3D, Pottery & Ceramics, Process

Pinch Pots

This blog might well be turning into my pottery log…. A new term of my pottery class has started and I had my first go at the humble pinch pot. A very quick and crude method of vestibule-making. A couple in this batch have fingermarks, which I think looked pretty good, I would like to try the same with a simple white and understated glaze.

I’m trying to get a good knowledge of glazes under my belt – I’m diligently making note of all the varieties of glazings I’m trying out. I have yet to find a combination which I love. I’ll continue with lots of complex scribbled notes in my sketchbooks until I find whatever it is I’m looking for.

I jumped on the wheel this week and made three quite well-centred pots. Not bad for not having been on that wheel for a good 5 months. Here are my pinch pots… I made holes in the bottom using my favourite tool, that’s so they they can become mini flower pots.

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And finally, this wouldn’t be a pottery post without a mention of the teeth. I’m making a few every week, enjoying the three-step process,  with my pottery course once a week, each stage takes a week to complete, and I have many teeth on the go at once:

1) Sculpt tooth shape > leave to dry

2) Smooth tooth with wet sponge and fire > tooth gets fired in kiln

3) glaze the fired tooth > tooth gets re-fired

4) One complete tooth!

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We have a project to complete this term – ‘Cornucopia: the Horn of Plenty’. This involves writing Haikus and creating a ‘fantastical form for fabulous foods’ for the celebratory feast to mark Potstop‘s 20th anniversary.

We’ll be inscribing the haiku on the form, and it will contain one of our favourite foods. I’m making a wide-open jaw, complete with teeth, holding fizzy sherbet-y sweets and a few gobstoppers. It’s going to be reminiscent of that bit in Beetlejuice when the bowls come to life.

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BUT less scary. This reminds me of wonderful Harry Belafonte. Remember the song in that scene – ‘Banana Boat Song (Day O)’? It’s a cracker. So I’ll ending this with his other mega-famous one – Jump in the Line. Bye!

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3D, Pottery & Ceramics

A new love of Pottery

I have found a new love, and it’s pottery. Have competed a couple of short courses in it, at Potstop Bristol and plan to continue. I now find pottery inspiration everywhere, from shapes and curves to my crinkle-cut kitchen knife which I’m going to use to make patterns in the clay.

And one day, I’ll have a kiln at home, the whole shebang – it’s a new goal of mine. Here’s a couple of my makings. Little Vid I made using the GoPro, Crazy honeycomb vase (I think), cactus object/pot and the beginnings of the honeycomb vase. Must take more pics at Pottery!

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Drawing

Drawing whilst listening

I have always have been a big fan of drawing whilst listening. Some of my favourite things to draw have been born out of attending my old University lectures, pen and paper in hand. Notice how I am not calling this ‘doodling’. That word, to me, is a bit lacklustre. It can be defined as:

  1. Scribble absentmindedly.
  2. Engage in idle activity; dawdle: “they could plan another attack while we’re just doodling around”.

I like to think my drawing has more of a purpose, an outpouring of something, a visual description of someone I am interested in, etc.

Sitting with pen in hand can make me listen better, and also can help me from becoming bored. It’s also one of my favourite things: productive. If I’m sat down, watching something, or someone – I feel much more at ease and able to relax if I’m keeping myself busy with something creative… of course I don’t do this all the time as there is a need to just sit and be sometimes, but I do notice myself enjoying it more if I’m creatively stimulated in some way.

This does come with a risk of becoming distracted by the drawing – paying it too much attention. Although that’s not really a problem in my eyes. I welcome that, especially as I am trying to put more value and importance on drawing.

This week I am volunteering as a Host Delegate at the International Conference on Culture Health and Wellbeing in Bristol, an Arts and Health South-West event. I am spending the beginning of this week ushering people around, telling speakers when they have one minute left of their talks, ticking people off lists, handing things out, being a friendly face, being a bit of a Bristol tour-guide and most interestingly, sitting in on lots of talks on a variety of subjects based around Health and Wellbeing, by lots of interesting speakers.

And I have been drawing.

Day 1.

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Day 2:

A workshop on ‘The Cancer Journey’ and ‘Dying Creatively’ very interesting subjects, and I picked up a really interesting titbit: how we humans have so many ways of talking about death and dying, by getting it into conversation: ‘drop dead gorgeous’, ‘dead easy’, ‘dead set’, ‘dead end’, ‘dying to meet him’. A way of making it a softer subject? So that when we have to deal with it, it’s not something wholly new. We’ve been saying the words all along.

Lots of words and sayings in todays drawings: ‘Engaged in a collective endeavour’ (I forgot the U!) ‘Feeling is healing’, a suggestion to say “can we talk about what it’ll be like when you die” to the people around you, to prepare and engage with it. Another suggestion to ‘talk about death in a funny way’ – a coping strategy, and a good way to ‘be’ about it. The ‘What Ever’ is mine – no one said that! Onward to day 3!

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Day 3: Too busy running about to draw. Boo hoo!

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Art

Top Notch paintings

Yesterday, paints out (wall paint, powdered Indian paint, lacquer, pencils, pins to scrape with and graphic pens) to make one very small painting for a fundraiser for Bristol’s Cruse Berevement Care, to take the form of an anonymous exhibition, each piece A5. More about that here. 

Liking the words ‘Top Notch’ and wanting to write them everywhere.

 

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Animals, Bristol, Interesting and Inspiring, Silly, Thoughts

Two lovely things seen today

1. A 4-ish year old boy, holding onto the lead of his sheepdog. Mum 10 steps away and urging the dog to walk- dog is wondering why the little boy is walking him, not the mum, and is stood still. Mum plays game where she walks a bit (boy wines a bit) then turns around and slaps her thighs, tells the dog to come, in high-pitched dog voice. Dog gallops on (boy hysterically laughing) and repeat. Little kids look so cute taking care of their pets, and the dog was so puzzled. Mum was laughing hard. I told her it was cutr, she commented on the dog i was walking, we smiled and parted. Heart warming!

2. The mum’s daughter is walking another 10 steps ahead! Both hands lazily above her head, pointing roughly at the pelican crossing’s flashing light, nodding her head and bringing her arms down slightly each time the light blinks. Nearly walks into a
Grown man whilst doing this, and doesn’t notice; she is in a daze. The man laughs and smiles at me laughing.

Both these sights and interactions spoke strongly to me today. I couldn’t stop grinning. Talk more and smile more to people on the street! it makes you feel good.

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Bristol, color, Organisation, Poppies, Process

Poppy Time

Cor the poppies are out already! What a surprise I got driving past Eastville roundabout. The best place to find poppies in Bristol. Hundreds and hundreds of poppy plants. I did ten minutes of picking, took them home and filled half of the Sunday paper and an hour of my time lining them up to be pressed for the 3 months they need before they turn beautifully translucent. Another batch for my poppy collection, part of my ongoing poppy project. I have been doing this for 5 years now and have thousands. Soon, it’ll become something but for now I am happy with the collecting and meticulous pressing (each petal needs to be completely flat and intact.)

Photos: Before-the collected petals. Middle-pressing them by lining up in a newspaper. After-incomplete petals and I’ve run out of time. Found-a small section of the crop.

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Bristol

Three Nice Things in Bristol

One: Bentleg – Lets Do Nice Things 

Pop up galleries, life drawing, film showing (Miranda July’s ‘Me andYou and Everyone we Know’ on Mon 26th July at Shop the Shop)

Two: Shop 

A lovely community interest company, vintage clothing and stuff and lots of community arts events. They say: “Shop envisages a world where businesses value people and sociability over profits – and creativity is acknowledged as and encouraged to be an essential part of life. SHOP exists to provide a retailing experience which focuses on conscious consumption and prioritises fair prices and original fashion. This consumption provides the financial means to use the shop space as an arts venue for the benefit of the whole community.”


Three: The Happy City Initiative


They say: “Whoever you are, whatever your background, Happy City is here to help you make the most of your street, your community, your neighbourhood, your city. Maybe you’ve got a bright idea and need help making it happen? Perhaps you’ve got a little time to spare or some knowledge or experience to share? You might have an established organisation, looking for inspiration, ideas and people keen to help out…

Happy City exists to spread happiness. To bring people together, making connections between communities so people like you can make the change you want to happen. We don’t promise funding or formality. But you can be sure there’ll be no fat cats, forms to fill out or hoops to jump through. Just normal people like you, working together and using what we’ve already got to make our city better, brighter and happier than ever before.”
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Bristol, Fancy Dress

The Invisible Circus: St. Valentine’s day Massaquerade

“A night of heart breaking, soul shaking, rip roaring circus, theatre and spectacle played out to a seductive, melt your heart soundtrack from some of the hottest live bands and DJs around!”
The Invisible Circus’s St. Valentine’s day Massaquerade / Massacre / Masquerade is going to be incredible. This will be another sell-out event, and I have managed to get some tickets! As for the ‘Shotgun wedding’ dress code, I’m trying to think of something more exciting than just a plain old bloodied bride fancy dress costume. Any ideas?
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Barfoot and Duggan, Bristol, Thoughts

Two Lucy’s One Happiness

A while ago, us Lucy and I had an interview with Megan Cara. We just found it, and it made a lovely read! Thank you Megan!

“Their attitude toward art and people and the world is what i found to be most intriguing about them. Lucy Duggan has a degree in Sociology from Bristol University and has been a Bristol resident for 9 years. Lucy Barfoot has a fine arts degree from the University of Creative Arts which is in Surrey.

The two women are just so positive and excited to be doing what they are doing. They explained to me that they have a very naive approach to things, but knowingly naive. They have accomplished a lot with this outlook. For their collaborative list installation they sent letters to many organizations and people asking for lists. Even to the Queen of England! They are cheeky and silly and people find it charming.

Their latest collaboration is called Light Box, a series of workshops they are assembling. The workshops are a combination of positive psychology and creativity, ultimately helping people live a more happy life. Their passion for happiness is truly inspiring. They are holding test workshops now and will be piloting the project in March.

My interview with them turned into a casual conversation about life, happiness, art, and Bristol. I had a wonderful time chatting with them. I wanted to get their point of view on street art in the UK and Bristol, since that is what my original inspiration was for the blog… They both commented that the street art in Bristol is changing all the time, and really is beautiful. Some of it is allowed, and there are even designated areas for the artwork, but some people do find themselves in a lot of trouble for it. Barfoot commented that she doesn’t see Banksy as “some big thing.” Duggan expressed interest in temporary street art, images made with baking flour or sugar paper that disappear in the rain, this takes care of the possibility of getting in trouble.

Over all it was wonderful to speak with such positive and open minded artists. The one thing that stuck with me most was something one of them said – more relating to life. We were discussing having bad friends, or toxic relationships and how that very much effects one’s happiness, and one of the Lucys said something like…as soon as i realised that i couldn’t do anything to change how other people live their lives, it was much easier for me to live my own life happily. Lets all take a page out of their book.”

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Barfoot and Duggan, Street Art

Artist Interview with Megan Cara

Barfoot & Duggan met with the lovely Megan Cara today, she is an art student from the US. She wanted to interview us for her independent study based on art whilst she is in Bristol completing her degree.  It was really great to talk about our working practice, who we are as artist, the things we like, and the story of how the two of us met. Megan is looking for all kinds of artists to meet with for her study.

“Hi! I’m excited to hear from artists from Bristol and all of the UK. I am keeping a blog http://bbbristol.tumblr.com of my experiences and impressions of art while i am living and studying here and  would love to meet with or hear from any and all willing artists! I want to know how you got into art, what kind of art you make, life philosophies and much more. my email is: megan@megancara.com … i really look forward to meeting more wonderful artists.”

So if you are a Bristol based artist, contact Megan and get involved!

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