27 October 2014

Art & Craft Market at Mission Bay - Labour Day

This is my much smaller scaled down set up, without the gazebo, so I can do the market on my own. Here I am just trying to clear the Fashion Clips and PINZ I have left. Next time I hope to use the opportunity to be working on a larger mosaic work, more for publicity and so people can see what is involved.

01 October 2014

I need to do what inspires me

We are well into the year now and, when I look back at the goals I set myself at the beginning of 2014, I do not feel I have spent that much time doing ‘what inspires me’. The first four months of the year were spent on my application to CreativeNZ, for a grant to attend the EuroSynergy Conference in Malta, which was successful; then organising for and attending the event at the end of April/beginning of May. This was a fantastic opportunity and was made even better by the fact that I won a ‘Best in Sculpture’ in the 2014 International Polymer Clay Awards, announced at the conference. Apart from teaching a short course of polymer clay evening classes, other polymer clay workshops have waned because of lack of participants, which is disappointing after the amount of time I spent last year preparing teaching material. Exploration of a few ideas (hollow lighting forms and PINZ) then crept in as well as the creation of a couple of sculptures (from long planned ideas) for exhibitions.

A few weeks ago I spent three solid days thoroughly cleaning, tidying and de-cluttering my tiny studio. I have a few events planned to try and clear old stock from my de-cluttering process. I now feel in a good frame of mind to work on something new and, for a while, to just ‘do what inspires me’ rather than creating work to sell. I posted recently about a new area of exploration that I am calling ‘dot mosaics’ for want of a better term. As I have said previously, my original reason for turning to polymer clay was so I could make my own mosaic tiles. I have searched extensively on Google and cannot really find anyone creating mosaics with round tiles, especially not hand made, which is good as I always want to do something different to everyone else.

I enjoy creating mosaic designs and laying out the tiles. I have not yet tried making a mosaic with round tiles but I am hoping that, if I keep the designs simple and use a range of different sized round tiles, there will be no need for cutting tiles. The round tiles should be able to be placed fairly quickly, butt jointed in a random fashion, just filling the larger interstices with smaller tiles. I will have to see if the design will still read but hopefully by varying the shades of different colours and maybe introducing different textures, as well as leaving a slightly wider grout joint between different elements in the design, it will work.

Apart from being a quicker method for creating mosaics (although I will have to make all the tiles from polymer clay), I hope it will create mosaics with a softer, more organic feel, rather than the normal square or angular cut tiles that are used. We seem to be naturally drawn to circles – it is a natural form, living things are made from cells and is it not said that “there are no straight lines in nature”? I would love to be able to create beautiful mosaics that people are naturally drawn to and want to touch. A very contemporary use of an old technique – both in tile shape (round) and material (polymer clay).