28 September 2016

Dippy chimneypots, week 3

These have been stitched over the past week -

They have a new hanging system - the threads are tidily held by little squares of card (mountboard) with nicks in the corners, rather than spread over a wad of crumpled newspaper. Here they are, mostly threaded up - 
The pots dipped last week were bone dry, with some alarming cracks. In fact I'm about to conclude that the bamboo leaves (crumbling on the board) Just Don't Work - after all, aren't some plant fibres meant to resist water? If paper - my first dipping trial - is at the soggy end of the spectrum, bamboo leaves are right at the other end.

And here's what came out of the kiln! Clunky and boring, mostly - where's the translucency? But they do have a smoothness that "feels like fabric" -

Only one item contained metallic fabric -
"white ladies"
But at least the glass beads worked - sort of. This was a gathered bit of wool with beads in the folds. Removing the clay that covered the beads definitely made a difference - little puddles of glass formed, whereas the other beads often stayed buried -
A few pots were dipped this week, drying ... and hopefully not cracking too much -
I had trekked out to Tottenham to get a tub of casting slip of my own - to avoid the problems of the college running out of it, and to have more control over the consistency and drying. Dipping at home makes it possible to add bases, as I can adjust the height of the hanging system to support the chimneys/tubes to keep them straight until they can support themselves.

This project has a certain amount of engineering challenge in it. Which adds its own interest.

27 September 2016

Drawing Tuesday - Roof Garden, Docklands

Opened in May 2016 (via)
"The Crossrail Place Roof Garden, a 300-metre enclosed garden which is open daily to the public until 9pm (or sunset in summer). It references both the history and geography of Canary Wharf drawing on the area’s heritage as a trading hub and many of the plants are native to countries visited by ships of the West India Dock Company who unloaded their wares in this very location 200 years ago.

"Crossrail Place sits almost exactly on the Meridian line and the planting is arranged according to which hemisphere they are from with Asian plants such as bamboos to the east, and plants such as ferns from the Americas to the west. Information boards are placed throughout the Roof Garden explaining in more detail about the plants within it." (via)

It offers quite a bit of seating, and as well as the plants waving in the wind there are solid objects that stay still. Like these play-it-yourself pianos -

Representing every form of transport!

And throught the bus windows, the people jiggle when the piano is played

OK let's get on with the drawing ....
Find a seat and draw what you see
Much gnashing of teeth as the leaves waved gently in the breeze
This took 20 minutes, done standing up, starting from "the front",
 We all found the subject matter rather challenging. (But the more you do it, the less frightening/difficult/frustrating/etc it is...)
Mary tried out various new media

Sue used colour to advantage

Janet's graceful path gives depth, as does the paler distance

Carol went beyond plants to the structure and beyond
 Tool of the week - water pens. Most of us carry them, but how often do we use them?
The red one, with a solid fibre tip, seems to be a new product. The sets are available at various internet sites, eg this one.

26 September 2016

Day out in Margate

Meeting Mags to catch the "Seeing Around Corners: the Art of the Circle" show at Turner Contemporary (reviews here and here and elsewhere); Olga's post that prompted the trip is here

No photography was allowed in the show, so we each filled four pages in our sketchbooks, often with notes rather than sketches. 
Artist ... Richard Long

Taking a break, half time

View from the gallery out to sea
 Having looked intensely at circles for a couple of hours, we then saw them everywhere...
An exhibition about circles ... and cafe to match ...

Wonderful shadows on the terrace

Long's marks

Jetty and town
Within the Harbour Arm

End of the day

A handful of treasures
The most memorable exhibits?

- Theaster Gate's goat on wheels, first heard in another room, clanking its way round a circular track - it has a long title: A Complicated Relationship Between Heaven and Earth, or, When We Believe (part of his winning installation at Artes Mundi 2014)

-the big blue wheel leaning in a corner, which I tried hard to ignore - and have forgotten the artist's name

- Bridget Riley's yellow circles
 Two Yellows, Composition with Circles 5, 2011 by Bridget Riley (via)
- Nuremberg Chronicle, open to the spread showing days 1 and 2 of the creation of the earth and all that's on/in it
Day 4 of creation (via)
Navigating Moby Dick by Alison Turnbull -
Robert Mangold's Circle within a polygon - so simple... image not available, but some of his many circles are here.

25 September 2016

The spines have it

The British Library is the title of a work by Yinka Shonibare, who has come to be known for his trademark use of African fabrics. It's showing in Margate till 30 October.
As you enter Turner Contemporary, you see books to the left of you, books ahead of you, and books to the right of you. Colourful books. Move ahead, and you see the gleam of gold on their spines - the names of immigrants who have enriched British culture and society. They are hard to read  as they flicker against the rich patterning, and many or most will be know to an individual browser - and some spines are nameless.
The pattern placement on the second spine on the right particularly took my fancy -
...wonder what the rest of the fabric is like? What's on show is just a narrow segment of the entire pattern.

Couldn't resist a couple of panoramas -

The camera does inexplicable things to people moving past.

24 September 2016

Pots du jour

This week I'm stitching chimneypots with holes -

Some on fabric bordered with metal (black holes?) and some on metallic fabric bordered with ordinary thread. Some of the sets of holes are "joined up" in the manner of depicting constellations

23 September 2016

Dippy chimneypots, week two

The pots dipped last week are dry, but "needing things doing"

Ready to dip. Spot the four that are made of bamboo leaves

Experiment: the dried clay was scraped off some of the beads;
will it make a difference?

Supplies of the porcelain castig slip are getting very low, and very thick. Adding water
(lots of stirring) and putting it in a narrower vessel

Eight chimneypots ready to fire to 1280 degrees. The one on the right
has been bisque fired 

22 September 2016

Poetry Thursday - Poetry House Live

"To a human being a house is not just a house, it is also a place of meanings, associations and memories. This is even more true of the houses where great poets have lived, the settings for their lives and their stories. Poetry House Live uses physical theatre to bring to life these meanings and these stories, in a show that is by turns funny, trai and surreal" (Graham Henderson, chief Executive, The Rimbaud and Verlaine Foundation)

"An original production featuring seven stories about seven famous European poets and exploring the places they called home at key moments in their lives. Each story has been adapted from new writing by some of Europe's leading playwrights."

The hall had four banks of chairs, each facing in to a central square. In the middle of the front row of each was a performers' chair. Performers, the GoodDog Theatre Co, were Louise-Clare Henry, Julien Nguyen Kinh, Nouch Papazian and Simon Gleave. Minimal props and maximal versatility.

Incomplete (Luis Munoz) - a one-act drama about the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, set inside the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid around 1926, just as Lorca is embarking on his career. (Props: top hat and cane)

Croquis Nocturne (Adam Gordon) - offers a window into Rimbaud and Verlaine's visionary relationship while they lived in Camden at 8 Royal College Street in 1873. (Props: an imaginary key, imaginary wine bottle and glasses)

Les Lesbiennes (Richard Dalla Rosa) - invites us behind the closed doors of a bedroom at the Hotel Pimodan and explores where the French poet Charles Baudelaire may have found his inspiration. (Props: maids' aprons, a bedsheet)

Decent People (Sigurbjorg Thrastardottir) - tells the story of Icelandic celebrity poet Halldor K Laxness in an imagined encounter between him and two joiners fixing a window in his 1960's home. (Props: rectangular frame, tool belt, wooden mallet, large notebook)

Salute (Gabriele Labanauskaite Diena) - set in present-day Lithuania, the spirit of the controversial but greatly appreciated poet Salomeja Neris returns to the home where she lived in the 1930s and is confronted by objects from her past (Props: print dress)

The Ivy Door (Maria Manolescu) - set in the home of Gellu Naum and his life's love near Bucharest, where they look back on the story of his best-loved creation, the children's character, and penguin, Apolodor. (Props: wagon loaded with a few bricks, false beard, fluffy stuffed penguin)

John's Last Dream (Roberta Calandra) - a poignant drama about the poetry and worldview of the English poet John Keats, struggling agains crippling illness while living in Rome.
8 Royal College Street, Camden, before purchase and rescue in 2006  (via)
Michael Corby said he bought the house to save it from being stripped of its history
Gljúfrasteinn, the 1960s house of Halldor Laxness, is now a museum (via)

Salomeja Neris's house, Palemonas, in Kanaus, built in 1937 (via)
Gellu Naum with his life's love Lyggia at home in Bucharest (via)
Keats House, Hampstead (via)