The other week I brought my parents old kitchen table down from Buckingham and installed it in my studio, put up a shelf and now I finally have my own proper work space, its lovely, I even attacked the studio with the pink sparkly dyson I recently rescued from Brighton.... check me out working hard.... yes it bloody chilly in there.
Been making new work for Christmas fairs - pictures of work in progress coming soon. Think epaulettes for army pets and urban foxes......
Sorry haven't updated in a while, in the meantime I have been: running workshops at Camden Arts Centre, sunning myself in France and Cornwall and completed my website (more on that next)...
So I had the first of my own children's workshops at Camden, it was a fun filled but tiring week of all things clay with 5 - 11 year olds. I crammed in as many techniques as possible and the two messiest things I know; making paper clay and mixing plaster -these were both great for getting the children (literally) stuck in, getting their hands dirty and working together.
We visited one of the current exhibitions at the gallery; Matilde Rosier's 'Necklace of Fake Teeth' where I feature in one of the videos produced as part of a mask wearing 'performance' at the private view. Matilde had been looking at Ritual objects in the British Museum and had created hand painted shell masks, which we took inspiration from and the children created their own masks from paperclay with sprigged decoration.
They all looked amazing!
I am currently running a 10 week, Saturday morning Ceramics techniques for Juniors course at the gallery; where we're making objects from their own imagined civilisations.
Here are some pictures of them before they were fired, also some of the giant's necklace we made as a group to practice joining parts.
These 3 drawing accompany my Garden Pest plates. Based on Vintage designs and typography with their gaudy cheerful colours and macabre exclamations, my posters highlight the trend for non-chemical and alternative pest-control.
The plates are finally out of the kiln and have completed a safe journey of 305 miles to Kestle Barton Gallery in Cornwall where they'll be part of the 'In Abbundance' exhibition from 2nd July - 29th August.
So if your in the area, pop in and see them, i'll be making a visit at the end of the exhibition while im camping in Cornwall later this summer.
Otherwise here they are.....
Garden Pest no.1 Viburnum Beetle 'Reduces foliage to lacework'
Garden Pest no.2 Slugs and Snails When they crawl over copper their slime creates a toxic reaction which shocks the snail; 'Snails detest copper'
Garden Pest = no.3 Cushion Scale
A defoliating bug which excretes honey-dew producing a thick black sooty mould on leaves
Garden Pest = no.3 Chafer Grubs
Grubs hatch in soil of lawns which attract larger animals such as foxes, crows and badgers who dig up lawns to feast on the grubs
Garden Pest no.5 Harlequin Ladybird
Larger East Asian species, thought to be killing of native species
'Tent to overwinter indoors, making a nuisance of themselves'
There were 6 categories you could submit work into and I chose Insect Life, but added a Katie touch by changing it to Insect Life and Death.
I'm currently in the final stages of making a series of 5 plates that commemorate the TOP 5 GARDEN PESTS of 2010, as stated by the Royal Horticultural Society, the plates share some of the weird and wonderful facts I discovered while researching and ways to deter these perilous pests...
for example - when a slug or snail crawls over copper, its slime reacts with the metal causing a toxic reaction and shocking the snail!
I'm also doing some illustrations inspired by delightful historic pesticide advertisements such as 'SLUG DEATH' "better than arsenic", but illustrating todays non-chemical methods of pest control.
Heres some bits of artwork for the plates... photos of the real things to follow when they're done. As long as they don't crack/explode/severely warp in the kiln (TOUCH WOOD!) they are in the glaze firing as I type.
The foxy is a personal fav (he's on the Chafer Grub plate (Garden Pest equal no.3), as larger animals like foxes and badgers and crows oh ah, did up the lawn to have a munch on them).
Been a while since I updated... in the meantime, in the month of March I was working on some cakestand bases for Tina Tsang of Undergrowth Design (who I work part time for normally) for a shop opening in Abu Dhabi.
Tina design the cakestands as makeshift ones to stand in place as her original designs wouldn't be complete in time for the shops opening... this is where I stepped in to make 15 bases quickly and cheaply. We then sprayed half of them gold ("very Abu Dhabi") and stuck vintage plates on the top.
This Saturday was the last of 10 ceramic workshops I have been assisting Alan Stott with at Camden Arts Center. We have been working with 7 children aged 8-11 making objects in clay for a 'Dream Feast' on Saturday, after a bit of last minute finishing and sticking bits together with this amazing epoxy resin that comes as a sausage of putty that you kneed together, we layed the results of all the hard work out; there was cakes, gingerbread houses, fish shaped jelly, candy canes, weird and wonderful cutlery, napkins, a sizable host of dinosaurs, monsters and cyber things (of course), candelabras, volcanoes and last but certainly not least heads of the guests at the feast; all made from clay.
It all looked fantastic but my favorite was Mikey's skull spoon with a flexible vertebrae handle "I don't think i'll make all 42 vertebrae!"
Pictures coming soon.
I'm running my own ceramics workshops in the Summer holidays, where the children will be creating artifacts form their own imagined civilisation so if you know any 5-11 year olds in the North London area please let them know!
My ceramic pieces in the exhibition and the new piece of furniture I adapted and clad in cardboard... why don't you remember how painful something is the first time round?
The postcard propped up at the back tells Gertrude Kiwi's story that inspired the pieces....
View of the exhibition with my cabinet in the back, the boat hanging from the ceiling was beautiful, I think it was made from gold-leafed cardboard. Alan Goulbourne's piece is in the foreground, the artist I assisted with the community project.
I spent the first half of last week in Cheltenham helping Alan Goulbourne with his half of a community project run by The Open West (the exhibition I was part of).
His piece for the project, based in the Hester's Way estate, is an 8ft spherical 'Bait Ball' made from pieces of 2x1 wood. A bait ball is a panic and defense mechanism adopted by sardines in the face of a predator and Alan's pieces referenced a community being squeezed yet coming together, as the area in which the project is based was due for much needed regeneration yet plans have been cancelled since Asda is moving in down the road.
I helped Alan by adding on the smaller 'sardines' to the piece and passing him drills and screws through a small gap as he climbed inside to attach the top of the sculpture.
My favorite part of this experience was heading over the road to the youth center and chatting to and involving the staff and young people there in the project. We collected over 1000 4x5cm thumb-printed squares as a side project which with their help we constructed into one large piece.