In May, I met with Becky and Andy from Colours May Vary to discuss the possibility of running a couple of ceramic workshops.
Throughout June I experimented with styling to showcase products made at Sunken Studio’s Ceramics Tasters and Courses. I used the Adventures and Tea Parties Instagram challenge #ColourMyEveryday to act as prompts for the posts. Below is the list of prompts and links to the posts.
Also in June I took some timeout to develop products and make examples for workshops in preparation for Autumn and Winter. This challenge has already helped me develop a few new ideas beyond styling and showcasing.
The courses and events pages have now been updated and I’ve added more evening and weekend ceramics classes. If your looking for something to do in Leeds over summer sign-up to our newsletter to receive updates. I’ve partnered up with a few new venues so there are plenty of options to choose from.
The prompts and links to Sunken Studio’s relevant #ColourMyEveryday posts are:
A couple of articles have been doing the rounds on social media:
After workshops people regularly comment on how therapeutic they have found their experience with clay. I’m frequently asked if I find it therapeutic. My immediate response has been no. My mind jumps to all the problems I encounter and the constant disappointments. That said, I’ve been thinking about why, despite the challenges that the material presents, I’ve been loyal to it for over 20 years.
I enjoy the problems and challenges. I’m rewarded when a problem has been solved. Clay, and working three-dimensionally, has made me more resilient & determined. It’s provided me with so many opportunities to know myself and develop my conceptual and critical thinking. Shaping lumps of matter has been transformational.
Is it good for your health and wellbeing? Absolutely, but I describe it as feedback. It’s a reciprocal conversation that changes as the material’s properties change – plastic, leather hard, green, bisque etc… It’s also a conversation that’s enriched as you learn more about how it’s shaped how we live & what we know about our past.
If you listen to it & reflect on what it gives, it’s possible to learn something about yourself and the way you approach & resolve problems. In a culture that puts too much emphasis on cognitive intelligence, clay exerts its presence to give meaning and substance to what can be achieved with both body & mind. I’m thankful for that. In the past few years I’d not been making. I’d become quite miserable and began to dislike myself. I guess it all boils down to connecting – relating to clay involves many of the same challenges involved in relating to people.
If you follow Sunken Studio on social media you’ll be aware that there’s one special studio relationship. It’s between me and Martha the Miniature Schnauzer.
Sunken Studio will be a year old in September. To celebrate we’re hosting a free ceramics workshop. We’re devising a special workshop & will surprise you on the day. To enter head over to Facebook and/or Instagram.
The workshop will be held on Tuesday 25 July, 18:45-21:00.
- Like/follow our Facebook page, share it with your friends and family and make a comment in the competition post.
- Follow us on Instagram, comment and tag at least one friend that you think would be interested too.
- If someone has tagged you and you’d like to enter follow us on Instagram, comment and tag at least one friend that you think would be interested too.
Names will be selected on Sunday 23 July after 6pm. Winners will be notified shortly after. If you are unable to attend we’ll redraw.
- This competition is for adults ages 18+.
- Winners must be available on Tuesday 25 July, 18:45-21:00.
Coil pots to Tulipiere in 10 weeks of making. Look at that offset foot. Each part has one so each pot appears to hover above the table. Design details like that make me smile. This amazing Tulipiere stack was made by David during a six week evening classes. David has already completed our Beginner’s Bundle: Build and has progressed onto Beginner’s Bundle: Adapt. Continue reading Recent Makes
Clay basics – coil building. I really enjoy revisiting basic techniques and love watching you grow in confidence when learning them. It’s liberating to learn, unlearn and relearn. Continue reading Clay Basics
For the last 2-3 weeks I’ve been whittling a spoon a day. I generally make more than one as I usually allow an hour to do it. Some get discarded quickly, others will get discarded but I’ll use them for glaze tests first. There are so many nuances to explore/develop. Over time I’ll work out the technique, size, form and colours that I’ll concentrate on. For now, I enjoy having something that I make daily. Continue reading Spoons
Salvaged piano key with notes – saved because the notes/dates act as a reminder that objects are records, vehicles, connectors, more than possessions. They have the capacity to tell us something about ourselves and other people’s past and present. The importance we place on them is highly subjective but they also have the potential to be universally understood. They afford action and reaction. Continue reading Object
Exploring materiality, colour, surface, form… Continue reading Contrasts
Paper bag in a cup. The cup was made in the Ceramics Taster: Extrude. Continue reading Bag
Old ways and new ways – all of the window sills in the studio are home to something. Many of those things are tools. There’s a stash of old carpentry tools that have been inherited and also jars full of drawing equipment. If you wander past there will usually be a stack of used Pyrometric Cones too. Continue reading My View
A History of World Pottery by Emmanuel Cooper – circa 1993/94 I spent a lot of time with this book. It, along with frequent visits to the Egyptology collections at Manchester Museum and Bolton Museum, a visit to the Potteries Museum and back catalogues of Ceramic Review, cemented my interest in both historic and contemporary ceramics.
My book shelves are much more diverse now but looking through it again it’s interesting to note how the forms I loved have stayed with me. Elevated pots over narrow bases, geometric, graphical, frequently monochome and all with an implicit understanding of form, space and place – domestic and sculptural.
Back to those neglected plants – well these are thriving despite it. That flower is a stunner. Continue reading Flower
Bowl from our Ceramics Taster: Extrude & because we’re based in Yorkshire some Pontefract cakes.
This week I’ve discovered that photographing flatware is tricky. Continue reading Pattern
Natural things gathered from the house and garden plus an example of a planter from the Ceramics Taster: Press. The planter is dressed with Alchemilla Mollis (lady’s mantle), Astrantia Major and Knautia Macedonia. Continue reading Natural