I guess this time of year often lends itself to introspection, tax returns and the cleaning out of sock drawers…
I’ve spent some time updating my website; drawing up workshop classes for the spring. Here is a link to those .
There is also a new page about my alernative portrait and body cast commission service here.
Making a ceramic sculpture based on an individual body cast is a process that I thoroughly enjoy.
I start off by covering the area with plaster bandages. Once they have gone hard, I carefully remove them and pour in plaster to create a cast.
I then build clay walls around the cast and pour freah plaster on top.
Once I have seperated the two lumps of plaster, I should have my mould!
And now the real fun begins; incising small portions of clay individually, I place them inside the mould reproducing the torso.
At this stage I can add any embellishments to further personalise the ceramic torso according to our discussions.
Many of my ceramic bowls are press moulded inside plaster casts, and I also seem to need an endless supply of moulds for my workshops. Luckily, making moulds using of plaster of Paris is pretty simple and here are the steps;
Place your model bowl upside down on a slab of clay and fix it to the base with a thin fillet of clay. This is important as otherwise the bowl will start to float as you pour in the plaster. I’m using a pyrex bowl because I like its shape, but plastic or ceramic bowls are fine, too.
Start building clay walls around the bowl.
Remove the clay walls when the plaster has cooled down…I tend to re-use the clay walls as I make several casts in one sitting. Remove the glass bowl and there you have your mould. Smooth down rough edges with a sureform and sand paper. It will take a week or so to dry and then it is ready to use.
The weekend’s plaster casting workshop went well, and I have now finally managed to remove all plaster splashes from the floors, walls, sofas…even the cat had a splat of plaster in his fur!
Hazel and Christy cast each others faces…..
while Maresa decided to cast her own foot.
Here is Debbie building clay walls around her hand casts.
If you would like to find out more about my popular workshops, please go here
I sometimes hear people say that they ‘haven’t an artistic bone in their body’ and I can’t help feeling both sad and a little bit upset. I believe that art and artistic expression is our birth right; everyone is born creative, curious, expressive and full of joy and exuberance. Most of that is ‘educated’ out of us at an early age. We are taught that for art to be considered ‘good’ it must be expensive and forbidding, the artist should preferably be dead, and his/her work hung behind bars in a museum.
I am delighted to find that most people who come to my ceramic workshops produce expressive, individual and beautiful work and that they have a fantastic time doing so. During one of my first classes a lady psychiatrist in her fifties suddenly exclaimed that she hadn’t had this much fun since she was a child!
And this is exactly what I want to deliver; a space for you to rediscover just how much fun it is to create something with your own hands!