oak ash and thorn

close up of plateI’ve been eyeballing images, not making, this week. One of the difficulties of making 3D objects is that you have to photograph them for shows, galleries, and websites. And sometimes, what looks great in real life looks terrible in the photo – even with a great photographer like Sussie Ahlburg.

bookSussie tragically died in an accident recently. I am getting her book, partly to remember her amazing images but also to help me improve my own photography. Sometimes with a close deadline it’s impossible to schedule a session with a professional.
platesI have a stack of four bone china plates, decorated with sprigs: but all the photographs look terrible. By the way, these are partly inspired by my love of blanc-de-chine with prunus sprigs, which I wrote about here.
plateI’m submitting work to the Eisteddfod, as I wrote last week. In the end, I’ve chosen to submit a single plate for this category: mainly because it was the one with the best image and matching close up. Doh!
Naming work is also an art form, so I’ve also spent a lot of time with an old Thesaurus, Google Translate, and the University of Wales’ online dictionary, creating names that are good in Welsh and in English. I would love to have a Welsh thesaurus, in Welsh ‘geirgrawn cymraeg’, although I have yet to persuade Google to find me one.
The whole series of work is called ‘dail o’r dyffryn’ – ‘leaves from the valley’. The bone china plates – or rather, now, plate, are ‘oak ash and thorn’ in English. In Welsh, it sounds better with a different tree order ‘ynn a derw drain’. It’s a kind of minor form of intertextuality, I suppose.


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