Friday, 20 September 2013


early stages 


How do you start working on a new project? Does it follow as an extension of the previous one like a variation on a theme, or is it a new beginning? A bit of both?
As soon as work for the Stations of the Cross was finished I had to refocus and start considering work for 30th Sculpture Survey at Gomboc Gallery. Outdoor work in public space. How do I create clay work that is large and sturdy enough to stand in the environment, meaningful and engaging - in very little time left after the full timetable of teaching? Timelines and deadlines are words my students hear often when planning exhibition work. We clayworkers know that some processes like drying and firing can’t be hurried and take days and weeks...and results are not always what we hope for.
When I start thinking about new project (I call it germination stage) I flood my mind with images and ideas from all sources. I am in alert and aware state of mind and open to visual stimuli. Everything becomes potential source of inspiration.
I was thinking of creating a work which emerges from the ground, when I stumbled upon a small book of patterns called Kaleidometrics by Sheilah Shaw.

This particular image caught my interest as it reminded me of pinecones:

and it soon become this:

Yes!! Fractals!! ( and Fibonacci numbers)
As I started measuring and enlarging the squares to figure out how big to make them I soon noticed the rule:
diagonal measurement of each square = side of next square.
Then I had to work out the sizes of triangles that would form each "pyramid".
Here are measurements of all bases and 2 largest "pyramids":

This is interesting, Look at those babies I saw in the pond in Saigon, Vietnam recently ( 4 month after Vortex was completed and exhibited). Looks like I'm stealing ideas from mother nature again:

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