Blog

Surfaces, Groupings, Materials

Its been a while since I posted following my last presentation. I was pleased with my feedback and a comment from Claire made me think about being more explicit about my work like why am I working on post-human speculative things. I guess it is a fear of human extinctions, the struggles we will face in the future and what kind of Earth we might leave behind. The things I create are memorials to humans mixed and melded into geologies. I have been working with coloured stains, forms and surfaces over the past few weeks but also thinking about how to present works. With regards to colour I am proposing acidic colours against a backdrop and collection of more neutral colours. It is representative of the polluted environments we create but also allows me to highlight particular pieces in group compositions. I am continuing material experiments with fine grain  materials of porcelain, parian and bone china, the surfaces of these have differing finishes when fired. They are also manageable and practical clay bodies. I can alter surface structures and textures by breaking, chiseling, coating, cracking and eroding. Whilst doing these materials surface investigations I also started to think about hand forming some forms into forms that do no have a base as such, that can be used flexibly in compositions. I also started to use clay to hold work in place when cutting on the CNC machine. This enable me to rotating works after cutting so not all the works are sitting on a ground. I see all of these forming processes and materials as part of my language informed by the geologies I know and see. Erratics, boulders, rocks, cliffs, stones etc. I also experimented with the idea of joining forms as well as stacking. I cut or form sockets into which I can fit other forms. It enables me to mix forms together like a steel girder would protrude from a sandstone in a speculative scenario.

More and more I am thinking about how to present my work at the show, wall mounting, plinths, tables etc. There are so many options I actually find it quite overwhelming. Nonetheless I have been creating plaster plinths stained with Gouache and cut on CNC for a good precise finish. The result was pleasing but a spill of coffee in the studio stained them. It highlighted a potential issue with their robustness and applying any varnish would take away the matt finish I like that contrasts with the sheen on the porcelain clays.

I then tried using grogged course grain clays cut with templates cut on the laser cutter, these are still in development and I am deliberating on whether to use a natural clay appearance for plinths and shelves or some coloured vitreous slips. I am still working on this and have a few kilns booking to test the results.

I have also been wrapping up my essay for Mahnaz, I have really enjoyed connecting Geology with Philosophy. These subjects excite me and are a never ending source of inspiration for my work. The very deposits of clay the geology of sediments is my materials used in my language of future geologies.