Well well well. That was on eye opener! Yesterday Amanda came over to my workshop armed with some fused glass sheets in “challenging colours” and her engraving tool. We have been talking for a while about having a chance to work in mediums other than our own. I’m always itching to try other things even though clay is my obsession, I’m always keen to find out how other people do their thing. I’ve tried my hand at a few things over the years, I’ve always sewn and knitted and textiles was my subject up to ‘A’ Level at school. At uni I did a little bit of forged metal work, some jewellery, lots of wood work and none of it of too amazing quality but it’s good to try these things. I’d like to revisit the metal I think at some point too. Anyway what I didn’t ever do at uni was glass even though we had a glass department there, not sure why, I might come to think of it have been a little scared of the tutor.
I don’t generally find myself attracted to glass work, I’m not into shiny glass, I don’t know why, I wouldn’t be able to explain it but it just doesn’t grab me you know what I mean? Anyhow this all fell by the wayside when I came across Amanda’s glass. I love it! I think it’s very very different to anything I have come across before and I know that no small part of it is the feel of the finished surface, she sand blasts most of here work and it makes the surface somehow less in your face and more ceramic like.
So Amanda let me lose on the glass with her little whizzy roundy diamond tipped tools. Essentially it’s exactly like sgraffito in that there are different layers of colour and if you scratch deep enough you cut through one layer to reveal another. With one HUGE exception! It requires a lot of force. I have glass engravers upper arm today. Blimey, it’s slower and noisier than sgraffito too. Having said that by the end of the day I was starting to get into it. I hadn’t really any idea how I was going to start so I just fiddled around a bit with some lines and marks trying out the different tool heads and then I used a couple of the patterns that I play with on my pots from time to time. It’s very different too in that I couldn’t draw any of the tight curves that I use so much in the decoration of my pots.
So these little tiles that I engraved yesterday Amanda has taken home with her and is going to slump them for me which will, well actually we’re not quite sure what it will do to the marks but hopefully they’ll stretch and distort a little.
So I had made some tiles for Amanda to use, and some flat dishes and a jug. Some I’d slipped and let get to leatherhard and some were freshly slipped. It was so so interesting to watch what someone would produce who knows only a little of the history of the whole slipware tradition and who doesn’t really know what you are and aren’t “supposed” to do. Talk about an eye opener!
Singing the praises of little wooden sticks!
How fab is this jug! Amanda kept saying she didn’t want to spoil it but look what she’s done with it! Kitchen utensils and cacti! It’s fantastic. I tried this layer of black slip over layer of white slip and sgraffito through thing on a little mug last week which I have just gotten out of the kiln and it’s great. Makes for three layers of colour and it adds a lot of depth. I like it a lot.
Anyhow we both I think really enjoyed the day and plan to continue this little project. It’d be good to keep it as something we go back to every few weeks and work some more on. I’ve never really worked in any sort of collaborative way before but I think I’m going to like it.
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