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!

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