jeudi 2 février 2017

Expo Totem 2016 Centre Anatole de France



 'In the Making'

In the summer of 2016, the town of Clermont Ferrand invited me and another 22 ceramists from the Auvergne region to participate in an exhibition on the theme of 'Totem'.

Mmm food for thought....what could totem possibly mean I ask myself?

Research  took me through the obvious sitings of totem poles from African tribes and native American clans symbolised by different animals and vegetation.  Interestingly, the compilation of these animal divinities with special attributes traditionally carved into the pole are meant to provide a sense of protection and power to the community represented under it's 'banner'.  Therefore, the common element seemed to me that totem represented  the idea of  family and therefore a sense of belonging.

Incidentally, in August 2016 the refugee crises captured my attention as it was at its peak with roughly one million refugees fleeing Syria, Afganistan and Iraq making their way to Europe in hope of sanctuary from war and persecution.  The shock of seeing many migrant casualities, stranded and struggling for life also drowned at sea moved me to ask the question about humanity or lack of it especially from some European leaders failing to act responsibly.

 Therefore my ' totem' is depicted as a sinking ship bound for Europe with humans scrambling up the pole mast to avoid their inevitable death.  The sea will consume and obliterate them from existance, sucking them into the vast collective senselessness.  In this totem these people are not protected, or have any divinities on their side neither a sense of family nor belonging.  Humanity has forsaken them.  These disposessed victims are looking for help but  humanity and it's qualities have turned their back on humankind affected by events that they did not choose or ask for.

The Work


  Here are the raw/green pieces with polished terra sigillata  ready for the bisque firing.  They are made with a mix of grogged stoneware clays.

 The pieces were bisque to 900°c in the first firing so that the terra sigillata would keep it's shine.  I made the totem in four parts that fit together using a plug system to reach a total height of 1.50cm when put together.

I prepared the pieces by using salt, coffee and copper carbonate packages closely tied to the boat with dried banana skin for some coloration in the pit firing.


In this photo, I have prepared the pit with saw dust, horse manure, salt and the green stuff is Carbon Carbonate.  

The piece was fired for about 4 hours with a moderate wind blowing however there was some rain. 


lundi 30 mai 2016

Enfumé par les élèves de la M.P.T

 Juin 2015,

Samedi 21 juin nous sommes 11 élèves de la Maison Pour Tous, chez Vanessa à l'Atelier du Petit Mazilloux .  

Sous un beau ciel bleu, parfait pour la cuisson à la fosse, nous avons commencé la préparation de nos pièces dès le matin.  Nous avons commencé par plier le papier journal en petit paquets, en ajoutant à l'intérieur de ceux-ci  du carbonate de cuivre, du sel, le marre de café et des peaux de bananes. Enfin nous avons enveloppé et ligoté les pièces en céramiques biscuitées (à 900°c) de peaux de bananes et des petits paquets préparés.

La fosse est remplie avec de la sciure, du crottin de cheval, et beaucoup de sel. C'est à l'intérieur de cette fosse que les pièces en céramique sont à moitié enterrées (plus la pièce est enterrée, plus elle sera noircit par la fumée), n'oublions pas de laisser un espace entre chaque pièce pour faire circuler cette fumée qui apporte les minéraux indispensable aux couleurs (aléatoire) jaillissant en fin de cuisson. Allumez le feu et nourrissez-le pendant 4h avec du bois. Laissez-le enfin s'éteindre naturelement.


Students from the Maison  Pour  Tous  had the opportunity to fire their work using a primitive method of decoration using smoke.

  On a nice Summer's day, under a blue sky, ideal for a pit-firing we started the preparation early in the morning.  We made little envelopes out of news paper to hold the salt, coffee grains, and the copper carbonate. We tied these and dried banana skins to the bisqued ceramic pieces fired to 900°c.

The pit is filled with horse manure, coffee grains and wood shavings.  The ceramic pieces are laid into the pit half buried for a more blackened effect, don't forget to leave a space around each piece so that the smoke can circulate and carry with it the minerals that will colour the pièce for the final result.  Lite and feed the fire for 4 hours with wood, and then leave it to burn out naturally.

Projet les Quatre Elements: Périscolaire Le Monastier


Les quatre éléments, quatre poissons qui utilisent un de les quatre éléments.


L'eau douce - les rivières

Poisson volant

Gobie - poisson de la terre

Poisson du feu - Le poisson pêcheurs
CE2 et CM1 ont réalisé ce projet avec des bouteilles en plastiques ainsi que les ballons pour la forme, la peinture sur papier découpé en forme d'écailles.             Another school project carried out by 7-9 year olds on the theme of earth,wind and fire and of course water.  They used empty washing liquid bottles for the fishes body, paint and cut out paper fish scales.   The fish themselves are fish that live in water but use one or two of the other four elements in it's make-up. 


mardi 5 avril 2016

Périscolaire 2015: earth wind and fire

Les enfants de CE2 et CM1 du Monastier ont crée avec moi leurs propre tourbillon à vent pour le thème les quatre éléments.
Children from a small village in France created their own paper windmills with me for a project on the four elements.

vendredi 18 septembre 2015

Projet 'fleurs' Périscolaire avec les maternelles de Chadrac 43

Children as young as 2 - 3 years old created these beautiful Spring time flowers for a project completed at Chadrac Infant's school.

They painted paper either red or yellow, and painted an egg box cup either black or yellow, depending on which flower they were creating. They cut out the shapes of the flowers carefully using scissors (I was well impressed) and then assembled them onto sticks.

Little hands made the ladybird flower holder out of clay and coloured engobes which were then fired before they took their créations home.

Les maternelles ont crée ses jolie fleurs de printemps pour un projet faite à l'école Maternelle de Chadrac.

vendredi 22 mai 2015

Projet ' Poule' - Maternelle de Chadrac 2015

Simple et charmant, ces poules sont faciles à réaliser pour les petites mains de maternelle.  Un projet pour deux séances.

assiettes en carton
les yeux mobile gommettes