The process

Art, Ceramics

Another week of self-doubt. If I wasn’t doing a course I would give up – that’s why I put myself through academic courses. Once started I always finish. Otherwise I’d abandon the project and switch to something easier or new. Current negative thinking mainly focused on comparing myself unfavourably to others, particularly as regards technical skills.

It did help to go to a lecture by two Royal Academy students, in which they spoke clearly about their confusion and doubts as to ‘what is art?’ and whether what they are doing is art, and if so, why. Even much further on in an art career, the self-doubt is paramount and needs to be worked through. One of them referred to not-knowing as the ‘generative force’.

So in my not-knowing and total lack of technical expertise last week, what I did was to mix dry iron oxides with wet crank clay straight from the bag; and to sieve mud from a cave under the Mendips and apply it to bisque-fired test tile and head-mask. But that’s not what the following pics are – these are the tests from mixing locally-sourced plant material with clay, and from applying oxides mixed with water directly onto raw clay heads.

And I wasn’t happy with my bronze glaze tests either. Applied it too thinly, perhaps. A re-glaze in the kiln now. Ah well, there’s a Group Crit on Thursday. I’ll either get endorsement for the direction I’ve been taking, or be shot down and redirected. Who knows?

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fir and beech leaf test tiles (ground up plant material mixed with clay)

forsythia and hydrangea test tiles (ground up plant material mixed with clay)

forsythia and hydrangea test tiles (ground up plant material mixed with clay)

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yellow ochre on head-mask slightly inspired by Peter Hayes, pre-firing

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yellow ochre and black iron oxide sponged and painted onto head-mask, pre-firing

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yellow ochre and black iron oxide painted onto ‘mediaeval’ head mask

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more ‘little gritty gods’ – twisted and grumpy, apparently

 

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