Friday, 2 October 2009

Can you tell what it is yet?

Asked last week to create a Meercat sculpture- little did I know what a popular little beasty they have become. Not being a slave to the goggle box I was unaware of the popularity of the 'Meercat Diaries' and more recently 'Compare the Meercat' adverts. Since starting this piece however I have heard every silly accent and more detail than necessary regarding what now must be the nations favourite creature.

So- not at all 'jumping on the band wagon' and to encourage Martin to 'have a go'- here is my 'Meercat Diary'!

Its a measure of its popularity that as soon as I got this far with the Meercat sculpture every visitor to the workshop was having a go at the Meercat accent.

Hes progressing well though,in fact, I'm really enjoying it. In fact, I think I can feel a family of them coming on....

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Clay Day

We had a great time at the Spring Spectacular last month, the day was fine and the clay workshop well attended. The results are now out of the kiln and many have found their way back to the makers. These are some pictures of the work produced, we started everyone off with pinch pots...... .......and some of them turned into birds, or in one case a fish!

Due to popular demand (and having lots of fun doing the last pottery day) we are now hosting a potters wheel afternoon on a regular basis throughout the Summer months. Currently we are running it on the 21st June and then possibly every Sunday afternoon if its wanted. Wheel see how it goes (geddit?)

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Free Clay Workshop

This Saturday I will be hosting a free pottery workshop at Alby Craft Centre (Norfolk). Every 6 months we put on an event at the Craft Centre and this spring we realised that as craftspeople we have the means to entertain people ourselves. After much talk of wodturning competitions and other things that challenged health and safety regulations, we settled for more sedate Spinning, flower arranging, card, fabric doll and clock making and pottery.
Thats were my bit comes in. Having set up Anglia Clay Supplies last year I have a little clay about the place! If you have ever wanted to have a go at making 'Pinch Pots' and 'Coil Pots' now is your chance. Pop over on Saturday 16th May between 12 & 5 and have some fun with us. As well as the demos I have already mentioned, we will also have chainsaw carving, flying birds of prey, beekeeping displays, live music and face painting.

Friday, 8 May 2009

The Romantic Garden Nursery

After morning downpours that threatened to turn my sculpture soggy, the day brightened and warmed to a really pleasant afternoon. As I sculpted detail into my pinecone and chatted to visitors to the nursery I was surrounded by some beautiful plants. The Bottle brush tree with its unusual flowers and seed pods caught my attention and got my mind dreaming up potential sculptural forms.

Pictured below is Brian Turner looking rightly proud of his display of lead sculpture, fountains and planters.

Beside him is the pinecone design we were working on for last years Chelsea Flower Show. Behind him in the picture is a statue we have been making a mould of in order to repair and reproduce it.
The statue is 300 years old and despite damage and general distortion from bearing its own weight for all that time, it has the most amazing detail I have ever seen in lead, down to stitching on the shoes and dress and individual hairs carved into gorgeous curls.

Lets hope the weather is as good tomorrow as it ended up being today.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

A Sculpture for The Romantic Gardens

On the 8th and 9th of May I have been invited to demonstrate sculpting at the Romantic Gardens Nursery at Swannington in Norfolk. They are hosting a special invitation-only event showing off some of the amazing Topiary they specialise in alongside some of Brian Turners fantastic lead sculpture, planters and water features. Of course I have to admit I am slightly biased when it comes to Brians work as I sculpt some of his patterns, including the pinecone water feature that I talked about in a post here on the blog last year.

I felt the ideal sculpture to be working on at the show would be a similar type of finial to the pinecone, maybe an artichoke. Both Brian and myself are particularly fond of these natural forms and the Fibonacci spiral that develops as you build up the pattern of leaves, petals or seeds.

I started this sculpture today by throwing the basic form on the wheel, hopefully it will firm up enough for me to start a little bit of work on it before taking it along to the do on Friday.
The base is as it will be, but the 'fat carrot' bit is the base on which to sculpt on each individual leaf or petal of the artichoke. Watch this space to see how it develops.

Friday, 1 May 2009

New nudes

Here are the nudes fresh from the kiln, and I'm really pleased with the results. I've placed my favourite one in the centre of the group for the photo, and if I had not promised six pieces for the gallery I would be tempted to take that one home for the mantle piece!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Yarn bowls in the making

Well here is one from the first batch of yarn bowls. Their purpose in life is holding a ball of wool steady while a knitter knits - stops it rolling around all over the floor and teasing cats! They are currently sitting in the kiln enduring the first or bisque firing before being given a coat of glaze. I have in mind a lovely glossy bottle green glaze which I love and want to use on everthing at the moment!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Nudes drying in the sunshine

The weather was so great today it would have been a shame to have missed the opportunity to get some drying hastened in the warm breeze.

All six pieces are done and drying nicely so I should get them through the kiln by the end of the week. They can then be coloured and fired again in time for collection on the 1st of May. The exhibition is at the Haddenham Gallery near Ely, Cambs from the 9th.

While the nudes were gently drying in the balmy shade I was indoors throwing Yarn bowls.(that should please Peahen) These are cereal size bowls designed to hold onto a ball of wool as you knit and stop it jumping around and rolling off! Not really sure yet if the shape is right for the job, so have just done a few for now, will get them road tested before they are offered for sale at

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Cylindrical Nudes

This week, I have been hastily preparing slabs for a new batch of my ceramic 'nude sketches'. I love making these and nearly always find myself pushing a deadline. I feel that this helps me to achieve the look I am aiming for - bring on the stress!

The nudes are 'sketched' into stiffend clay slabs that have been formed into a half cylinder. The figure is then given shape by carving and pushing the clay from the back.

I usually use a beautiful creamy white crank for these, its a clay body designed for tiles and is produced in Cornwall.(its not unlike earthstone handbuilding clay in texture and apearance, but far cheaper)

This clay comes highly recommended by Ian Gregory for sculpting- thats good enough for me! This time though, I am mixing it with porcelain - just for the hell of it (and to give myself more work).

Below is one from a previous batch, to show how they look when they are finished, (shame I cant hold the camera straight) just in case I dont get time to take photos of these ones before they head off to the gallery!