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Saturday, 15 April 2017

An exhibition in France

From 8th April to the 9th May, my works are a part pf an exhibition in Galerie Corinne Le Monnier
Le Havre, France. It is the first time my works are shown in France.

This time there are three pieces. 


She has six precious eggs on her back. 

If you are in Normandy, do pop in. 

Owl finch

149 rue Victor Hugo
76600 LE HAVRE

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Ceramic Art London 2017

Ceramic Art London, one of the greatest ceramic art shows in the UK, and possibly in Europe, is over for another year. We had a great time and also a great result. This was my third time, but each is different and unpredictable.

Here is my report and photos of  some of the sculptures, which went to loving homes.
Apple tree - sold

I had a slightly larger stand this time; so my works were more spread out. Just before PV, I was told that one of my photos was in the Evening Standard. How lovely! PV kick-started with Grayson Perry looking at my stand for a long time. In fact, we were getting dressed at the back, so neither Mike or I was there. I came back just after he has left my stand. I would have loved chatting with him. Who wouldn't ?
Alice - sold

Friday was packed and we were very busy, and we also had the highest sales. I was unable to have a chat with old customers much. Sorry!

Owl - sold

Saturday was also packed, but somehow customers' main interests have shifted to smaller animals and by noon the shelves for animals looked bare. The trend might have been started by Keith Brymer Jones from the Great pottery throw down, BBC. He and his partner Marg were our first customers on that day. They were very nice people. I am aware that he is adored by lots of fans; I can see why he has been so popular after meeting him.

Polar bear - sold 

In our limited experience, Sundays are usually crowded, but lots of people browse more than shopping, but this Sunday was different. Remaining animals have gone and quite a few big sculptures have gone. It was a very good Sunday.

Stand is ready on Thursday night. 
 It was so lovely to meet customers I had only known on Internet. Also it was moving to meet one of earlier customers.

My first Saturday customers.
Photo: Fenella Elms

I have recognised quite a few customers who came back. It is lovely to see them again. I will never talk this much until next show.  Mike, post office counter lady and postmen are only people I talk between shows, as I am extrovert recluse.    

Enso - sold 
 A few people said they would go to Art in Clay at Hatfield, in August. I will be there for the first time. I knew it is a great show, but I just couldn't trust the British weather as it is held outside. But I have decided to give it a try.

Tulip - sold 
I have also received a few commissions. With a couple of commissions taken already before the show, I will be concentrating on them for a a few months.

Girl with blue shoes - sold 
Already one week has past since we came home. I have finally unpacked boxes. There are lots of follow ups and admin works after the show. 

Flowering quince - sold 
 Thank you so much for those who have purchased, come and supported from afar. I thank also the organiser, other exhibitors, helpers and security who made the great show.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Spring flower garden in my studio.

When Mike got up about 3AM this morning for bathroom, I told him, 'I am going to place something under bronze glaze before firing so please don't start the kiln.' He was naturally surprised. This is not something he expected to hear from his sleeping wife. Apparently I had been thinking about it in my half-sleep state.

Each glaze-firing is time consuming and important. Loading the kiln takes at least one hour, but sometimes two hours. It is a 3D puzzle in a real life.

And preparing bisque for glaze-firing is even more time consuming and hard work. Among recent masks, Apple tree took the longest to prepare. I was cursing myself. Who on earth made these details without any consideration for painting? Only a fool makes something like this! After 3.5 hours' painting, it was only half done.  Disheartening.

After 3.5hours, it was not finished yet. 
One of the studio tables. 
And next morning.
Certain glaze prefers a high shelf, and others prefer a lower shelf. Masks shouldn't be touching each other.

Intertwined appearance, but all were carefully slid to gaps.

I have to look at them from all directions; so nothing will be even slightly touching.

From a lower angle, they look like this.

Once all were loaded, we took them to the kiln, and carefully placed them inside. As I have broken work during loading too often, I always get quite nervous.

Luckily, the result was great. Half were done and others will need re-firing for minor reasons. The end is in sight.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Work for Ceramic Art London and An exhibition in Normandy.

Preparation for Ceramic Art London and my first exhibition (group) in France are going well.  A few bisque firings and one glaze-firing were done. More to go.

Working solid for weeks is like shaving life a bit and a bit. I will slow down to normal working hours sometime this year. But I have to get these two events done, first!

Apple tree
This mask is inspired by our own apple trees. We have planted three over the years. We and the wildlife enjoy the fruits. There are still a few apples left on the ground. Blackbirds and magpies peck them every day.

The next three works were inspired by the photo I saw on Twitter. In the New Archaeological museum, Patras, Greece, there is a display of a girl's skull with ceramic funeral wreath.

They are pink, yellow and gold. 

After loading the kiln with the masks and a larger piece, I fill the space with smaller animals. 

They are bisque now.

As for other sculptures, I will plan carefully how to load the kiln.

Owl for an exhibition, Normandy
Fish woman
She has eggs at the tail.

And the last one. I had to change the shape of the two balls at the bottom, as they didn't work out.


And his friend.

Those are successfully fired.

Now I am going to do bisque firing-for the rest of work. A problem is I have space to add one more, but there is no room for kiln furniture. I might re-think.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

I'm longing for spring.

This winter seems dark. Flowers in the garden are slow to bloom. I long for spring. I started making works for Ceramic Art London. A theme came naturally. Spring. 

Bird's nest

Snowdrop and Tulip are small masks. 


Our crocus are still not visible. But red Chaelnomeles are. 


Camellia, Hepatica and catkins. 

We lost all snowdrops and winter Hellebore when we moved a greenhouse last year. I will buy some bulbs this autumn. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Angels have flown

Four Angels have flown to loving homes this winter.  I made them with solid and strong wings this time, as I had requests from the clients. previously I was not able to ship Angels with wings due to the fragility of the wings. But new ones could fly not only in the UK, but also globally. How nice!

I have experimented with different shapes of wings.

The last two Angels were from the New Ashgate Gallery.  Hello, people in Farnham, a lovely town!

I imagine they all watch over their new families. I wish their families peace and good health.


Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Madonna

My plan for December was that I was not going to make any work. I had worked non-stop, not a single off-day, since June when I came back from Tokyo. All I would have to do in the month would be packing and posting. It is a very busy month with Christmas posting. But one commission inquiry I shouldn't decline came, and a few days later another inquiry came. I was asked if I would be able to make a mask. It was mid-November. Time was tight. But as I would have to fire the kiln anyway, I would rather make two. The request was also irresistible. They wanted me to make the Madonna mask.

I am not a christian, but I like visiting churches, cathedral and chapels. I have visited numerous churches in Europe. I like Catholic and Orthodox churches because of the sculptures and paintings as well as the decoration.

The Madonna is probably the most popular female subject in art history. She became famous because she gave a birth to someone who would be super famous. What a fate!

But of course she didn't know of such a fate in the future.

I added the recipient's building on the top of the head with Italian rural landscape. The headscarf is pale sky blue. She wears a narrow gold band which reflects her inner status.

It was great to be able to create one of the most depicted lady in history. The clients send me a photo of the recipients opening the gift in Italy. I was told they were very happy. Thank you so much.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Our holiday art project

Mike and I did a bit of linocut printing during the holiday. Last year, I drew a baby tapir, and he made a lino plate. It was casual. This year, he decided to do more! It was Mike's art project. So I drew on lino, and Mike cut it. Somehow he told me that he wouldn;t be able to print well after the first try, so I had to hand pull them with a baren and a spoon.

The first thing to do was for our Christmas cards. A chicken! It is the year of  the Rooster, but as some of you know, we live with Pumpkin. She is so close to us, literally. She moved inside, and her bedroom is under a breakfast table. She is 13 years old, a very grande madame.

 So the right one was our first. Then Pearl the whippet on the left. Mike said he really enjoyed cutting.

Pumpkin the house chicken

Then I decided to try myself. I did my first ever linocut. I made this for the Christrmas card for Mike. Again Pumpkin! ( She is his first wife and I am the second). 

Then he started throwing on the potter's wheel. So I took it over and made two borders, Topaz and a cat wihout eyes. Eyes fell off whilst I was carving around them!


Bird border

Pearl and borders

Then Mike developped allegry on his hands from the clay and stopped throwing. He said he wanted to do a cat so I drew one with a tail.

The last was the adult tapir. We haf a great fun.

When I was staring, I used to think that I wish I had talent on some paper based art; easy to carry, to post and to store and less expensive and less risk to make. I noticed that nowadays those paper based artists I was jealous at that time, are trying on ceramics! You never know.