The new year has started busily enough with my decision to sign up for Suffolk Open Studios in June 2018. This month long event (usually held over the weekends in June) allows artists from all sorts of backgrounds to open their studios to the general public. In my area we are having a trail on the first and third weekends in June for visitors. On the first weekend there are eight venues, and on the third weekend five venues. I volunteered to do some co-ordinating to get to know everyone and so far it is not too onerous.
I have also joined Anglian Potters though I am not sure how I shall become involved there as yet. They run a summer school and there are opportunities to volunteer help at exhibitions as well as apply to exhibit. I do not feel ready for the latter, but I am thinking of volunteering to help with an exhibition in Cambridge in March.
My experiments for the start of the new year have been working with stoneware clays to see which one I prefer for my garden ornaments, but I have also been distracted making bowls and dishes and autumn leaves. The leaves are for a specific piece of work for the Open Studios which will be revealed in June, but I had great fun walking with a friend collecting as many different types of leaves last year to use as templates and inspiration for how leaves start to die off and curl up, as well of course as those gorgeous autumn colours we love so much.
I have loaded photos of my recent work into the ceramics gallery and hope to upload more photos in the next week or so as the glaze firings are completed.
The one downside, which I knew from the beginning, is that I could do with a larger kiln. However, the budget would not stretch that far. Hopefully in time I can either purchase a larger model kiln or find another local potter with a bigger kiln who will rent me some space for firings. I also do not have enough drying and glazing shelves so I shall have to invest in more and re-arrange the studio to accommodate the necessary storage. I have also invested in a tabletop clay roller which I have been using to create moulded pieces such as pots and dishes. It saves my wrists from damage as rolling out the clay with a rolling pin is sometimes quite a challenge, particularly with larger pieces of clay.
I have booked an exhibition space for myself for Easter 2019, in the new Hayloft Craft Shop in Orford, by which time I hope to have sufficient stock and inspiration to make a good showing. In the meantime I have been researching opportunities to sell my work locally, including the country market and the above mentioned, soon to be re-opened, craft shop. It is a challenge to focus on that as well as creating new work, and my focus, I feel, needs to be on the creative side for now and then seek out market places.
I am pleased with the glazes I have bought and for the autumnal leaves they are just right. Mixing glazes on bowls provides some very colourful results.
I must say I am loving the opportunity to work in my own studio and create whatever I want. Having control over the firings and buying my own glazes is also inspiring.