Adam Buick - inspired by landscape

Ceramic artist Adam Buick's pottery studio is near St.Davids on the west coast of Wales. He is inspired by the Pembrokeshire landscape, and incorporates slate pebbles and clay from the beaches there into his work which is based on Moon Jars, a Korean form dating from the Choson Dynasty. The name Moon Jar comes from their round shape and the milky color of the glaze, reminiscent of the full moon.

Papier mache masks

Firenze of Papier Mâché is a group of people who began making traditional Commedia dell’Arte masks and other works in papier mâché in the 1980s. Based in Florence, some of their pieces incorporate the work of  Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, along with other local influences. Here is a sample of their inspirational work.

Mixed media - acyrlic ink and paint

Artist Robert Joyner demonstrates his methods of using acrylic ink and paint. This tutorial has some fresh ideas to create more expressive and loose paintings.

Pennsylvania Redware Pottery

Pennsylvania Redware is one of the oldest pottery techniques in the U.S., introduced from Germany in the 1600's. Denise Wilz demonstrates the style of pottery using contempary materials and techniques. She has also written an article about Pennsylvania Redware. Kevin McConnell describes it as America's Folk Art Pottery.

The creative process of making a microcosm of one's world

Helen Pickles, during her BA Ceramics in Cardiff, is inspired by museum display cases and creates a quite complex multimedia microcosm of her world during the school year.

Making the Creative Process Visible - Full Films: Helen Pickles BA Ceramics UWIC 2008 from Dr. Natasha Mayo on Vimeo.

The Aran Sweater

To celebrate St. Patrick's day I thought I would share with you this delightful video about the Aran sweater. These sweaters are knitted with many distinct patterns of stitches, and were warm and rain resistant, ideally suited for the farmers and fishermen of the islands.

Situated in Galway Bay, the Aran Islands (Inishmór, Inishmaan and Inisheer)  have been inhabited for some 4000 years and the prehistoric forts of Dún Aengus and Dún Chonchúir are thought to have been built in the second century BCE.

Silversmith, Hiroshi Suzuki

Hiroshi Suzuki is a leading contemporary silver artist. Born in Japan he gained a BA in silver-smithing from Tokyo University, and an MA at the Royal College of Art in 1999. He creates complex forms from flat sheets of silver. Watch him at work as he anneals silver, raises a form from it with hammers, then uses hammers and a snarling iron to raise ridges in the work to add texture.

Suzuki believes that if a fully-developed idea already exists in his head there is little point in executing it. For him the excitement of creation lies in the way the piece evolves with his inner feelings. The inspiration for his work comes from within himself. As he works the metal, he feels that he is part of it, flowing and bending with it. He attributes this way of working partly to the Japanese aesthetics of freedom of expression and the finding of beauty in imperfection.

This second video is an artist statement by Hiroshi Suzuki:

Thoughts on art and assemblage

Gary Reef is an Australian mixed media artist who now lives in a remote part of Norway. In this video he shares his thoughts on art and assemblage as he works on his latest assemblage shrine.

Knitting; casting on

Casting-on is the first step in any knitting project. It is also used in other parts of a design, such as button-holes, and anywhere where new stitches are needed that do not depend on earlier stitches. Here is just one way of casting-on.

How to cast on for knitting from Maria Volk on Vimeo.

George Shaw exhibition, The Sly and Unseen Day

Artist George Shaw takes us on a private tour of his exhibition The Sly and Unseen Day at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, England. His paintings, made in model maker's enamel paints, are of the postwar council estate outside Coventry where he grew up and has been painting for 15 years. the exhibition runs until 15 May 2011.

The book in context

Students studying for their BA (Hons) Book Arts and Design at University of the Arts London talk about their work shown in the exhibition, The Book In Context.

Interrogating not only the artifact's form, its structure and materiality, but also concepts of sequence and narrative, reading and authorship, Book Arts investigates the Book as a creative medium in its own right. The discipline moves from Fine Arts, Graphic Arts and Design and the traditions of book production and publishing and is delimited only by our evolving ideas of what constitutes 'bookness'.

Swill basket making

If yesterdays post made you wonder what a swill maker does, here is a video of Owen Jones, swill basket maker.

The rim of the basket is made from steamed hazel. The rest is made from oak which has been boiled, riven into thin strips and dressed with a knife. The whole process takes between 4 and 5 hours.

Hi-tech mixed media

This mixed media sculpture, 'Mystical Romantic Instrument', is made from a broken router, copper wire, flashing LED circuits from broken toys and a Picaxe 14m microcontroller.

If you want to add a microcontroller to your artwork, here are some books that will get you started.

The table-top blacksmith

This will probably make a real blacksmith laugh, but if you want to make some metal glow and beat it into new shapes, you don't need a full scale forge.

This lady likes her new torches that turn on and off with the flick of a switch. Judging by how quickly the metal looses its heat, I think it would be better to use a more traditional torch that could be left burning all the time. This would allow you to quickly reheat the work without having to put your tools down, change hands or wave a burning torch around, and generally work a lot safer.

Whatever you choose, be careful!

Paper Mache sculptor Jane Lennon

Jane Lennon shows some of her sculptures and talks about her paper mache techniques.

You can read more about Jane at the Dictionary of Australian Artists Online.