Sculpture blog

  • Recently, Fiona Tunnicliffe who is a ceramist specialising in stylised animals, lead a workshop here at Keirunga Potters, Havelock North. Her method of hand building in clay required careful timing (drying of the clay) and a good understanding of animal expression.

    Fiona texturises her clay slab, tears it to shape and builds up from the base to form legs, body, neck, etc. Her work is finished by firing with oxides which settle into the textured surface.
    Posted: Friday 22 February 2013
  • Just before Christmas Lynda, a fine arts graduate and award winning ceramist (Portage 2012)moved into my studio to begin working on her own projects. Having worked alone for some years it is an interesting adjustment, one that will prove very productive as we swap knowledge and bounce ideas. For now, I am still in holiday mode and have just finished the surface of the large terracotta piece with slips oxides and stains.
    Posted: Wednesday 9 January 2013
  • A larger figure this time
    I'm using the red terracotta to form a semi-reclining female form, she's propping herself up on one elbow, head down in a reflective mood.
    Posted: Monday 10 December 2012
  • Multiple figure sculpture
    Earlier this year I was staying with my son and his family when they produced a new baby, a girl. When mother and child came home the family of 5 year old Dylan, 2 year old Jonas and mum and dad were constantly in a state of adoration of the new baby. This is my Christmas gift to them.
    Posted: Tuesday 4 December 2012
  • The male head study has turned out to look like my nephew David McKenzie! I was seeking a good-looking man with life experience written large and David emerged - there was no intention to reproduce his likeness.
    Posted: Wednesday 28 November 2012
  • I am delighted with the handling qualities of Abbotts Brick Red terracotta clay. Whilst it is smooth and not highly grogged holds up well and is pleasanter to use than many of the stonware clays, not sticky as the sculptural stoneware clay used for the standing figures. I made a study of a male head, I began with a female head study,seeking inspration from a drawing by Picasso and as I worked it morphed into an older male. This has happened before.
    Posted: Tuesday 20 November 2012
  • Active poses
    For some time I have been developing the 'active' poses which are so expressive and exuberant but are technically difficult in clay. The clay is soft and moist and trying to create standing poses as though dancing, mean the piece can keel over thanks to gravity. So, I am working through this by making the body and legs separately and allowing them to harden as they dry out a bit and then welding them together with slip.

    Here is one which has leaned a bit.
    Posted: Monday 19 November 2012
  • WSE a delight
    The Wildflower Sculpture Exhibition was very successful in spite of a few very cold days. The sun shone on Saturday and it was fabulous to see the poppies in their full colour.

    With so many sculptures of all sizes and themes on view in acres of garden, it was a highlight of the Hospice Holly Trail week.

    I sold 7 sculptures, 3 large and 4 smaller work which was such a thrill and affirmation.
    Posted: Tuesday 13 November 2012
  • A new work for hanging on a wall. Beautiful red terracotta decorated with slips, stains and glaze it is large for me. I had to divide it inot 4 pieces for firing and then put it back together again, a common practice with larger work. See it in sculpture gallery.
    Posted: Tuesday 13 November 2012
  • 24 October 2012
    Having met and talked with Paul Pepworth of Abbotts glazes, who has created a range of mid-fire glazes which when layered one over another create exciting and unpredictable colour effects, I now have the intention of running a series of tests on the clay types that I use to discover what effects will result. I have made many tiny torsos in a sculptural clay (cream) and tiles in terracotta which are awaiting the initial bisque firing.
    Posted: Wednesday 24 October 2012

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