I’ve been back a week and no let up in the pace! It’s been even more of a whirlwind than being in Denmark was, well, what was I expecting? So no time to even blog this week.
After a 22 hour journey door to door, I got back to The Ceramic House and was confronted by the deliveries dominating the living room: 3 massive wooden crates. Unpacking the car quickly filled the whole room and the garage, which is where my 20 boxes of work still reside.
A new intern arrived the next morning and we got stuck straight into unpacking the boxes. Basically we had one day to get all the work out ready for the photo shoot, which was scheduled two days after I got back. The reason for such a tight turn-around was partly the photographer’s availability and partly the necessity to get the catalogue printed in time for the opening. It is important that the catalogue shows photographs of the artwork in situ, as The Ceramic House is the reason for putting the show on, and being an artwork in itself, the catalogue should be a true representation of the experience of being here. So I had to get all the artwork here a month in advance and ended up pretty much curating and hanging the show all in a day!
I did this partly because of space issues. 16 artists’ work needs to be accommodated safely and although it all got moved around during the shoot, I needed to have an idea of where things would go as I was unpacking them. So by the end of a long day, nearly everything was in its ‘first draft’ of positioning.
I was up until the early hours and from very early the next morning cleaning the house to make it worthy of being a photographer’s backdrop, which included filling several bags of ashes from the open fires we have been enjoying all winter, in preparation for the fireplace installation.
The next morning Sylvain Deleu, respected art photographer, arrived accompanied by Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, the only artist in the show who lives in the UK. We had a full day photographing two examples of every artist’s work all over the house and garden. Thankfully the weather was good, and we were able to make full use of the Ceramic Garden as a setting.
The next day was back in my studio, a bit of a change after the luxury of the Guldagergård studios, with my intern Evan. Evan approached me recently, interested in volunteering in a ceramic studio as he is changing his BA course from product design to ceramics and wants to gain some knowledge with the material, as he will have missed the first year. I taught him to press-mould tiles, my usual technique, for the bathroom I am trying to complete in time for the exhibition opening. I’ve done it in stages: one wall has been half tiled with beautiful blue and white antique tiles I brought back from Portugal, another with hand-cut flat white tiles, the bath panel with hand-decorated tiles mimicking corner details in the Portuguese tiles, and the only thing outstanding is the main wall above the bath, which will be covered with the new relief tiles we are now making. The designs for these are inspired by the architectural tiles that cover buildings all over Portugal.
Since then I have spent three days glued to the computer getting the flyers finalised and invites sent out for the opening on 1st May. Last night was the official Artists Open Houses launch party, so there was a mad rush to get the flyers printed in time to give them out. The Ceramic House topped the bill during the speeches, with much mention made of the Danish show and the house itself, which was very flattering!