Friday, 21 September 2018

Monday, 17 September 2018

Thursday, 31 May 2018


Pinchpots in China
A residency at Lanzhou City University, Gansu Province, China

23rd May - 19th July 2018

I was one of three artists invited as artists-in-residence and visiting professors at Lanzhou City University, Gansu Province, China.
The other two participants were Patsy Cox, Professor at California State University, Northridge, Los Angeles, USA and Keith Ekstam, Professor at Missouri State, Springfield, Missouri, USA. The whole concept of the residency, and the organisation of the project together with his Chinese counterparts, is in the hands of Keaton Wynn - Georgia Southwestern State University who also participated as Artist-in-Residence and guide to all the complexities of living and working in Lanzhou.

On the 22rd May I flew from Copenhagen to Stockholm, where I switched planes to the Air China flight to Beijing, and from there caught a connecting flight to Lanzhou.
Arriving at Lanzhou airport I was met by two students from the ceramic department and a driver. The airport is about 70 kms from the city, and the fine toll road passes through a landscape dominated by strangely eroded mountains. 

We stayed for the duration of the residency in the small hotel “Shijia Inn” 5 minutes walk down a shady street from the Ceramic Studio of Lanzhou City University.



We had most of our meals at a restaurant close to the hotel.
Dinner - from an enormous menu with many imponderable translations, but fortunately photos of everything on the menu.

 Market stalls on the street outside the hotel

On our first Sunday, after the morning studio time, we (Keith, Patsy and I) set off to walk down to the Yellow River - with the help of vague verbal instructions and digital maps. Here is a little photo sequence of the walk.



It took me some time to get used to the clay and to find out just what it could and could not 
do:  it was very short” for coiling, but pinching worked quite well.
As it could only fire to cone 6 I decided to treat it as an earthenware clay and fire to under 1000C and use terra siggilata slips made from all the local clays I could find.  Perhaps I would be able to pit-fire some of the work.......

Wonderful ancient pots of the region were the source of much inspiration.

QiZi (studio technician) pinching

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Picasso at Louisiana

Picasso's Ceramics is on at the Louisiana Museum of Art in Humlebæk, Denmark until the 27th May.

Stunning bull fighting platters with drama and perspective, sunlight and shadow!

Leaving the museum at 21.30 - it's not long til midsummer

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Pots from the latest firing

This last firing of the Bourry Box train kiln "Skælskør Express" was just about perfect - there was not one piece that came to grief. The only two small pots which had fused together were easily split from each other, under water, with a light tap from a wooden mallet. Each had  a rather becoming scar, soon smoothed away. Here is a selection of bowls and other pieces from the kiln.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Firing the Train kiln "Skælskør Express"

Last week I booked in to Guldagergaard for a firing of the Train kiln - I hoped that I had collected enough work together to fill it entirely myself. It is not a big kiln, but my mainly pinched work doesn't take up much space. I had thrown bowls and mugs for the rear lower temperature section, and they would all be glazed. I had just enough work - it was not a tight pack.

 I think it is the first time I have fired this kiln with only my own work in it: a great opportunity to have sole control of every single thing about the firing. And fewer unpredictables with other people's work being involved.
I started the firing at 7am - almost daylight at this time of year. I had great help from Kaeli Benoit who had just arrived two days before from Canada to take up a kiln yard AIR residency. Later in the day Thomas Horner (from Northern Ireland) joined the firing team.
Around 11pm the cones were down (11, 12 in the first section, 13 softening) and 10 bending in the rear section. We continued to fire, and prepared the kiln for closing after midnight. But  when midnight cameI had second thoughts as the temperature had not topped again for some time, so took another hour and got it right up, before stopping around 1.30am. It was a very cold day, minus temperature all day and falling to minus 6 degrees as night fell but with no wind. Two days later I unpacked it.

Kiln opening