Last week my kiln arrived from Germany and it has been working non-stop since then! Meanwhile, in my newly warm and cosy studio I am designing a range of geometric tiles for kitchens and bathrooms and developing some (hopefully) lovely colours with which to glaze them. Also, this week, my house number plaques are launched on housenumbers.co.uk. I created this design (above right) using geometric principles and, as ever with heart, head and hand in mind, I aimed to give a sense of the protective nest of our homes blended with the image of wings and all that they symbolise.
In the centre photo, this lovely apple blossom caught my eye and sent me scuttling off to find my copy of Keith Critchlow's brilliant book 'The Hidden Geometry of Flowers' for further inspiration.
I have been busy making things over the last couple of months and will now be selling them locally and online. Here is a mock up of my 'stall' I made in my studio. You can also see a little of the design process on the wall in the background - I start out with large, free sketches, then refine and reduce the images for tiles. I don't have my own kiln at the moment so I haven't been making large quantities of tiles and have made some parquetry clocks instead. A new kiln is on the cards for the new year, though, when I hope to be firing on a grander scale!
Whatever you want to call it (studio, workshop, messy space) having a designated room in which to make things has been a lifelong dream. And now I have one and I am loving it! My studio is on a farm in Dorset. It has basic facilities, a nice, washable concrete floor, rafters and lovely cob walls. The setting is beautiful and the skies outside are brilliant. I have been busy making things here since the beginning of October and will be uploading pictures of my tiles , parquetry and glass work soon.
Wendell Berry, author and environmental activist writes in 'Lighting a Candle': From the mid-1960's I laboured consciously at this problem of industrial destruction. I had understood the limits of the idea that the answer might lie in mere political change, or merely in some sort of 'alternative technology'....I had begun to sense that the good and necessary things of the world can be preserved only by human recognition of their sanctity.
And some news...tonight was the opening night of our degree show. Thank you to everyone who attended and especially to all those lovely people who came and chatted to me about what I have been doing. It was a great evening and the cherry on the cake was finding some of those red spots had appeared next to my work when I wasn't looking!
Reading 'Lighting a Candle - Kathleen Raine and Temenos' . In it Andrea Andriotto writes: One day I saw that life was like the spinning of a thread, drawn from deep within. I saw that we have to spin the thread of our destiny, like a spider, and then walk on it, as on a tightrope, trying to keep a precarious balance above the walls of an infinite labyrinth, made of endless wanderings and dead ends. A thin, fragile path which we create with our imagination, which keeps us balanced, and which is our unique means to walk on the Way.