120…Quick step into the autumn season

by frances doherty on September 2, 2014

For me there are two beginnings every year. The first is around the beginning of January with the run up to the spring shows and the Brighton festival, the other one is the beginning of September with the autumn shows loomming, and a bevy of students waiting to come out and do their work experience.

The summer is a quieter time for shows, I usually have an outside sculpture trail or a garden show…but the work for this will have been made way back in the winter. This year is no exception, and I have been showing in the Driftwood Garden at Bishopstone where Geoff Stonebanks has created the most amazing gem of a garden which he opens to the public each year, to raise money for charity.

Red and White Bishop

Red and White Bishop

The planting in this garden has to be seen to be believed. I think he is a favourite with the gardening magazines and often has write ups. I don’t think you could squeeze another plant into the space and it must be a full time job keeping up with it. He is still open this coming weekend, so there is time to go and see it if you can.  www.driftwoodbysea.co.uk

So back to autumn and I have my next student arriving this afternoon, and a list of things to do in the studio. I have been working on a series of new forms called ‘Dreaming Spires’. The first of these will be on show at the Brighton Art Fair. I need to get them photographed properly by Royston Matthews who is a wizard with a camera, but in the meantime I have taken a couple of shots as they have come out of the kiln.

Dreaming Spires/Ivory Hollyhock

Dreaming Spires/Ivory Hollyhock

Dreaming Spires/White Foxglove

Dreaming Spires/White Foxglove

I have really been enjoying making these, and I will be making a whole lot more, and introducing more colour. As in gardens, a group of sculptures always looks better in uneven numbers, and so I have been trying to get the third one through the kiln in time. I have been experimenting with making them separate from their bases so that I can counteract some of the shrinkage that happens during firing. However I miscalculated the shrinkage from making to bone dry on my Bells of Ireland, and the top touched the kiln as it went in.

Duck!

Duck!

This caused me to knock a petal off in the process, and as I was popping back to Brighton later that day I had no choice but to try an effect an immediate repair. So I quickly fashioned a new petal, stuck it on with paper clay and immediately bisc fired. Normally you would never fire anything wet, or even damp, but I had heard that you can put a small newly made thing into a kiln just before firing and it will survive. I didn’t really expect it to work though, especially not attached to a large bone dry piece, but amazingly,

repair

repair

it did! I’m so pleased, and today will be spent applying a translucent blue glaze over the top of the green.

For those of you who would like to come to the art fair I have some 241 tickets for the event from 25th to 28th September….just get in touch with me by email (details on side bar) and I will post them to you. If you are on my mailing list you will be receiving a newsletter from me with a very special offer.

The auction is back up this month too, and I will be posting it up later today.

A quick trip back to Brighton last weekend for some time with family and friends, and I came upon a large group of Trolls (the nice sort!) walking down London road.

saturday morning trolls

saturday morning trolls

You always know when you are in Brighton.

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119…Back from hols

August 26, 2014

A long time ago it seems I left my Mexican student Edurne painting the sculpture she has made as part of her work experience. This has now dried out and will be adorning our garden once it is glaze fired. This week after a hard but wonderful cycling holiday in the Highlands, I was back […]

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118…Lyons la Foret and Lovely Paris.

July 26, 2014

A couple of weeks ago I went to a lovely town in Normandy to set up an exhibition. It is called Lyons la Foret and is between Rouen and Paris. This is one of those places that has not changed in years and is pristine and pretty. Not neccesarily a place you would want to […]

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