New Ideas, New Clays

I'm approaching my time at the Blackpool School of Art to combine a series of different skills.

As an artist I have had a portfolio career, working in formal education, being a potter making contemporary tableware, making sculptural experimental pottery to talk about place and the environment, and then at the opposite end of the scale making bright and colourful paintings since 2020.

A selection of clays The Four Clays

So I thought the best way to start the project was with a range of clay samples. I have gone with a range of different colours. Black, Red, Grey and White.

Dandelions in a sgraffito vase

I know for the finished work I want to create artwork on a white surface, but if I was referencing my sgraffito work of the past, I create layers in the clay itself, with a high iron stoneware body that I have produced myself with a high white slip which I then scratch away the design.

The problems with sgraffito are that it takes so much time, generally, I don't use an underdrawing as that would add to the time, if the slip layer isn't thick enough can become transparent, and finally coloured clays whether produced by myself or commercial clays because they can be so oxide rich they can bloat and grow bubbles.

In designing new work I have to keep this past knowledge in the back of my mind, but I am always open to testing new clays to see how they work out.

Colourful sketchy watercolour painting

Lots of decisions still to make but I'm excited by the possibilities.

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