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Post by Kay

I have been working long hours in the studio for the last week, having realised that time is now very pressed to get the work made in time! So that will be my life until we get to Shetland in April. It’s hard, physical work, the kind of work I do – heavy and messy, so it takes its toll physically. I often think that when I am curating or hanging exhibitions of gorgeous, precious ceramics – they are such objects of beauty, and yet I know the manual, hard work involved that goes into producing it. It’s not glamorous, that’s true!

So, although I have not finished making all the prototypes yet, I decided to cast the first batch, so that the plaster casts have time to dry out and I will have no time wasted waited for drying. The plaster casting took 2 long days, up to my neck in plaster in my decidedly grotty glaze- and plaster room, not my favourite place to spend time as it has no windows and my studio is in the basement. Anyway I got it all done, the first 10 designs are now sitting in the kiln room drying out benefitting from the warm environment.

I have also just ordered two new pieces of equipment for the studio. A high speed mixer (rather like a massive version of a hand-held kitchen bender) and a set of very accurate scales. This is quite a splash-out in terms of cost, but this is a new way of working and I need the kit. I have made one version of this type of work before, my series of Botanical Structures, that was developed in residence at Guldagergaard Ceramics Centre in Denmark, where they have all the equipment. As I will be continuing to make this type of work for my emerging fine art practice (after 20 years of working as a public artist), I will be able to do so. So that is always exciting, to get new stuff for the studio! The mixer is because I will be getting through vast quantities of porcelain slip and the scales are because I will be making my own glazes. I am slightly concerned about that, because of the shortness of time. There is no time for experimentation. So I will be using recipes I have made before and trying to squeeze in the time to make just a few new ones in between the production process.

The crowdfunding is going very well, we are over 50% of our target amount now! It is a time eater though, and you really have to be on it all the time, every day, publicising it on social media, targeting potential donors, emailing people. It’s working though! Here is the Indiegogo link if you want to watch the gorgeous film and see what the rewards are and please support us if you can. There are some great perks including ceramics, sound collections, workshops and accommodation in the fabulous Ceramic House so check it out!