Wednesday 25 July 2018

Foliage bowls - Part 1

In the ceramics workshop at Signal Arts Centre in Bray, I decided to try out a new way of designing handbuilt bowls.  Still using the pudding bowls as formers (lined with cling film so that the clay doesn't stick to the bowl) I brought in ferns and wild rose leaves from my yard. I rolled out slabs and cut random shapes that I pressed into the bowl formers, which were also lined with the foliage.

My plan was that I would press the clay into the foliage hard enough that the patterns would remain once the foliage was removed. Though the bowls were free standing alreay, I wanted simple "feet" on them to increase the elegance of the finished bowl, lifting it from a table surface. The feet for both bowls were made simply from slabs that curved around the bottom of the bowls and joined with the scoring, slip and vinegar technique.

Both bowls have their feet, the ferrn bowl is upside down to show off it's foot.

Though the fern bowl's foot is slightly taller, the bowls are approximately the same size at 12 cm.

I carefully removed most of the foliage before putting the bowls in the bisque firing, but any that seemed too embedded was left to burn off in the kiln. This is the bisqued wild rose leaf bowl showing the fluff from the foliage that burnt off in the kiln. This fluff is easy to remove by blowing off or brushing off before glazing. I was thrilled at the detail from the foliage, which provided a great pattern. I immediately knew how it would be glazed -- details next post!

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Artists in conversation: Jesse Jones & Olwen Fouéré

A few weeks ago I was completely taken with Jesse Jones's exhibition, Tremble Tremble, at The Project Arts Centre. I blogged about it here.

I was delighted then when it was announced that Jones would be in conversation with Olwen Fouéré one evening last week. I made my way into Dublin to attend! It was great to hear the two women talk about how the piece developed and in fact, how it is continuing to develop. Each venue is taken into account as the work deals with installation specifities.  

I had already seen Tremble Tremble prior to the conversation but was entirely unaware that there was a water element until it was discussed by Fouéré and Jones! I must have been focused on something else on that first visit to the exhibition, but I did not miss it on a subsequent visit.

I really enjoyed that, during the conversation, Jones passed around two of the physical objects that were used during the elements of live performance in this exhibition. As with the previous artists-in- conversation events that I have attended, there is such great insight into the process behind the artwork that comes out naturally through conversation.

Wednesday 11 July 2018

Artists in Conversation: Julie Merriman & Jessica Foley

At the end of June, I went to The Lexicon gallery (in DLR Co Co library) to see the latest work of Julie Merriman in her exhibition of drawings, Carriage Return. The exhibition consists of large works in the main area and smaller works in the smaller back room

.Merriman's drawing methods and materials are meticulous and unique: she utilises "found" things like pre-used typewriter ribbons, carbon paper, and outdated printing machines (she is the first Irish person I have met who knows what a Gestetner Machine is!).

The drawing above references the wind cowls that are part of the air venting structure that are synonymous with the architecture of The Lexicon complex. As well as seeing the exhibition, I was also attending the artist talk - Julie Merriman was in conversation with writer Jessica Foley, who had written a response to Merriman's work. The conversation offered great insight into the work of both artists, both of whom I have had the occasion to encounter before.

In 2016, I was taking a post-graduate course and Jessica Foley gave an experimental writing workshop one morning, and that afternoon gave a tour of Trinity College's CONNECT building where she is located as writer in residence. That same spring, Julie Merriman had an exhibition of drawings made while in residence at Dublin City Council. I also attended a talk that Merriman made at the time to discuss the residency and the work in the show, entitled Revisions.

Wednesday 4 July 2018

Dublin Pride and Canada Day

It was a busy weekend just past: Saturday June 30 being the day for the annual Dublin Pride Parade and Sunday July 1 being Canada Day (remembered by Canadians worldwide).

The theme for this year's Pride was "We Are Family" and it was the largest Pride parade in Dublin ever, with over 60,000 joyful people participating. The first Pride parade in Ireland was in 1983 with 200 people courageously marching - homosexuality was not decriminalised till 1993!

Along with a Pride flag, the Canadian flag is proudly hanging at Brown Thomas, which is owned by the Weston family (Canadian).

Pumpkin pie is a must for Canada Day, and I make them every year from the mush prepared from the previous Hallowe'en pumpkin (and frozen of course!).