Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Men and Whales

The current exhibition at Whitby Museum is called Men and Whales and is on the history of whaling. It is an interesting and thought provoking exhibition and, as usual has a huge number of stunning artefacts from the museum collection. It also has a number of artefacts borrowed from Hull's Maritime Museum.

There are historic logs and journals of ships involved in whaling; strips of baleen and artefacts demonstrating the many uses of whale products. There are also stunning photographs and quotations from Inuit people whose lives and communities still maintain their relationships with whales. One of the quotations to create an impression upon me dated from 1994. Nikolai Gal,gaugye of Sireniki said 'As they (the whales) pass by your skin boat, great and quiet, you immediately come to understand your place on the Earth, and you become warm inside'.

The exhibition includes a display of several large old bones and, even as an incomplete skeleton, these help to give the visitor some sense of the scale of these great creatures. I have visited the exhibition a number of times and each time am drawn to the wonderful shapes of the bones themselves. I am now in the process of using some of the shapes as inspiration for one of my bracelets in my 'Inspired by Heritage' project. The exhibition only has a few weeks left to run so I would encourage a visit if you are in the area.

Paper textures

At the recent Art Clay Conference I ran a very relaxed workshop showing how I use thick watercolour paper to create re-usable textures for rolling out clay. I will post more details when I get a bit of free time but in the meantime here are the three pieces of work made by my students.

I love the simplicity of this low-tech technique and although when I took these pictures the pieces were not fully burnished and finished hope you can see the fine detailed unique patterns that are possible.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

More work from the Art Clay conference

Aida Corporation launched a new copper clay at the Art Clay Conference in Jersey. It can be fired directly in the kiln (without the need for an additional firing box and charcoal).

Here is my first piece,
a combination of the copper with art clay silver.

This flower pendant was created under the direction of one of the craftsmen from the Aida Corporation -
Mr Ryota Mituhashi with
Mr Daisuke Minagawa translating for us all.

As usual, this was an amazing experience.

I can see the potential for the use of the copper within
my work, although think I will need to do a lot of
testing first.

Art Clay World UK Guild Conference in Jersey

I have just returned from the Art Clay conference in Jersey and had a fantastic time. It was lovely to meet up with friends and as always, the exchange of ideas was great. There were a whole series of workshops and the first one I attended was called 'Enamelled Accents' and run by my good friend Joy Funnell. Here she is explaining the firing process to some of her group.