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Sunday, 12 March 2017

Spring flower garden in my studio.

When Mike got up about 3AM this morning for bathroom, I told him, 'I am going to place something under bronze glaze before firing so please don't start the kiln.' He was naturally surprised. This is not something he expected to hear from his sleeping wife. Apparently I had been thinking about it in my half-sleep state.

Each glaze-firing is time consuming and important. Loading the kiln takes at least one hour, but sometimes two hours. It is a 3D puzzle in a real life.

And preparing bisque for glaze-firing is even more time consuming and hard work. Among recent masks, Apple tree took the longest to prepare. I was cursing myself. Who on earth made these details without any consideration for painting? Only a fool makes something like this! After 3.5 hours' painting, it was only half done.  Disheartening.

After 3.5hours, it was not finished yet. 
One of the studio tables. 
And next morning.
Certain glaze prefers a high shelf, and others prefer a lower shelf. Masks shouldn't be touching each other.





Intertwined appearance, but all were carefully slid to gaps.




I have to look at them from all directions; so nothing will be even slightly touching.





From a lower angle, they look like this.



Once all were loaded, we took them to the kiln, and carefully placed them inside. As I have broken work during loading too often, I always get quite nervous.

Luckily, the result was great. Half were done and others will need re-firing for minor reasons. The end is in sight.


Friday, 10 March 2017

Work for Ceramic Art London and An exhibition in Normandy.

Preparation for Ceramic Art London and my first exhibition (group) in France are going well.  A few bisque firings and one glaze-firing were done. More to go.

Working solid for weeks is like shaving life a bit and a bit. I will slow down to normal working hours sometime this year. But I have to get these two events done, first!


Apple tree
This mask is inspired by our own apple trees. We have planted three over the years. We and the wildlife enjoy the fruits. There are still a few apples left on the ground. Blackbirds and magpies peck them every day.

The next three works were inspired by the photo I saw on Twitter. In the New Archaeological museum, Patras, Greece, there is a display of a girl's skull with ceramic funeral wreath.



They are pink, yellow and gold. 




After loading the kiln with the masks and a larger piece, I fill the space with smaller animals. 


They are bisque now.




As for other sculptures, I will plan carefully how to load the kiln.


Owl for an exhibition, Normandy
Fish woman
She has eggs at the tail.



And the last one. I had to change the shape of the two balls at the bottom, as they didn't work out.



Owl. 



And his friend.



Those are successfully fired.

Now I am going to do bisque firing-for the rest of work. A problem is I have space to add one more, but there is no room for kiln furniture. I might re-think.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

I'm longing for spring.



This winter seems dark. Flowers in the garden are slow to bloom. I long for spring. I started making works for Ceramic Art London. A theme came naturally. Spring. 


Bird's nest

Snowdrop and Tulip are small masks. 


Snowdrop

Our crocus are still not visible. But red Chaelnomeles are. 

Crocus
Primula


Camellia, Hepatica and catkins. 



We lost all snowdrops and winter Hellebore when we moved a greenhouse last year. I will buy some bulbs this autumn. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Angels have flown

Four Angels have flown to loving homes this winter.  I made them with solid and strong wings this time, as I had requests from the clients. previously I was not able to ship Angels with wings due to the fragility of the wings. But new ones could fly not only in the UK, but also globally. How nice!


I have experimented with different shapes of wings.


The last two Angels were from the New Ashgate Gallery.  Hello, people in Farnham, a lovely town!





I imagine they all watch over their new families. I wish their families peace and good health.

  

Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Madonna

My plan for December was that I was not going to make any work. I had worked non-stop, not a single off-day, since June when I came back from Tokyo. All I would have to do in the month would be packing and posting. It is a very busy month with Christmas posting. But one commission inquiry I shouldn't decline came, and a few days later another inquiry came. I was asked if I would be able to make a mask. It was mid-November. Time was tight. But as I would have to fire the kiln anyway, I would rather make two. The request was also irresistible. They wanted me to make the Madonna mask.

I am not a christian, but I like visiting churches, cathedral and chapels. I have visited numerous churches in Europe. I like Catholic and Orthodox churches because of the sculptures and paintings as well as the decoration.

The Madonna is probably the most popular female subject in art history. She became famous because she gave a birth to someone who would be super famous. What a fate!




But of course she didn't know of such a fate in the future.

I added the recipient's building on the top of the head with Italian rural landscape. The headscarf is pale sky blue. She wears a narrow gold band which reflects her inner status.

It was great to be able to create one of the most depicted lady in history. The clients send me a photo of the recipients opening the gift in Italy. I was told they were very happy. Thank you so much.