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.
It’s a scary thought but the studio that I am planning at the moment is meant to last me a lifetime! So I kind of need to get it right. Previously there has been an element of making do with the space that I had and be thankful for having it.
The space I have in which to work has grown over time from half a little tiny space to the whole of that space to double that space. But it has never been my space – someone else has held the lease; determined where the lighting, cupboards, windows were; made unhealthy decisions on the amount of insulation that artists need in the walls and floors of their work-space! (I know where the cold goes when the weather warms up in Cornwall now – My studio is the original heat sink!)
This time, I am going to have to decide for myself where are the best places for work surfaces, cupboards, the sink and the shelves.
Windows and plumbing are already sorted – I didn’t want a great view because I knew that it would distract me and I did want great plumbing because I know what clay does to U bends! But the rest of it! So much space, so many possibilities!
If you visit the Victoria and Albert Museum you can see a mock-up of Lucy Rie‘s studio. It is quite a compact space – much smaller than I am about to have – and within it she created the most beautiful work. Size is not everything! So I need to bear in mind that it is not where you create but what you create that is important. I do not want to let the new super-space to go to my head but, on the other hand, given that I can arrange it as I want, I might as well have it as I want it. Decisions, decisions!