Monday, 31 January 2011

What a week that was!

Well that was a manic week with three schools, a birthday night out bowling, a Friday night of fun, a day out in Manchester and a takeaway! Well I was too tired to cook by Sunday tea of course.

Schools started with an India theme looking at images of the culture, towns and countryside. We explored the use of colour and paint and created our own rahki bracelets which was fun with a bunch of year 3s. They had some chicks in the infants which we all got to see, just hatched too. The next day I spent 'under the sea' with year 1s looking at brightly coloured fish and creating our own under water scenes with oil pastel and ink wash. We looked at things we might find under the ocean and they came up with loads of things we hadn't even thought off in the planning so there is lots of scope in the redesign of their entrance to the school. Next week we are using clay to create our own shoal of fish for the walls, some days I love my job!

Thursday night the Higherford Mill lot went bowling to celebrate Micks birthday which was all good fun especially as the nice people at AMF Bowling Carlisle rebooked us into the Burnley one! Now that would of been a long drive. Somehow I had booked two lanes at their alley although I did book through the central reservations and confirmed it! Bless 'em thank you and for 11 of us for two games it was only £33! cheap night out or what? I think we may be going back. And here to prove I can actually do it was my winning score at the bottom of the screen, honest I couldn't belive it myself! lol! That was the first game I wasn't the best with the next but we won't mention that.

Friday included a trip to Liverpool Tate with a group of Year5/6s to look at 'This is Sculpture' exhibition. There was one room we avoided, thank you Tracey Emin but we seemed to get away with the rest of it even though there was a Chapman brothers piece in there. The children were very well behaved and really enjoyed it from their sketchbook drawings and the disco dancing floor deisgned by Wayne Hemmingway. We were allowed to walk in the Carl Andre piece made out of magnesium slates which was a very cool experience though when some of the children touched it we were told why and wanted to immediately wash our hands!  The staff at the Tate commented on how well mannered and behaved the children were. I really enjoyed myself and most of the children fell asleep on the coach on the way back. We wanted to go to Crosby beach and Formby Point but we had to give six weeks notice to go anywhere with water on the risk assessment. We avoided the fact that the Tate Liverpool is on the docks, opps. No photos as I was told I needed a permit but the teacher merrily  took loads with their blessing without being asked for his! most annoyed as some of those shapes on the dance floor were amazing.

Friday night was wine and cheese tasting at Turners in Barrowford. A good night was had by all and we tried the organic fruit beers which to be honest are just so lush the raspberry being my favourite. Then back to Joe,  Paul and Monteees for an amazing picnic of cheeses and olives with warm bread and a good giggle. Must take more pics for the blog.

Saturday saw another day of art at Manchester Art Gallery before Recorders by Rafael Lozano Hemmer closed on Sunday. 'Please Empty Your Pockets' being one of my favourites though the attendant was slightly off hand when I put my hat on the conveyor and then tripped and fell into the mic on another piece and he told me not to touch. Like I did it on purpose I liked to see him with a schools party! There was also a piece that was suspended light bulds that recorded your pulse, very atmospheric and very interactive. A really good experience of modern art, I really wish we had taken the school children there as well.

Any item up to 20 x 20 x 30 cm can be placed on the conveyor belt. Once the objects pass under a scanner an image is captured and you will see them reappear on the other side of the belt, beside projected images drawn from the memory of the installation.
As a real item is removed from the belt it will leave behind a trace in the form of a projected image. The work remembers over 600,000 objects which are re-played and used to accompany future objects.

Wagamamas for lunch and a homemade chilli for tea with a bottle of Vina Sol so all good. And I found that Tooty Fruuties are veggie and milk free!

Today I spent the afternoon tidying under the stairs which was filled with office stuff. I am starting to archive past projects and promotional materials to give me more space and to down size it all. Why I kept all my notes on my pgce I will never know I am never writting another scheme of work or essay on methods of learning as long as I live! There was a lot to recylce and that's not even half of it but not as scary as first thought so bring on the next room. So now down to work... oh is that the time? May have to wait till tomorrow

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

day thirteen on my AA2A scheme

Well I am trying to write my blog for the AA2A scheme which you can find here though most of it is a cut and paste job so you may have already read it but there you go.

I promised a pic of Dyl helping me write my blog and as its his 3rd birthday so here goes

  birthday boy

Well its been a packed week so far I have cast the first lot of forms which have helped me to make decisions on the new forms to be made this week.

I have made a selection of sloping sided forms which would be good for work I already produce and to cut and alter.

And I have been testing decals which we never had when I was at college! Very easy to produce to give a new slant on my decoration. I have tested some shop bought images to see how they would sit on the surface of both the parian and the HF porcelain I normally use. Hmmm lots of things to think about.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

plaster and puppy dogs

Well I am back with my puppy friend Dylan who is curled up next to me fast asleep at Gwen's house up in Penrith. This is my last full week at the Uni on the AA2A project. I am again turning plaster forms and casting plaster moulds. Just one disaster today with a mould splitting and 4 pints of plaster poured out all over the table! luckily that's why there is a plaster room dedicated to such things and no clay was ruined or contaminated which it would have been in my studio. The time spent here is invaluable and I am very grateful for everything learn ton the scheme.

I have been making more straight sided forms compared to the last time where I was carried away with curved bases and the techniques of the lathe work. I cast them with porcelain and parian clays and have fired them with a basic copper decoration but today I have used a basic decal pattern to see if the copper will react and the decals actually adhere to the unglazed surface.

first cast samples

detail of copper on parian
more photos to come......

Thursday, 13 January 2011

ooops being neglectful

My apologies its been two months since my last confess sorry blog post I have been rather busy and I fear its going to get busier!

Stand at the Triangle (Corn Exchange) Manchester

I have stood in the Triangle for 5 weeks and didn't make my fortune, ho hum, never mind. It was an experience not to be repeated. Maybe my work just isn't ready for Manchester Christmas market or it's not ready for my work but you live and learn not to do it again! So after finishing work on Christmas Eve! With no sales I had a few days off to recover and am back to it.

Starting with a tidy up, casting my new moulds and meeting schools for the new term ahead. Its been really busy and with no time to sit and think so this is the first time I have had chance especially as my laptop was broken and my car in for repair and Christmas presents still left to knit (one more glove to go, do you think it rude of me to wrap just one up for my Aunt? She laughed and the second is on its way).

My first foray into casting my moulds came out of the kiln tonight after a high firing. I used a copper wire finish inspired by my landscape drawings. Not sure I like them so I need to play about with the cast clay to get a better finish we shall see. More to come as I am back at the Uni on Monday so need to get my head around it. Looking forward to it as my hatred for plaster has turned to more of a mutual respect which I am very pleased about. Pics to follow when washed and considered. Have booked the British trade Craft Fair in April so lots to do Stand 286! Scary or what?!

So anyway not to bore you with the mundane of the last few weeks though I will say that my Uncle Tony's funeral was both moving and hilarious in the right ways and when I remember him it will definitely be with a smile.

I want to share with you my new purchase and a beautiful gift a friend gave me just before Christmas

cream and turquoise spotty wangle bangle

I ordered the white wangle bangle at Nostalgia meets Design in Cumbria last November and my lovely friend Gwen gave me the other as a thank you for helping with her stand at the event. I was happy to help and so pleased that the event that she organised went so well. I was a little teary when I opened the box as I had received mine a few weeks before through the post I knew that there would be an amazing piece of jewellery in side the bright pink box! The artist is Kaz Robertson and she has a blog and an artist page on Love Dazzle an amazing website with fantastic jewellery. I used to have a Dazzle buy every year till I bought a house and well it may have to be bi-annual from now on! Anyway find her work at


New in my Etsy shop

I am currently uploading work into my Etsy shop as my laptop has died after water damage and I can't access the back end of my website...