The Trickster

The Trickster

This is a ceramic sculpture I’ve made for the show I am having at my house as part of the Cornwall Open Studio event .
It would appear to me that Badgers take the form of a trickster figure in rural British life .
With in the TB debate they are seen as the cause of a great many ills in the fortunes of farmers . The truth of the matter does not seem to be resolved and ther are inaccuracies in both sides of the debate . My Uncle Dan , a Welsh hill farmer , used to believe they were responsible for many things like eating new born lambs and flattening fields of corn . They do of course live in the bowels of the earth , some where on the journey to hell and come out in the dark at a time when most of us are asleep . perhaps they live in our sub-conscious dreams , in a place we are not sure of .

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Red Kite

Red Kite

This is an 8 foot carving of a Red Kite I made for the Wallaces near Reading . The Beech Tree had to be cut down and they wanted something creative to come out of what was a very sad event . This is situated just outside their fence and so can be seen ( enjoyed? ) by the neighbours and visitors to the area . It was a very intense but very happy week . I think I was spoiled rottten by the Wallaces . Oh , and there were Red Kites every where , bloomin marvelous

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New Ceramics

IMG_4793IMG_4792IMG_4791IMG_4790IMG_4789IMG_4788IMG_4786New Ceramics

The photos are of some new larger pieces for the Open Studios event at the end of this month . I am also having some of the previous smaller pieces cast in bronze ( with the assistance of Hilton Fine Art ) and these are an experiment in trying to increase the scale of the work . The smaller pieces usually start with a ball of newspaper but it doesb’t really work on a larger scale so I’m having to explore coil and slab and hollowing out . I’m also having fun trying to control the black slips and white slip washes .

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three more flat fish : Sun Fish

I enjoyed making the three previous flat fish so much I thought I would continue the experiment .Its mostly about the sufaces of the wood , the colours achieved with different waxes and the arrangement of spots . With Setting Sun , the red one , I tried to use spiral phylotaxis , I discovered that what worked on a flat surface needs to be translated to function on the curved surface of the fish , a bit of trial and error .
Its an interesting question as to what they stand on . These are quite simple but I think I would like to apply those designs I have tried on the ceramic fish . Although I love creating those perfect surfaces the hand made finish of the ceramic fish could be an interesting proposition when applied to wood . I’ve been looking at the work of Sven Berlin and he achieves a great deal of life in his carvings although his craftsmanship , in the light of modern carvers , is slightly sketchy . Does Craft interfere with Art ?

Summer Sun

Wellingtonia Wood

Wellingtonia Wood


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and Finally

and Finally

May be its a Finally of Flat fish . As the eyes move from both sides to just the top . there is something very final about being flat

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the fish i thought was in the previous addittion

the fish i thought was in the previous addittion

took bloomin’ ages to do the spots .
I was looking at Jim Partridge’s work ( furniture )
He seems to get a much deeper burn . i think he puts his in the fire , where I only burn with a gas torch . Must be more adventurous

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Flat Fish ( plural )

Flat Fish ( plural )

what is the collective noun for flat fish ( other than Shoal , of course)

I don’t know what it is but I find the shapes , forms and patterns of flat fish endlessly fascinating .
They really aren’t sculptural , as in big fat Henry Moores but like the clay work it feels like the begining of a journey .
Its not on a map ,I don’t know where it is . Its not circular nor can I see the end . I’ve got itchy feet ( or hands )

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I enjoyed playing with the form , trying to get the essence of rook , but , is he too simple ?
I love watching them , it like watching humans but in umbrella form . A much maligned species

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Rocket bird

Rocket bird

Similar to Spitfire birds but I’m beginining to play withe the patterns a bit more .
Also finding out how thick the beaks need to be , too thin and they break , not surprisingly .
Seem to have cracked the matt glaze idea , not too high a temperature and not for too long . Now that I know how to maintain it , I need to control the marks .

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Flat Fish and others , I hope


I think I’m becoming a little obsessed with flat fish .
The shapes and patterns are beautiful and fascinating .
In my mind there is so much to explore and play with .At the moment it is how simple I can make them ,
how close to a circle can I get .
This addresses the idea of transformation
from what is actually seen
to what information a sculpture needs,
to remain something specific but also allusional .

What is the essence of the visual and the thought .

When I have been snorkelling and seen flat fish swimming ,
they seem to reflect the rays of the sun
and so become the sun themselves

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