I first saw Fiona Byrne-Sutton’s work when I was researching for my final project on the diploma at City Lit in a book called Additions to Clay Bodies by Kathleen Standen which I was reading as part of my research.
Her website lists the tools which she takes along with her when she is out and about. She too travels the countryside with a map, a compass, a trowel and a plastic bag. These are the tools of the trade for the adventurer ceramicist! More about my adventures in the New Year. For now, just enjoy looking up a fellow maker who I have never met but with whom I empathise with completely below are a few examples of Fiona’s work but to really enjoy her, visit her website and watch her video:
Weeks and weeks of apparent brain ache are about to be over. I have the distinct feeling that part of my problem since the beginning of this final semester has been my attitude to my tutors. I had practically made up my mind – and so, I think had they – that the road to the decision on what to make for the final work was likely to be fairly tortuous and so, as is the nature of a self fulfilling prophesy, it has proved to be just that! All the time, the answer has actually been staring me in the face. I have been gaily making and making but I have made the fundamental error of telling my tutors that I didn’t know what I was doing. I really should know better! I know perfectly well from being on the “other side of the desk”, as a teacher for many years, that if a child says they don’t get it or cant do it, they don’t! They cant! And the teacher believes them! But if you say to a child ‘yes, you can, I know you can’, they find that it is suddenly so much easier than they thought. Its all about attitude. Because my tutors have been asking me things such as ‘So are we going to have the same tortuous route as usual?’ that is precisely what I have been presenting them with. Timely reminder to self – never, ever, for any reason, be negative with a child who is vulnerable – it will end in tears!
So, just in case anyone is the least bit interested in the aching of my potty mind, I am creating an eclectic range of work for the final show. It is based loosely on my love of Cornwall and my fascination with relationships within and between objects and people. I have not decided yet how it will be exhibited, that will depend on how it speaks to me as the body of work develops. I shall use local materials, mud larking finds and natural glaze materials. I shall make and then abuse moulds and my work will reflect my thoughts. The way it develops will depend on how I am feeling and the ideas that strike me and, no, I am not the least bit concerned that nothing is finished yet – the best is clearly yet to come.