Aside from working on miniature pots (cute, affordable and easy to experiment with), I am trying to explore some other forms - first up have been been the "floating stones". I did one of these many months ago and, like a lot of ideas, it sat on a shelf with my collection of real stones. Sometimes, ideas need to sit with you to evolve. You see, the effects of the smokefire coupled with a smooth surface creates a really organic, tactile and three dimensional surface. Somehow the little pots are not always the best showcase for this. I wanted something which would encourage people to pick up the vessel and explore the surface. So the floating stone was created. Having made it, I was not sure about it. Maybe its too obvious? I suppose I need more people to come in and interact with them to prove or disprove the theory. You see, people's reaction to ceramics tends to be based on what they can see. I want people to use touch as well. I have even put some stones, or some sand inside these so that they have a sound. The confound a bit because, firstly, you are not sure what they are. At first, you see a fairly round surface with the usual smoke fired effects. If you pick them up, the first surprise is how light they are. Your eyes told you that they were solid, so your brain assumed that they would be heavy. But when you pick them up they weigh very little. If you close your eyes and explore the surface through touch, they are much more faceted than they look, and so smooth and soft to touch. In a way, its like holding a piece of sky. Over the longer run, these need to evolve. Perhaps I need to introduce more facets, or texture.... then there is that age old question of what I am trying to "say" as an artist.....
I am not good on this last point. A neighbour here and "proper artist" is helping me through this a bit. Lisa and I meet up and talk about our work. The issue I have is I don't "think" my work. I am following some kind of weird compulsion to capture "something", on the basis that I'll know it when I find it. Lisa is trying to make me articulate what that something is. The closest I can come to is the theory that only nature can be sublime. When we witness nature being sublime, we experience a "moment" but usually only fleetingly. Maybe I am using the ceramic surface and the smoke to try and capture that moment. Nature doesn't think itself into being; sunsets, patterns, shadows, colours just are. I want to give you a piece of ceramic art that captures all of that, and that can in the holding, can actually affect your mood, and connect you back to the beauty of that moment.
I don't know if that makes me an artist or not?
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So much of global and national backdrop these last few years has been mad, scary... and getting more mad and scary still. I don't suppose its going to get better any time soon. It would be too easy