Thursday, 21 March 2013

Image making on the House

So from the sketch book, the images get transferred onto the cardboard prototype of the house

And then from the cardboard prototype onto the unfired porcelain house using my favourite Peter Beard oxide mix and a very fine paint brush and scraping tool. I love crosshatching which can be very effectively achieved in this way.

I love this Fortuny image above the door. It reminds me of the Venus painting below.

& which gets translated again onto the porcelain using the oxide mix

Cardboard prototype on the left and unfired porcelain house on the right

 Then some of the other images and textures gets translated in oxide mix onto the house

Of the trees, Joseph Campbell says of the journey of 'Individuation'
“You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path. Where there is a way or path, it is someone else’s path.You are not on your own path. If you follow someone else’s way, you are not going to realize your potential.” 

As for the heron... I am constantly reminded, as I am here, that the images we are drawn to using in our art really are speaking to us. I was drawn to using the image of the heron. I shouldn't have been so surprised on finding out that symbolically the 'Heron links two worlds: the waters of life—the Unconscious, and the air—the realm of the conscious mind. He feeds on fishes, which symbolize the treasures of the Unconscious mind: spiritual nourishment for the Seeker. Yet he is also a creature of the Earth, so he is a grounding influence for people who spend too much time in their minds and who are called to ‘fish’ in the waters of the unconscious...' (Ted Andrews)
And this is what I am attempting to do with my dreamwork and representing it in my artwork. 


I'm pleased with this first stage. A long way to go yet, a number of firings and glazes and so forth but so far so good.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Image making on clay

Have had the most wonderful week playing with surface pattern and images on porcelain slab samples so that I have an idea of how work directly onto my porcelain houses/rooms. First I used a technique I saw Jenny at varsity using a couple of weeks back. She used stamps to press into the clay, brushed slip on quite thickly when leather hard and then scraped off with a kidney leaving the slip in the impressions left by the stamps. Then yesterday and today I took images from my sketch book and translated them onto the patterned porcelain slabs with a Peter Beard oxide and a very thin brush.

So here I have scratched and imprinted the clay, covered with slip and then scraped back

The next pictures are of the same porcelain greenware slabs with images painted onto them

This is all part of my desire to layer images and textures as I do in my sketch book. So these samples, once fired to bisque will have more layers on them of glazes, perhaps transfers and lustres...

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

First steps

Pages from my sketch book

It's been a while since my last post. 
I've been giving a lot of thought to how I am going to approach this masters... Too many thoughts perhaps and not enough creating but then I need to have a starting point and direction, however embryonic, in order to be able to move forward. Otherwise I just wander aimlessly, having great fun, but with no real direction. Oh I can feel myself going off on a tangent... I want to add here that it is good to wander for a while. Like play and experimenting that lead to new discoveries and are a wonderful and important phase in the creative process. Throwing that net out, letting go, opening yourself out and trying new things. Exploring new ideas and new techniques. Letting ideas come to you rather than doggedly chasing after them. But for me, I need my ducks in a row and an overview of my aims and objectives before I can free flow. For me there needs to be a balance between structure and free flow. And to be open to a change of direction and not be too rigid, while keeping sight of the horizon (ooh me being poetic and metaphoric. The horizon symbolic of the starting point here.) As Joseph Campbell says: "We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us".

So this starting point... It starts with my love of the Transpersonal, the Unconscious, Myth, Dream, Story and Archetype. And my sketch book. 

For the practical side of the masters I will be recording my dreams, my thoughts and feelings, my drawings and collage in my sketch book. (I find magazines are a wonderful source of ready-made images that can be cut out and used to create abstract or ‘right brain’ compositions). I won't be giving any of this too much thought. I don't want it to come from the head. Rather to use my sketch book as a conscious/waking creative dream in process. (Now there’s a mouthful). Choosing images that for whatever reason, speak to me. Meditative, rather like when we doodle. It will be a glorified doodle. Just letting go of the need to control and let the images and words flow. Let go of my mind’s need to see and make connections. 

From the sketch book I will be moving into ceramics and the three dimensional form. I've already mentioned The House. That in Jungian terms The House represents the Psyche and this is where it all happens. So I will start with a cardboard prototype of a house on which I will 'doodle', like a 3D extension of my sketchbook. And from here into porcelain. The Prototype will give me a starting point for the images, textures, mark making and layers that I will work into my porcelain houses. Each house will be a story, or a part of a story. Also to explore the idea of many rooms rather than many houses. Here’s a thought; when you dream of your house and then find a room that you didn't know existed.....something is about to be discovered. An aspect of your psyche is revealing itself...

And these finished porcelain structures will be the starting point and reference for my paintings. More on this later...

I am very lucky to have some very knowledgeable and experienced therapists in this field to help work with and process both the theoretical and practical work. This is very much a personal journey at this stage; making the unconscious conscious and looking for integration and balance therein. And the theory, with Transpersonal Psychology and Jung's ideas pivotal to all aspects of my masters, is that the material that comes out of the dreams and 'doodling' is all part of this journey, reflected as images and symbolism and suggesting how things are, the potential for change and perhaps a way forward. The theory too is that the personal journey merges and overlaps with the collective journey. From the realm of personal dreaming to the realm of collective dreaming. From the microcosm to the macrocosm. Again as Joseph Campbell says: "Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths".

I really feel the need to say here that I am aware of how privileged I am being able to embark on such a journey and I am very grateful. Not many people are in the position to be able to indulge so completely in something that they are so excited and passionate about.

 More examples of recording in my sketchbook

 and my first porcelain house in progress