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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Carolyn Genders visits the studio

Hello Everyone. Yesterday I have had a wonderful day. Ceramic artist, Carolyn Genders visited our studio to give a talk and demonstration. Carolyn creates elegant earthenware ceramics decorated with bold colours and sharp lines of sgraffito. Carolyn is engaging, enthusiastic and funny. I think we all got a good vibe from her. The talk was very interesting and informative. Among everything, she mentioned several times 'to keep fresh'. I know how important to be able to feel fresh, and I imagine it is not so easy for someone who has done ceramics for thirty years. She said that she always adds a small test piece, new colour or new design, to the kiln, to keep her fresh and to get excited. What a good idea! I will definitely try this.

She also mentioned that she works on several pieces at the same time to avoid overworking one piece. Overworking can be a problem to almost all artists. To decide where to stop is a difficult call. I tend to have a good feel for this. I always remember a Japanese saying,  'Too much is as bad as too little', or 'Learn enough'. But once a while, I overwork because I gradually build up colours at each glaze firing and feel like adding more and more; I usually fire three times. When Mike says, 'It looks good. You should stop'. I listen to him. It is sometimes easier for other people to call it.
By Carolyn Genders (on a  postcard)

She also showed us how she decorates her work. She works very spontaneously and quickly. The rhythm she creates is almost jazz to me. She also showed us how to coil pots. I seldom coil, but after seeing her coiling, I am tempted to try more.

Each student had a chat with her in the afternoon. It was a lovely and very good day for me. The scene from the bus stop on the way home was as gloomy as this.  But my heart was bouncing. I overwhelmed Mike by telling him everything I remembered in the evening. I have learnt a lot and got excited, and I am ready to try new things. Thank you, Carolyn.

Her website: http://www.carolyngenders.co.uk/

The mound from a bus stop on a gloomy day 


  1. That is a lovely piece! Really like the shape and the decoration. It is important to keep fresh, in whatever medium we work. I find this too in the ways I reinvent vintage items to give them new life. Minerva ~

  2. Hello Minerva. Yes, it is true. I became more conscious of the importance of feeling fresh after her talk. I should have added a link to her website. You can see more of her work here. http://www.carolyngenders.co.uk/