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Material poetics. 

August 9, 2017


Currently I am continuing to explore materials and form through a series of material drawings using simple shapes, often repeated, each having a different character through the various materials used. It feels like the building of a language, especially when they are laid out in groups with their different rhythms and cadence, each with its character and inflection altering the meaning of the one next to it. These series sit as poems, abstractly suggesting elements of landscape, of moments in the woods, by the shore or passing through the side streets of a city. The work comes from my continued interest in materials and as a reflection of my passion for the natural world, repeatedly renewed through numerous walks through forests and along shorelines. The pieces are little explorations of things found, of objects fabricated to reflect some elements of these continued experiences. 

There is much more to come, this is an ongoing process of play and I will be presenting a snapshot of it in an exhibition at Pollen Studios in Belfast for 2 days only. It will open on the 7th of September for Late Night Art and on Saturday the 9th of September in the afternoon. 

Hope you can make it. 

Raised vessels. 

July 28, 2017

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Recently I completed a pair of raised vessels for clients as wedding gifts. I’ve always enjoyed the process of hand raising vessels in sheet silver, the textures and soft organic forms that emerge are very seductive, calm and tactile. As a maker I find the process quite relaxing, despite its physical nature,  the repeated hammering has a very meditative quality and to me represents the essence of being a smith.

 

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Enriched silver vessel sealed with wax on a shoreline stone base.

Returning to this process again has renewed my interest in making raised vessels, seeing fresh possibilities in the forms. I’ve started exploring making more to produce a limited series of small hammered forms as collectible pieces, starting with whiskey tumblers and playing with found objects in various ways as bases, perhaps handles or other additions to tie them to the landscape I love.

Copper and silver tumblers

Copper and silver tumblers.

 

Resting, returning and finding. 

July 21, 2017

 

Recently I’ve been getting back into my rhythm of walking, looking and collecting, experiencing and recording the environment, reconnecting with my core practice. At its best I think any creative practice is best driven by immersion, so it comes simply from how you live and view the world. Immersion is about repeatedly stepping into the mindset, place and activities that you are drawn to until it becomes who you are. Recently I had to step back somewhat after a particularly busy few years had left me feeling burnt out. Taking a break , a pause, is no bad thing and it was done with the knowledge that I will always be pulled back to the inner drive to create, explore and play.


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Returning is tricky, it’s stop-start and stumbling in the dark for the light switch. It’s moments of brief illumination, like a struck match, a bold step forward and then back to black, unsure of exactly were you are and what you had just seen.

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This is a familiar place now through years of practice, so finding the way through is easier, even in the dark.

Now back to work…

 

Vessel drawings

June 21, 2017

Some recent vessel drawings just playing with simple shapes and forms, layering and allowing colours to bleed into each other.

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Silver form echoing seaweed. 

June 4, 2017

Revisiting an oxidised silver form I had made a few weeks ago I have found the oxidising medium has developed salt crystals on the surface. This echoes the sea salt crystallisation found on seaweed which the silver form was echoing. I’ll be developing this further and playing with the natural processes of the landscape to see how I can develop this further. 


Shore walk, grey day, Belfast Lough. 

May 29, 2017

One of those still grey days, when everything is that bit hushed, a delicate layer of mizzle sitting over everything. A perfect day for a dander along the shore – calm, drawing in a contemplative, mindful walking pace. Today threw up an array of finds and observations, a brief beach clean and a quick sea swim. A good day. 

Ephemeral Coast Exhibition 

May 22, 2017

Really pleased to be part of the Ephemeral Coast series in the Mission Gallery, Swansea as Maker in Focus this month. I will be showing a series of my implements/tools/utensils, some vessels and a few of my landscape drawings.

The show opens on from the 23rd of May to the 25th of June.