preened my feathers and sat there for a moment basking in the compliment of a fellow artist.

 

On reflection though I realised how wrong she was.  It may be true that I have found a way of working which is new and exciting.  I may be making work which really pleases me and which gains a few compliments now and then. But arrived?  I don’t think that ever happens does it?  In the March/April issue of Ceramic Review There is an interview with David Westcott.  He talks about how every firing includes some new tests and describes the opening of the kiln as ‘still like Christmas Day’ because of that feeling of the unknown and the frisson of excitement.  Hail David!

I know what my friend meant. She was talking about the fact that I seem to know where I am going and here she does have a point.  I do seem to have found an exciting way of expressing my interest in the landscape which is new and different and which I am thoroughly enjoying.  On top of which, people appear to like my work, which is always a good thing!

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First finished piece from my Cornish Mining project.

Indeed, when I opened the kiln last night and discovered the first finished piece for my mining project had fired even better than I could have hoped, I did get that lovely sense of having ‘got there’.  But it is not so much that I have arrived, more that I now thing I know where I am going.  This way of making works for me.  However, as the interview with David concludes, ‘If you think you have made the perfect pop, you may as well give up.’

 

I haven’t! I am not about to! And I am delighted to report that every time I open the kiln is going to feel like Christmas for a very long time to come!

And we have lift off . . .

I can hardly believe that our pop up shop is now open for business.  It was only mid January when we had the first beginnings of an idea and it was only on Monday that we got the keys to the premises.  Previous to that there was a huge amount of planning and preparation to do and since Monday it has been all hands to the pump cleaning and decorating ready for our first day of business on Thursday. 12802780_589962844503429_4591393063765265220_n[1] The results of all this hard work is a great little gallery which all 12 of us are truly loving!  Equally important is the feeling of camaraderie which this project has generated.  The jobs to be done have been taken on willingly and happily by all and I am only aware of a sense of contentment derived from us pulling together to create something new, exciting and, in its own small way, amazing.  It is extraordinary how well our work sits together.  Obviously, since ten of the twelve met and trained together, we have a shared sense of values and there is a feeling of harmony within our work and yet, in addition, the City Lit Ceramics Department impressed on us the need for originality and independent thinking which now shines through the entire gallery.  Quality functional ware sits comfortably side by side with contemporary vessels and sculptural work and the entire look is one seems really comfortable.

One of our visitors yesterday was Luke Bishop.  he is a former graduate form Ciy Lit too and is now doing really well in the field of ceramic art.  he confessed to me that he was mildly envious of our project and we chatted for a while about how it had come about.  Honestly, I think if it hadn’t been for the wonderful way in which we had related to each other and supported each other through the trauma, excitement, exhaustion and sheer hard work which was the diploma, we would not be here in Camden now and I know that my life would be less rich as a result.

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The Klay Gallery tucked up tight at the end of its first Saturday.

I am not aware of any other group graduates who have embarked on something like this but, if you are out there, please get in touch as it would be great to share our experiences.