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For the love of clay

I can honestly not recall when the urge to play with clay started. I have a distinct feeling I was born with it. From an early age I loved getting my hands in soil... so I could have become a gardener, but I didn't.

As a child I wanted to add water to earth and mix it into a goo and smear it onto a layer of sticks to make mini walls. I guess I could have become a builder! That did not happen either, but we came very close! (That's a story for another time) Fast forward to what seems like a lifetime later and I get my hands on some terracotta clay. I stare at it, feel it, close my eyes, and for a moment I am thrown back in time, thousands of years ago, connected to someone who, just like me, took a lump of clay and started shaping it into a vessel. What inspired them to do this? Did they see a dried up bit of clay on the edge of a river and used it as tray to hold herbs? Was it animal dung sticking to grass which inspired them to use it as a building material? Wouldn't it be nice to have that insight of those early peoples! I made some simple bowls (well.. simple in my books), just letting the clay take me where it wanted me to be.

Not being one to start with easy or conventional projects, I played with more of that clay using it in my mixed media canvasses.

First one up was the Tree Cardigan: unfired terracotta clay on a textured stretched canvas, painted with Acrylic paint. No idea where this came from.. but it did.

Second was in honour of Patch Adams, a man who not only founded care clowns around the world, but who is also a great lateral thinker with a focus on healing through humour and joy.

And the third piece is my favourite. The fun bit was creating the shape of the corset. It was made by draping the clay over 2 large Spanish onions. The leather was painted with various layers of Acrylic and metallic paint. I had soooo much fun creating "Seduction", I may try this again once I get my kiln! Should I?

8/9 years ago, after a huge hiatus of doing anything creative, doing anything at all for a year for a fact... I signed up for a weekend workshop and attempted to create a face in clay. I've always had a passion for faces. You can read about that HERE. As I was still recovering from brain surgery, I was too tired to finish the piece and we smashed up the clay. I had gone back to it too soon.

Now, 2021, with my pension age crawling closer, I thought it was the right time to pick up where I left off and revitalise this lingering passion. No faces as yet... I've made a start :)

To be continued ...


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