not making: all the other stuff

There’s a myth that ‘artisans’ let alone ‘artists’ spend all their time making. Van Gogh, out every day sketching and painting. Gaugin, on his island paradise. No story is made more interesting by including the sordid details of haggling with the landlord, making the dinner, washing up (apart from Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris). Let alone writing to galleries, sending out images of work, etc. etc.
porcelain pot Computers have been good in some ways. I now invoice by email, get paid by direct transfer, apply for residencies and discuss commissions by email. But having the screen as a shop window is hard on 3D objects. Often the best pot doesn’t take the best photograph. And you can’t see scale, or volume, or get a feeling of the pot ‘in the round’.
book cover I’ve just had some new photographs taken, by Fergus Ford. He normally takes wedding pictures, but I’d seen his work photographing objects for the Knitsonic book.
So we had a great session in my workshop (new images for thorn and On the horizon), but even better was the advice and explanation: he explained that my camera lens was distorting the shape of pots in every image I took. It certainly explained a lot.
thorn pot detail Now I have some great images, I’ve also been working to upgrade my software and probably, hardware (I’m still using Windows xp, the equivalent of being in the stone age). Artists now need to understand jpg, gif, png and other graphics standards. It can’t all be left to experts – they are looking for a great image, not a great representation of a pot. Fergus was great, he understood that the materiality of the work he was photographing was important – you can see it in the Knitsonic book. So he gave me some great tips on what to think about and try out.
twirling pot Together we made an animation of one pot – it’s called ‘llanw’ – ‘tide’, created with the shellac technique. The background word can’t be seen without looking at the whole pot – that’s the point – but it means a single image will never show the pot properly. Hence the animation. What so you think? Is it annoying? Having it on continuous loop can be aggravating, I know: I’m working on ways to have a button – ‘press to twirl’.
Of course the Internet’s great in many ways. Here’s a list of “awesome free stuff”, particularly of you are a media or blogger type. (I’m trying to convey irony). You may prefer to use it get some street cred with relations. But some of it is interesting – like Hemingway, which helps you write clear, punchy prose. Good for testing essays!
West Dean Fair 2014I’ve just got the nod for Made at West Dean, 19-21 June in Sussex. It was great last year: an idyllic setting, a good selection of makers, lovely food, workshops to make things yourself. Enjoyable for the makers too.
museumLiterally over the hill is the Weald and Downland Museum. They will have their Wood Show on the same Sat/Sun, with heavy horses as well as all kinds of makers. The two together would make a great day out for the whole family!

10 responses to “not making: all the other stuff

  1. Great animation Carys, would just make it a bit slower personally. very best wishes and I hope to have a chance to see you/your work in person again soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like Chantal’s comment about it emulating the speed of a wheel but I am with her – it is a great animation but very hard to read! I love the way you keep pushing your own boundaries – like trying to create an animation. And I also like the new photos. Great choice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Juliet! It’s weird, often the first batch of new pots come out well, then batch two is horrible (yes, batch two of these was horrible, sadly, in the ‘should be thrown away’, pile)


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