Yesterday I wanted to decorate this large platter in the image above. I have been making a conscious effort recently to bring more depth into my work in terms of layers and building up of techniques. This is all very well but can sometimes be a bit overwhelming and especially when I am trying to work in layers with slips and resists and trailing, trying to get my head around which layers to use first and which will work over which and which need thicker slip to work gets pretty complicated and messy in my brain.
The little square sketches and the collection of found treasures from our walk in the woods that morning have informed the piece. I have pieces of finished work there which incorporate elements that I wanted to bring into this large platter. My brain felt like it had imploded by the end of the day.
I am incredibly lucky to be living where I do. It’s a stunning place and I don’t ever have to go far to find something interesting going on, whether it’s the pond being dug out by dinosaur like diggers while the dumper truck gets stuck in the mud in the woods or whether it’s the new growth that is bursting into life at this time of year and which seems to be advancing at a fair rate of knots.
The driveway down to my workshop is bordered by some woodland that at one point will have been coppiced but now is mainly left to it’s own devices and it is beautiful.
Repeat patterns in the mud.
Alongside the wilder woodland is the realm of Hazel, her garden is a stunning place and she keeps it with what always appears to be complete ease and elegance. I have no idea what magic she works in there but needless to say my excuse for a garden is a very poor relation.
So many of the natural patterns that occur look to be complete repeats and perfect symmetries but on closer inspection few are, almost but actually not quite, and all the more beautiful and interesting because of that.
I love the sinew of the trunk of this tree.
Bursting buds, criss-crossed over each other.
New life ready to really burst out into being.
All of these elements were brought back, some physically and some mentally into the workshop and became the basis of the inspiration for the large dish. It doesn’t try to be an exact representation of a walk in the woods, it has the essence of and a part of what I felt it was in there. I don’t find it easy to talk of abstraction and essence of things, it makes me feel like I am stepping on the toes of ‘real artists’, a ‘real artist’ being something that I feel I utterly am not. However when pushed into thinking hard about it, that is what I am trying to do.
I hope that the little film explains a bit more, it shows you the piece as it was when I left it to dry too. Of course the colourings will change dramatically when it is finished so part of the complication is trying to think forward in that way too.