I find myself at the end of April, highly anticipating 10 days of holiday that begins next Thursday. I've been particularly diligent in my production throughout the last 4 months. My nifty spreadsheet reminds me that I have spent a day throwing pots every week since 4th January. It tends to be a Tuesday, though in odd weeks a Wednesday - even a Monday 2 weeks ago! That totals 17 consecutive weeks. It has become my instinct to throw every week, to keep the production cycle in motion, to fire the kiln a few times a week - often primarily to keep the studio a warm and therefore conducive work environment. I promised myself not to exceed 20 items per week this year. 20 pots makes for a manageable morning of throwing, and depending on which forms I choose, usually makes a kiln load. I do my best work early and before lunch - a habit ingrained whilst living in the sub-tropical climate of the Gold Coast, which drives me crazy in the Manx winter - to the extent that I detest even an hour delay in starting work, as thanks to the time sensitive nature of clay, the pots drying time will be delayed and the blighters could dry out whilst I focus on other time-filling jobs.
The thought of not throwing in a week when I could induces a sense of guilt. I wonder if that's a marvellous success of cementing a productive habit, or a steam-roller to spontaneous creativity.
An unquestionable triumph has been adding a 2kg bowl to my weekly production list, in an effort to step up my throwing skills. This is the 8th week, and whilst the last 3 are yet to be fired (*touches wood*) I'm hugely please with the results. Naturally larger pots have a greater surface area, allowing for exciting decoration possibilities. I've returned to the field-inspired patterns, adding details in yellow and purple to represent gorse and heather. I'm using larger brushes for big sweeps of colour, whilst using some restraint to avoid overloading the pots with embellishment. It feels like a good direction. After my break I'll increase the bowls to 2.5kg, and somewhat shift my focus to other larger forms, firstly vases!
I'm so proud to announce that a selection of my work will be exhibited in the Summer Craft Collection at New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham, Surrey! Founded in the '60s, the gallery has been dedicated to championing the best contemporary art and craft for over 50 years. I'm deeply grateful to Helen Beard, who mentored me for 3 months in 2016, for an introduction to the gallery.
My pots will be in great company with ceramics and jewellery from emerging and established makers - huzzah!
I'm also thrilled to be stocking the gallery shop of The National Centre for Craft & Design in Sleaford! I've followed this gallery online for AGES and they host awesome, inventive projects and exhibitions, so I was super flattered when they asked me to supply their shop.