For the last year I have been experimenting with firing inside a saggar inside my electric kiln. From the start I have to say anything fired in this method I wouldn’t sell as food safe and to make certain of that I don’t make functional ware with this method, just things that are purely sculptural, albeit quite small sculptures.
So what’s a saggar and what does it do?
A saggar is a sacrificial pot that was originally used in industry to keep ceramic glaze free from ash during the firings, especially with coal as this can make the wares quite dirty. Unlike industry I use my saggars in reverse, I fill them with combustible materials and the pottery so then I can get different affects as the ash combines with the glaze or the ceramic body itself.
This makes a reduction inside the saggar chamber itself which strips oxygen from the clay body which makes the clay itself change colour. This sort of atmosphere is damaging to the electric elements in an electric kiln and the saggar protects the kiln from damage
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
setting up a payment method
taking photographs of everything I already have
2->I need to apply to craft/pottery fairs
-> these need a variety of things:
I need to work out what I want to show
make that work
write all my artist information
3->Apply to galleries/shops
I need to work out what I want to show (dependant on the place)
make that work
write all my artist information
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
Post lifestyle shots
Using pottery in food photography
Make more short videos for social media
Make more longer videos for YouTube
share more of my daily art
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.