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Category Archives: Other artists

Other artists that are of significant influence

Looking over my childrens’ books, seeking inspiration for my Reception Class, I realise that I LOVE these children’s books. Love them more than any adult book. The collection we have amassed through gifts and regular trips to book havens: the Owl Bookshop in Kentish town and Daunt Books in Belsize Park, is a wonder to behold. Shelves of charm from Ed Vere to the intricate details of Satoshi Kitamura. Of course they are all tied up with parenthood and nurture. Each has a memory: a birthday gift, a reward for achievements. These glorious books have carried us through from burbling baby to essay writing eleven year old. Helen Ward’s The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse is just exquisite, & Naughty Nina from Anna-Laura Cantone is perfectly bonkers! I have completely fallen for these illustrated books.

So it took me a while to settle on which book to work with in the Reception Class, I plumped for a combination of old favourites John Burningham and Eric Carle and relative new comer to us Catherine Rayner, whose beautiful ‘Augustus and his Smile’ will form the basis of our exploration into illustration.

Last weekend in preparation I made these mark making tools from scraps I found in our field. Tools to scratch and scape, to push and trail, to splash and flick. I think they enjoyed using them. I certainly did.

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So it’s half term and I changed the habit of a life time and let the children in the studio. It has been really lovely actually, as they are all of an age to enjoy it too. Little LB made a coil pot and a mug on the wheel. C made a mug and a vase, and P made a jug and a mug.
A little family of pots now sit in the studio drying. And we are all quite tired!

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Still life, Coloured Pencil on Paper

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Still Life, Drawing Coloured Pencil on Paper, full page

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A larger pic so you can see the detail…hopefully

I worked longer on this one than I have on any thus far. My cousin asked for more so I got very enthusiastic at the fruit stall. And why not! Here is the most colour filled beautiful fruit I have seen. Apart from in paintings by Frida Kahlo and others of that ilk.
So here you go Cuz this one’s for you!

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Line Drawing Charcoal on Paper

 

So I keep on going. Thinking and drawing, drawing and thinking. I am trying to remember why I did what I did, made what I made. Mostly I remember a sense of peace. A sense of place. Placement.

From idea to clay would often be a journey of about two years. An idea would appear then disappear, slipping back into the soup bubbling at the back of my mind. If the idea was strong enough it would flip itself forward again some months later. Then again, until eventually the idea would take form and exist independently.

I am drawing now, to fill the pot. Chopping and thinking. Discarding and keeping. Hopefully something good is bubbling away in there.

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Shoe making; cutting tyres to size.

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Partoti getting instruction from Ndekayo

Ndekayo and Partoti make shoes from motorcycle tyres. Very clever use of found materials.

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Fixing the Straps with Nails

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Finished shoes

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Lovely thrown pot in chunky unforgiving clay.

He said I should come back and  “we’ll discuss some more” and I think I will…

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Coil Building lovely big pots on turntable

 

It’s been a really tough week  in Nairobi. The Westgate Mall attack has dominated my mind. On Wednesday I did a days teaching making ‘Enkaji’ Maasai Huts with a group of Year 1 students.  It was a fun day and good to get away from the terrible rolling news. We went to this magnificent place to get the clay.& I loved it!