Every October, artists all over the world take on the Inktober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month.

– Jake Parker

So I decided yesterday that I would do Inktober again this year. Inktober is a challenge created by Jake Parker to try and improve drawing skills with a focus on doing an ink drawing every day in October.

Last year I did a still life every day based with an improvised tool, including some dip pens I made out of clay that had varying success.  I really enjoyed making and finding different tools and even made a few brushes out of various material including my own beard.

ink and bleach skulls

So this is the start of my inktober challenge for 2017

This year I am playing with ink and bleach.  The beach is mixed with water and added to the ink drawing to create different effects.  It is something I did in art school which was really fun and random.

The ink in question is black Quink by Parker as it easily bleaches the colour out, the only thing is it is much more blue than I remember.  The card is like cereal packet card but without anything printed on it so glossy on one side and grey on the other.

Probably limit myself to something like skulls for ease of a theme.


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With my work I decided some time again that I wanted to make playful work especially as we has limited time, so why make something serious and stagnant.

It’s about make pots that contain energy and liveliness, which can be difficult in a medium that becomes “set in stone”. I can’t just hand a customer a soft clay pot and touch the fresh clay and let them feel how alive it is, and how the slightest movement can change its form, but I want to leave that impression that it was touched with hands and not just mass made to “perfection” as it were.

So last year I started looking at ways I could play with the imagery of pottery. I started looking at ways I could transpose this idea of playfulness onto my photography and presenting my work but just on a white background.

dandelion in a pot with bokeh plant pots

Pots are so much better in use and I love dandelions they are so bright and cheerfu; and I let them grow in my garden, so I picked one and thought it would look good against the terracotta plant pots in the garden.

little hand stacks cups

The apprentice really wanted to help take photographs so I let him help me set up what I wanted and took photos of him as he went about the setting up as I asked. His hands moving the pots about are far more alive than the ones which I had initially set up to do.

My sons idea of a photography setup

With the props and pottery I had around the apprentice set up this scene as he really wanted his train to be in the pictures. But the colours and the idea of putting things in pots that don’t fit grabbed my attention.

a progression of colour in pots

Inspired by the apprentice I took this shot, looking at it now, I wish the yellow was a lemon or an orange.

Plates hanging on the line

One day I wondered how it would look if I hung some pots out on the line and there is the sense that they could fall and smash that really adds to it. It is just missing some colour, maybe some clothes or some flowers growing in the background.

I really want to play with imagery some more.  I have some weirder ideas in my mind that involve models but they require props I don’t have either so won’t be happening anytime soon. Though I do want to make food to especially photograph on some pieces.

Just wish I had a bit more time to fit everything I want to do in, things are a bit limited due to the day job, but it is what it is.


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Stuck in a Loop

Every so often my thinking gets stuck in a loop, thinking the same things over and over and not solving anything. At the moment it is photography there is so much to think about.

I have a to do list which feels extensive

1->I have to set up an on-line shop
-> this requires two things:

  1. setting up a payment method
  2. taking photographs of everything I already have

2->I need to apply to craft/pottery fairs
-> these need a variety of things:

  1. I need to work out what I want to show
  2. make that work
  3. photograph it
  4. write all my artist information

3->Apply to galleries/shops

  1. I need to work out what I want to show (dependant on the place)
  2. make that work
  3. photograph it
  4. write all my artist information
  5. write a personalised pitch and market to them

4-> Start posting more often on social media
-> I have a few things I want to do on social

  1. Post lifestyle shots
  2. Using pottery in food photography
  3. Make more short videos for social media
  4. Make more longer videos for YouTube
  5. share more of my daily art
  6. share some of my poetry

I my mind is obsessed with photography at the moment and I spend all my free time researching different techniques and set ups, but just can’t commit to buying anything and it is driving me up the wall as I keep doubting myself. I didn’t like my previous setup of a light tent, I never liked anything I took with that set up.

I can’t afford a professional for all my photography at the moment and I know from looking at my own instagram feed I really need to improve what I do for social media too.

I really just need to get on with it, there is so much to do.

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On Your Corner

No new post this week as I have been preparing for the first workshop for “On Your Corner” in collaboration with LeftCoast.

Pottery workshops

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Open for Business

Yes we are reopening the pottery

So I was given the opportunity to run some workshops for LEFTCOAST our local arts organisation and I decided it was as good a time as any to start the business back up again. I have been thinking about starting up again anyway but this was the major kick I needed to get going.

Continue reading

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