Painting with stones and metal – part three

It always surprises me that when I actually watch someone and then have a go myself, how much easier it can be than my initial thoughts of doing it. Painting with egg tempera is one of those skills…once I was shown how to do it I was off!

Gather everything together…..pestle and mortar, eggs, bowls, paper, minerals, disposable palate and painting equipment

Separate egg yoke from egg white and prepare egg yoke.

Whisk egg yolk with a little vinegar.

Mix egg yolk with mineral powder on palate

A small amount of water may be required to prepare the mineral, use of a muller and stone would have been useful here, to reduce the size of the particles for painting to get a smoother finish.

Amounts of paint required need to be estimated prior to making up as the length of time the paint will keep is restricted due to the natural nature of the ingredients.

Natural colours found around guardia from stones, metal and found objects.

I colore di guardia – colour wheel.

It will be a while before I can test the other stones and soil samples in the kiln, but i’ll post an update when I have one. In the meantime, this technique will be useful for a couple of projects I have coming up in the next few months….watch this space.


Artichoke paper – part two

The quest to make paper from what i find around me continues…


Now that the fibres have been cleaned and steeped, i gave them a bit of a jzijz, with the blender and we then pressed what water we could get out of them.


The frame was made from found fabric and wood, and fits perfectly in the sink


Then add the fibre…and after a few tries we get the fibre, mesh and paper pulp mixture correct and start to make paper.


Once the pulp is ready the making process begins!


After going through this lengthy process i reflected on the effort going into making paper and asked helena ‘why would anyone do this’, her reply ‘well i guess it’s preferable to chewing bark’, she has a point!

From Potholes to Landfill 27th April 2013

I’m involved in organising this event at the end of the month at SSW, get in touch with Emily if you’re interested in coming along, should be an interesting day. We’ve got a geologist, archaeologist, anthropologist, ceramicists and environmentalists so far!


From Potholes to Landfill: where does clay come from? what is clay? where is it going?

Saturday 27th of April

Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Lumsden

pothole (plural potholes)

1.  (archaeology) A pit resulting from unauthorized excavation by treasure hunters or vandals.

In celebration of the new ceramics workshop emerging and taking shape here at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop, we are holding a one day event: Potholes to Land Fill. This workshop will be a combination of conversation around and practical engagement with clay, bringing together practitioners with different practices, knowledge and modes of research, in order to help build and develop the SSW ceramics workshop as an exciting destination for exploring the possibilities of clay and its relations with landscape, work, ecology, art and science.

The workshop will be a forum where theory and discussion meets practice and making. We will be working with clay through its journey…

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From 2D to 3D

While i’m waiting for the kiln to cool, I’ve been thinking about how to transfer my interpretation of the poems into three dimensions. I have so many choices…..the narrative, the characters, the objects, emotions and relationships.

Through the wood block prints i aim to distill the emotions, characters and the context of the poems into visual haiku, capturing my interpretation of Catriona’s poetry into a two dimensional world which is 15cm x 15cm square.

20130913-203947.jpgI inhale your breath, visual haiku of Catriona Yule’s poem The Unborn Child.

My next challenge is to transfer the poetry into three dimensions. What do I focus on? How do I get the message across? So many choices.

I’m interested in the way that poetry takes on a new life when the poet finishes the work. That when people read or listen to it being performed a new relationship develops between the poem and the reader. I like to maintain this in my wood cuts and ceramics. Catriona’s poetry is full of movement, it is about a stormy night, with the wind, weather and waves being additional characters in the scenes. There is a theatrical element to the event where you’re both the viewer and the viewed.

Tension, movement and relationships are words that keep coming to mind when I read the poems. Great starting points for new work. However, all this will have to wait until I get access to a pottery, for now these ideas will have to stay on the page. Until, the next time we meet, farewell clay.

day ten – the swimming pool expedition

Today is the last day of the residency! I’d love to have longer here, to do more and get more involved in the community. I move to Huntly in a few weeks time, where I’m hoping to get more involved in a community, there seems to be quite a lot to get involved with in the North of Aberdeenshire, which Im really looking forward to. One thing I will miss about Portsoy is its sky and sea and the amazing sunrises and sunsets, here is the one this morning!

20130912-215329.jpgWith such great weather, today will be a busy day; moving out of the caravan, a walk at 1000 and another this afternoon.

As i didn’t manage to find the outdoor swimming pool earlier in the week, we set off towards the West Braes looking for signs of its past and present. We made our way through the little streets and along the coastal path beside the old town wall.

20130912-215542.jpgIt wasn’t long before we found ourselves walking along the coast and towards a disused quarry. This area used to be where they quarried for the Portsoy Marble, or polished serpentine to be exact, which was cut from a vein of Serpentine which runs across the braes to the west of the harbour. Portsoy Marble was greatly appreciated for its beauty and was used in the construction of parts of Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles.

20130912-215703.jpgWalking around the coast, you eventually see the concrete of the old outdoor swimming baths.

20130912-221609.jpgThe swimming pool closed in the late eighties/early nineties (?) as families were starting to head off on package holidays and spending less time holidaying at home. Leanne, who I was walking with, remembered swimming here as a child. We spent some time hearing the voices of the generations of children enjoying the sun warmed salty water, skinned knees and getting sand in their ice cream. We both agreed it would be a brilliant location for a light show, outdoor cinema or a location for a ghost film!

20130912-222125.jpgheading home to The Salmon Bothy for the last time, I remembered the many people I’ve met, friends I’ve made and memories I’ve gathered while in Portsoy.

20130912-222254.jpgAnd to finish off an inspiring and colourful ten days, one last sunset made a dissappearance.