I am working with a ceramic designer, Hanne Rysgaard, as part of project, called Stitch and Think held for members of the ETC group at U.W.E. Bristol. Hanne and I have formed a making partnership to help one another develop new stitched work. We are, in effect, acting as each others’ technicians but the resulting collaboration is helping to develop some new and interesting ideas for both of us.
We are at the stage of selecting and sampling the main techniques and materials we both want to work with, she is helping me make large porcelain plates that I can cut, stitch and decorate with fabrics and words; I am giving her fabrics from my studio stash to impress into the clay or make into decals – eventually I will stitch her work for her. This is a good division of labour, we both get to play with new materials and ideas and we don’t have to take forever to become fluent in a new technique to get anywhere.
Last week I visited her at Blaze Gallery and Studio in central Bristol; it is co-operatively run with several people working on the premises and always shows fresh and innovative work including invited local makers.
Below is Hanne’s workshop where she produces her ceramics to sell in the shop and various other outlets, at the moment these milk jugs are hot favourites when eventually wrapped in flower power designs or spots.
I had taken her my first completed set of samples, 2 dishes and some embroidered pieces of porcelain and paper porcelain, we had made these some time ago at a previous workshop, and they were finally fired and stitched. On the table are several other pieces we are considering.
I have been working with the idea of vintage printed linen embroidery motifs which are folded under the plate, trying to recreate the light blue guide line for embroidery – here I have embedded some colour into the pressed clay and stitched the finished sample in a matching linen thread. Below are more of our earlier samples of impressed and stitched paper porcelain.
And I have also been experimenting with more mending ideas …… see previous blogs…. I am loving how easy it is to cut and manipulate the fresh porcelain. But am having to do more sampling to assess the right size to make the holes as the clay shrinks when fired …so I have several more samples to be fired this week
I made this plate which I cut, pierced and “mended” with red wire – it features a broken heart and one of my favourite poems by W.H. Auden. This week I am working on a series of drawings to develop a set of broken and mended plates based on this. I am also introducing images of working hands and “make do and mend” mottoes, so I will show more of this ongoing work when the new samples have come out of the kiln.