a play with porcelain

14 Mar

WEEK SEVEN – (february 16-17)

The feathers are moving along slowly and my mind turns to clay.
I am considering the part that the quill/shaft could play in making these paint chip feathers come together.
For some works I see the need for something firm and dimensional so I pull out the bag of leftover porcelain that I loved using whilst doing sessions at THE CLAY HOUSE in 2013.

A space is needed that won’t be too badly affected by clay dust – it is so invasive – so a table is cleared upstairs and the floor covered with vinyl drop sheets.
I have a bit of a play and prototype some quills – a simple matter of rolling coils – I can push these out and refine them quite easily. The problem is attaching them to the paint chips or fabric feathers that I may make. Do I make holes to stitch them? Can I slice them in half then re-attach? Do I flatten their backs to glue them?
Not sure yet, I’ll find the solution when it is needed.

trialling porcelain quills


I also play with some (very rough) handles and bases for sculptural forms I am thinking about for another series started a couple of years ago. 
Here I experience frustration, not the immediate magic one always hopes for – I need a bigger rolling pin, some better boards to work on, a banding wheel and I really need to set up a place to control the drying and storage.

I always find it hard going without good equipment. I want tools to help me, to collaborate with me, not to frustrate me. I need to lose myself in the making.
My general way with clay is not to draw up plans but to simply find my way with the clay on the day…alas, there is no magic in the making at the moment. I may have to approach this by making some templates first.
 The trial quills can sit and wait for my return when I have a better workspace structure.
No hurry, I have made a start.

Meanwhile another backtrack.
My past life as STARGAZEY QUILTS owner/designer needs to be revisited regularly  – at least until I finish uploading all of my back-catalogue onto PATTERNSPOT.
I no longer hold print copies of my quilt patterns but there is still demand for them.
My aim was to finish all the edits and have them ready to upload by the end of 2014 but whilst I motored through many I did not reach my target.
 This year I refuse to prioritise this task over my other newer commitments, let alone the new work which is meant to be the total focus of the year, BUT I have just uploaded both Sailboatz and Orangez & Lemonz.

Orangez & Lemonz pattern cover Sailboatz pattern cover


I still have a minimum of thirteen more to do….as soon as possible!

Jan Mullen

B. Ed. Art/Craft (Textiles/Sculpture) Living in Perth, Western Australia Artist, Fabric Designer, Author, Teacher, Mentor.