Got myself a digital sound recorder and spent an afternoon deep in the bowels of the Cider Museum attempting to record ’10 green bottles’ on, you guessed it, ten green bottles! So quiet down there in the basement.
Archive for 24 March 2015
Artist blacksmith Andrew Findlay popped in today to measure each of the fired apples for their bespoke bronze core and leaf.
The list of artists and craftspeople involved in my project seems to be growing by the day!
Have just enlisted the knowledge and skills of furniture designer Mr Timothy Hawkins to make x8 circular bases for my ceramic apples. The disks & apples will then sit in the top of x8 genuine woodern kilderkin cider barrels. It’s going to look so cool!
I’ve driven past Tim’s place on the Ledbury/Hereford Rd so many times without stopping so it was nice to have an excuse to call in – fab gallery filled with lovely stuff & well worth a visit! Website
Managed to get a tune out of x6, just a tad annoyed I didn’t have another two bottles to get the whole range of notes needed for 10 green bottles.
I thought it would be a doddle making the final sections for the apples yesterday – how wrong was I!? Even though I have well over 20 years of making things on the potter’s wheel, it took me a couple of hours to suss out the technique without the clay warping and collapsing. New shapes – new ways of working!
I’ve been sketching bell shapes (upside down cooking pots!) – seem to be a good fit for the Coningsby Medieval museum. I found this little paragraph online:
As both antiquarian and more recent studies have noted, bells played a central role in medieval Christianity. The history and meanings of church bells are more complex than often assumed. Drawing on a mixture of archaeological and textual material, the article demonstrates that a variety of types of bell—and indeed other signaling devices—were found in early medieval Christianity, and argues that the social and spiritual meanings of bells, whilst in some aspects determined by liturgical texts of the eleventh century, could also vary markedly depending upon the context, use, and reception of their sound. A bell calling a community to prayer was thus not simply “marking” the hours; it was summoning and producing the spiritual community, and its voice could be contested and even on occasion rejected!
Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement’s.
You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin’s.
When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.
When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.
When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.
I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow
When it opened in 2011, Sensational Clay was never intended to be exhibited anywhere other than the fantastic and unique Bilston Craft Gallery in Wolverhampton. However, here we are in 2015 and I’ve just attended the opening of my solo show of interactive ceramics at Leamington Spa Art Gallery.
To celebrate the opening, I was privileged to be invited to give a ‘Friday focus’ introductory talk followed by a practical workshop on the Saturday. Participants were encouraged to use a variety of hand building techniques to make musical pots. A creative bunch for sure and some had their own kilns or access to firings. A lovely couple of days with some lovely people. Thank you to all the staff and visitors who made me feel so welcome.
Sensational Clay runs 6th March – 4th May 2015.
In order to get the ‘right’ shape, I sometimes have to make things on the potter’s wheel in sections. Giant apples certainly demand the ‘throwing on top’ method of construction where by the base is thrown, allowed to harden for stability (leather hard) and then fresh clay attached to the top and I’m off again. These terracotta beauts still need a third section thrown in and angled down to achieve the effect.