Hello Again!

To all the dear ones out there, 

What a long time since I have payed any love to this blog!! (sorry!) You see things got busy out here in the land of living! Since my last post about a potential workspace we have pulled together some sort of small studio in the centre of Madrid!! yoo-hoo! We are yet to plug in the kiln due to some technical/electrical issues. But fingers crossed to a firing soon! And I am keen to share some pics when I can! :D

What else…In December/Jan I went home to Melbourne for one month of sunshine, friendshine and familyshine! So so so lovely! 

Hmmm… ahh yes! We had a month long exhibition of our works completed in England with Nic Collins and Sabine Nemet! In conjunction with that we did a presentation for the 2 ceramic schools here in Madrid. I of course ever so classily forgot half of my very small Spanish speech.. I swear I did far better in the practice round! haha ohh well I did my best in the moment, and had plenty of friendly folk helping me finish off a few tricky conjugations. A very kind crowd of course. 

And, well more than half the school year has passed! If feels so strange — we are yet to hold any finished pieces on our hands but glazing and firings are starting soon! I spent a good portion of time working on a large planter. It later suffered an accidental hit to the head! A throwing teacher quickly made me a new one so I could finish the assignment, I helped a little, but the truth is she kindly made the replacement one. 

I made a short video to document and help share the wonderful month we spent with Nic Collins and Sabine Nement in Moretonhampstead, England. At the Barn Pottery we worked hard long hours, learnt a huge amount and would do it all over again in an instant! Check out the video below or following this link: http://cuentosdecuencos.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/the-barn-pottery-a-month-with-nic-collins-and-sabine-nemet/

(Hello again… adding to this post a good month or so after writing the above section! :/ haha What a disaster! Well this evening is the first time in a long time I have been able to sit on the couch with all my pottery books and flick though them at ease! So glad. Tomorrow I will hand in the proposal for my final project… let’s see if it is accepted by the panel!) 

My first finished pieces from the entire school year! These bottles were from the very first exercise! At last! We have been a little behind schedule all year. :P 

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The Barn Pottery, a month with Nic Collins and Sabine Nemet.

In September 2013 I (along with 5 other classmates) was lucky enough to spend a month at the Barn Pottery in Moretonhampstead living and learning the ways of a some truly inspiring potters!
En septiembre de 2013 yo y otros cinco compañeros de clase tuvimos la suerte de pasar un mes en el Barn Pottery de Moretonhampstead viviendo y aprendiendo del día a día de unos alfareros verdaderamente inspiradores.

We simultaneously undertook a soda firing and an experimental firing in a bottle kiln which we constructed during our stay. It was of course an incredible experience and huge learning curve! Please enjoy this video which portrays part of our unforgettable stay.
Simultáneamente hicimos una cocción de soda y una cocción experimental en un horno de botella que construimos nosotros mismos durante nuestra estancia. ¡Fue por supuesto una experiencia increíble y un tremendo aprendizaje! Por favor, disfrutad de este vídeo que recoge parte de nuestra inolvidable experiencia.

Many many thanks to Nic Collins and Sabine Nemet (our teachers and hosts for the month), La Escuela de Arte Francisco Alcántara (in Madrid), and the Leonardo Da Vinci Mobility Program, whom all played a part in making the exchange possible.
Muchas gracias a Nic Collins y Sabine Nemet (nuestros profesores y anfitriones durante el mes), la Escuela de Arte Francisco Alcántara de Madrid y el programa Leonardo Da Vinci de movilidad. Todos ellos hicieron posible el intercambio.

escueladeceramica.com/
nic-collins.co.uk/
goldmarkart.com/ceramics/potters/nic-collins.html

Here you can see the blog which we kept during our one month stay…(however, I’m not sure how long this link will be active)
Aquí es posible ver el blog que mantuvimos durante nuestra estancia de ese mes. (Sin embargo no sé cuánto tiempo se mantendrá activo este enlace…)

escueladeceramica.com/noticias/general/proyecto-leonardo-da-vinci

Oooo and also of course a huge thanks to my dear travel buddies who star in the video!
También muchísimas gracias a mis queridos compañeros:
- Juan Angel García Maestro
- Isabel San Martín Niño
- Raquel Sanz Parra
- Paula Slepoy Bentes
- María José Castells Roselló

Music/a: FOALS, Big Big Love!

Sargadelos. Sargadelos. Workshop.

Please enjoy a some process photos, I present to you:
SARGADELOS — THE WORKSHOP

As per usual, it took me some days to get my stuff together. Solitary time was scarce — which is what I need in order to clarify a direction.

We had access to the finest high firing clays bodies: porcelain, stoneware and a highly grogged refractory paste. Free range — no teaching, not too many questions and just a few rules and guidelines. Being someone who works better within constraints I created some of my own. So I made a space,  collected some plants, weeds to be specific and gum leaves (which are abundant in Galicia) from there contemplation began.

I decided I was there to one: enjoy, two: meet some wonderful folk and three: experiment and play with clay, namely porcelain with which I would like to work primarily…in the not too distant future.

On returning to the studio I cleared a bench and things went steadily. In total we really only had about 10 days to work. With the firings taking up last week and the public holidays cutting into the course. No complaints though — it was great to have time to adventure! (See the adventures on my other blog pixpixnix.wordpress.com). 

I worked a little on the wheel to begin with — there were 3 wheels — 2 converted kick wheels and one true, traditional, real deal kick wheel! JOY! I made a few pieces on this one, just to give it a shot. I was impressed with the momentum— you can reach a high speed which is maintained for surprisingly long — best to wear closed shoes though.

This workshop has been running since 1972 was once a marvellous melting pot of round table discussions and glorious living conditions in tents next to the luxurious factory pool. With the crisis however, things have changed. Half the buildings are not in use, the pool has been drained, sales have slowed, production has been cut and many people have been made redundant. Without question, the stresses of this difficult time seep through at every level within the company and the mood is undoubtedly low… as with many businesses in this region of the world, there are many unknowns and people are just holding on. On saying that — I still think it was wonderful and would go back in an instant!

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Combining a stoneware body with a highly grogged refractory paste.

Combining a stoneware body with a highly grogged refractory paste.

Making a space.

Making a space.

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My first porcelain on the wheel since the workshop with Prue Venebles at Slow Clay Centre! So much easier after a year of practice! But still challenging to throw in comparison to terracotta.

My first porcelain on the wheel since the workshop with Prue Venebles at Slow Clay Centre! So much easier after a year of practice! But still challenging to throw in comparison to terracotta.

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We made it into the local press!

We made it into the local press!

Fabric woven from slate fibres! (yes as in the rock) Flexible, lightweight, fireproof(?..or close to) and used in space suits! An impressive Galician invention!

Fabric woven from slate fibres! (yes as in the rock) Flexible, lightweight, fireproof(?..or close to) and used in space suits! An impressive Galician invention!

Ceramic product used as bone substitute. The microstructure was impressively similar to that of human bone.

Ceramic product used as bone substitute. The microstructure was impressively similar to that of human bone.

Eduardo Chillida.

Eduardo Chillida.

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My first moulds!!! After a lot of improvisation we got there! Unfortunatly I didn't have time to cast anything. But I will continue my investigations when I get the chance :) I have already bought 25kg's of plaster!

My first moulds!!! After a lot of improvisation we got there! Unfortunatly I didn’t have time to cast anything. But I will continue my investigations when I get the chance :) I have already bought 25kg of plaster!

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Home time. Everything in boxes and off the the post! I'm still waiting for my 20kg to arrive in Madrid... I hope they are on their way!

Home time. Everything in boxes and off the the post! I’m still waiting for my 20kg to arrive in Madrid… I hope they are on their way!