20 October 2018

Studio Saturday - out of the kiln

In between my weekend in Wales, wretched cold, and dashing off to France for a few days, I could get to the studio just once, driven by curiosity about what had come out of the kiln....
19 complete survivors, out of 29. I did the head count but didn't examine them closely - took some more photos and went home to restock on kleenex-in-pockets and get caught up with a bit of sleep.

On the left - okay; back right - complete disaster; front right - little bits of rim missing.
There was a suggestion that I could make a funerary urn for the ones that didn't work - layers of shards....

Same pots, different view -
 And some closeups, which I've been turning over in my mind, thinking of what to do more or less of (or abandon) -

 Still unfired are a couple of dozen of little pots - and this big one, which stretched and stretched ... but has an unfortunate hole where the base and pleats didn't join up. Couldn't see what was going on there... sometimes it's a stab in the dark -

19 October 2018

Patrick Heron at Tate St Ives

The catalogue is the next best thing to seeing the exhibition, and this one was so nicely laid out, often with an older and a newer work in a page spread ...

 And of course a large photo of the artist in his studio...
Such a pleasure to look forward and backward and here and there in the book. No time to read much ... maybe next time it comes my way ...

18 October 2018

Poetry Thursday - Little Red Cap by Carol Ann Duffy

Reduction lino print by Laura Boswell, inspired by this poem
Little Red Cap 

At childhood’s end, the houses petered out
into playing fields, the factory, allotments
kept, like mistresses, by kneeling married men,
the silent railway line, the hermit’s caravan,
till you came at last to the edge of the woods.
It was there that I first clapped eyes on the wolf.

He stood in a clearing, reading his verse out loud
in his wolfy drawl, a paperback in his hairy paw,
red wine staining his bearded jaw. What big ears
he had! What big eyes he had! What teeth!
In the interval, I made quite sure he spotted me,
sweet sixteen, never been, babe, waif, and bought me a drink,

my first. You might ask why. Here’s why. Poetry.
The wolf, I knew, would lead me deep into the woods,
away from home, to a dark tangled thorny place
lit by the eyes of owls. I crawled in his wake,
my stockings ripped to shreds, scraps of red from my blazer
snagged on twig and branch, murder clues. I lost both shoes

but got there, wolf’s lair, better beware. Lesson one that night,
breath of the wolf in my ear, was the love poem.
I clung till dawn to his thrashing fur, for
what little girl doesn’t dearly love a wolf?1
Then I slid from between his heavy matted paws
and went in search of a living bird – white dove –

which flew, straight, from my hands to his hope mouth.
One bite, dead. How nice, breakfast in bed, he said,
licking his chops. As soon as he slept, I crept to the back
of the lair, where a whole wall was crimson, gold, aglow with books.
Words, words were truly alive on the tongue, in the head,
warm, beating, frantic, winged; music and blood.

But then I was young – and it took ten years
in the woods to tell that a mushroom
stoppers the mouth of a buried corpse, that birds
are the uttered thought of trees, that a greying wolf
howls the same old song at the moon, year in, year out,
season after season, same rhyme, same reason. I took an axe

to a willow to see how it wept. I took an axe to a salmon
to see how it leapt. I took an axe to the wolf
as he slept, one chop, scrotum to throat, and saw
the glistening, virgin white of my grandmother’s bones.
I filled his old belly with stones. I stitched him up.
Out of the forest I come with my flowers, singing, all alone.

--Carol Ann Duffy, from The World's Wife

The poem is explained at length here; the book in which it appeared, first published in 1999, presents stories, myths, fairy tales and characters in Western culture from the point of view of women. It sits on my shelf and includes The Devil's Wife, Circe, Mrs Icarus, Frau Freud, Queen Kong. And so many others.

17 October 2018

Woodblock Wednesday - week 3

Week 3 of the current course. Up at the crack of dawn - again - to do a bit of cutting, in hopes of printing this week.

at the start

I love the "nibbles" ... the reminded me of something drawn in a museum...

November 2015 - barkcloth from Vanuatu at the British Museum
 I decided to leave that for a while, and to print the "moons" that I'd started in the summer...
Aiming for grey and getting blue-grey, brown-grey, grey-brown....

It's not printing very strongly...

... at all ...

Using Carol's large baren, and more pressure, makes a bit difference!

9 prints with 2 blocks and 4 colours mixed in various ways
 Closer, sharper -

Carol brought in a very diverting book - it's a model-book, a cabinet of curiosities (clicking on the photos should enlarge them):

16 October 2018

Drawing Tuesdays - Wallace Collection

Silver shoes, good start to the day!

Jo deconstructs Boucher's "Summer Pastoral"

My collection of helmets

Carol's armour on coloured paper

Among Janet B's many pages, this ceramic jar handle

Judith's horse and rider

Najlaa's door
 Extracurricular activities -
Judith's class involves drawing dancers

Carol's little notebook is filling up with drawings of people on the tube

15 October 2018

The last nerine

It lay bent and broken, covered in raindrops, the last of the ten I planted in the first excitement of having my garden at last. They were spectacular the first year, but have been fewer each year since.

Outdoors - unnoticed; indoors, a few days of joy.