Earlier in the year Richard was approached by film maker Tom Hartwell. He suggested making a short film of us at work, as he was putting together some films on crafts. Never ones to say no to something new, we agreed.
A meeting was held to decide what and how we were going to film and to map every step of the process. We spent a cold but sunny day in February with Tom following our every move as we made and fired hares.
It was surprisingly enjoyable. I certainly felt very self-conscious to start with, but Tom was excellent at his job. I can’t say that I forgot he was there, but apart from when he put the camera right up close, it was not intimidating.
This is the finished result which he has entered into a craft film festival.
Good luck to him.
These Chinstrap penguins were made for SOTA Gallery in Witney (www.sotagallery.co.uk).
Variations in crackle on these penguins from the same firing.
It is always interesting approaching a new sculpture idea. Photographs are used for reference, but the main thing is to capture some character in the animal. As each one is completely uniquely made, it is great fun to play with the pose and expression as the sculpture progresses. They start on the wheel as an enclosed cylinder, After the clay has dried a little, they are shaped and the head, feet, and wings added. It is getting the head and beak right that gave these fellas their character.
The one on the far right looks like it might be in charge of this lot!
Richard and I both made these. Can you tell who made which penguin?
We have just completed this commission for an author: a pair of Aardvarks. They are to complement a soon to be published children’s book titled ” ‘Aarry the Aardvark”.
‘Aarry and ‘AaJ
Following this post, here’s the finished piece, captured on my iPad. We didn’t have it for long as it was sold by the Doorway Gallery during the Battersea Affordable Art Fair.
Parrot cage, with (parrot) fish
Parrot fish number 1
An abandoned birdcage was the starting point for these pieces. The discussion went along the lines of… “What can we use this bird cage for? I think we should put fish in it…they will have to be parrot fish.”
Parrot fish number 2
Hence the parrot fish were made. The glazing took most of a day and it felt like we had taken on a big task. But I think the colours have worked well.
All we have to do now is to adapt the cage. Once completed, I will post a picture of the assembled work in the web galleries.
Raku fired elephant sculpture
By coincidence we started exhibiting at The Golden Hare galley in Ampthill not long after a new baby Asian elephant was born at Woburn Safari Park. This led to us getting a commission to make a sculpture of a mother and baby elephant.
It took a bit of modelling to get the looks right. They are made in our usual way; throw a large enclosed cylinder on the wheel followed by manipulation and addition to create the sculpture.
Sizes vary from about 5cm to 15cm tall. They are all raku fired.
This week has been Wooburn Festival Visual Arts Exhibition, where we have exhibited various raku sculptures. Hares, Polar Bears and Penguins among others. The exhibition has been a good mix of wall art and ceramics and has been busy all week. There is also a silent auction of postcards created by the contributing artists, winners to be announced today.
Penguins at Wooburn
Conversation overheard on Friday at the exhibition as two visitors admired the penguin sculptures…
“I do like the penguins…. lovely pieces…”
“Are you going to buy them?”
“I’d love to but they’d look too big next to my polar bear…”
“Perhaps get a bigger polar bear?”
Visual Arts Exhibition at Wooburn – last day today
New additions – Raku penguins
As well as working towards a couple of future exhibitions and keeping up with the orders from galleries, a new raku-fired animal sculpture has joined the menagerie. We have been working on this for a while and finally have something we think is worth showing.
Welcome to the penguinery. The adults are 20-30cm tall.
We would love to hear your first impressions so please leave a reply using the link above.