Wednesday, April 26, 2017


I  was given the day off work today as I was not needed, so I lit the kiln this morning.
It is sunny but cold. My hands are aching. Sitting here watching the wood burn and entertaining the dogs, enjoying the smoke, heat and sunshine.
I have been under the weather lately. I think it has been building up but came to a head a few weeks ago.
I have been getting pains in my limbs and joints. My hands are stiff and swollen, I feel disconnected from my body, weak. This is frustrating to say the least. I consider myself a bit of an Amazonian, I can lift heavy sacks and do a days manual labour not a problem. I work as a waitress, so I cart trays of cutlery all day, running around like a blue arse fly trying to meet everyones needs and get things done, with a smile of course. I usually enjoy, (if that is the right word), the hard work, it gives me a buzz in its own little way, knowing a job well done. But now my shoulders are on fire lifting trays, and my hands ache sweeping the floors, I feel like I am going to walk into things and forget peoples orders.
I have been to the doctor, got the bloods done. No inflammation came up, but that doesn't mean anything. Have to go to a rheumatologist of all things as they expect arthritis. I also requested a limes test, the results have not come through yet.
I am tired, I ache, my mind is a fog, and I am low. As an artist it is difficult; as I said my hands don't work properly, making holding a pencil uncomfortable, I can't concentrate on new work very well, or I am to tired to make anything and honestly I am surprised I have gotten this much written.
I will be interested to see what the outcome is.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Untitled, Figure (New Sculpture)

I found this piece of wood a few weeks ago on the beach. I thought it was beautiful and really interesting, and new instantly what I wanted to do with it. 
It took a bit of searching but I found a silicone mold of a woman's face online, When it arrived I found it a lot smaller than I anticipated as I wanted it for another piece of wood I have, luckily it is the perfect match for this piece.
I took part in a porcelain master class with Ursula Burke a couple of weeks ago in hopes to use the mold for the slip casting process, of course I discovered you cant use silicon molds for slip casting, but I kept going and stuck with it. I used polymer clay and also regular clay to make press molds of the face. I have yet to fire the clay molds but as you can see in this new sculpture the polymer clay has worked quit well.
For this sculpture I used simple tools, my pen knife (in bad need of a sharpen), sand paper, and a lino cutter. I gouged out the space for the face, making the hole bigger so it rests nicely in the wood cavity. The bottom half of the figure has had little done to it. a bit of a clean up, removing shells and  cleaning up the folds in the wood, I then painted it gold.
The whole piece has been sanded and waxed with bee wax.
This is a continuation of the project, Sacred Feminine 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Porcelain Masterclass with Ursula Burke

Today I took part in a porcelain slip casting class with artist Ursula Burke. An enjoyable day of making funny little objects from the various casts of everyday items provided for the class. This is a process I would definitely like to pursue; I have done some basic casting in college for my degree show, but I was hoping we would learn to make or own casts today but perhaps on a later date there will be another class, or most likely I will have to do some serious googling on how to do it myself.
Hopefully there will be more classes of this calibre in Limerick, a great way for artists to meet up and get out of their rut. Some photos from today are below. Hopefully in the next week or two I will have the finished pieces fired and ready to go. I can't wait to see what the black porcelain looks like.
 As per usual my pieces are rough and messy.

The mystery old, black porcelain slip and the various tools.

My lovely little ol' mould full of slip

A bar of soap. My mystery mould was a bar of soap... I moved on.

Ursula Burke demonstrating, and everyone else pouring the slip into the moulds.

Next mould, a heart, a bit more interesting..

My two finished pieces. Unfortuently the moulds started to disintegrate so I couldn't add more to the piece on the left, i was thinking an orange or a lemon..