And then there were lights.


Playing with LED lights. Created a cluster of battery powered ultra bright LED’s this morning to experiment with lighting up my shells. The stoneware slip is too opaque for this really, but you can see a difference if the tone of the ceramic. The cracks in the work make a difference too –  I think the light seeping through is something I have not yet given a thought to. It adds to the fragility of the object and this is something that has become important as I have already damaged many of my test pieces.


Round two.


Second attempt at ceramic balloons. This time I have popped the balloon whilst the slip is “leather hard” (hard, but not quite dry.) The waiting time was awkward, I was advised it would be about half an hour but it turned into fifty minutes. the balloon on the right had three layers of slip, not two so was not quite dry enough when I popped. It sunk as soon as the support was removed, but this could be more interesting. I am still waiting for them to be fired to see how they come out.

The morning after the night before.


Work in progress. More paper covered balloons, here I have used different techniques to distort the shape. These are going to be dipped in a bucket of slip this morning.

First arduino set up.


Playing with a basic set up of movement using a knob as the sensor and a cervo motor as an actuator,  now I have a basic understanding of programming and that I want to play with LED lights, motion sensors and my ceramic work to project images onto the “shells”.


Clear glaze inside.


Balloon experiments. Previous paper mache balloons having been dipped in clay slip and hanging to dry, the ceramic outcome after being reduction fired at 1000 degrees, experiments with glaze. I only put two coats of slip onto the balloons as I want the final outcome (in porcelain) to have a translucent quality. Unfortunately this makes them weaker, and the clay did crack as it dried (this was also because the clay shrunk at a faster rate than the balloon). When I went to pick them up not all of the material had burnt out (steel wire) so this has put more strain on the clay and increased the fragility. However, glazing the shells will strengthen them – I have put a clear glaze on the outside and just need to spray the glaze on the outside and they will be fired again to see if this improves their strength.

What a difference fire makes.


Raku fired ceremonial tea bowl. Created using pinch pot techniques. The glazes used are an opaque white and copper. Where no glaze is used the clay goes black with the firing. The firing takes place in a kiln outside (heated to 1000 degrees), but the fun is when they come out, as quickly as possible they must be packed into containers filled with sawdust and newspaper to create fire – this blackens the clay and creates the cracked finish. The outcome is interesting as it cannot be fully controlled, the temperature inside the kiln is measured by eye. 

Sub-concious Connections.

Freyja Sewell - Designer in residence, Design Museum London.

Freyja Sewell – Designer in residence, Design Museum London.

Ikea Lampshade

Ikea Lampshade

paper spheres, drying.

paper spheres, drying.

I took the top image at the Design Museum in London as I found the pattern and spherical concept interesting. This was a day after a trip to Ikea to source some inspiration (and finding the inviting lights). Only now have I found the image, after purchasing the spherical light shades they sell thousands of. My plan is to deconstruct the original design by creating my own paper “lanterns.” Initially working in paper, but moving on to ceramic materials and slip clay that will be fired to burn away any paper and metal within the construction. I also want to move away form the original shape to create a multifunctional final outcome.

What do Ikea and Jacob’s have in common?

Jacob's Antique Market

Jacob’s Antique Market

Ikea Market Hall

Ikea Market Hall

Field project research trips to locations in Cardiff. As part of the brief we have been asked to focus on an area of the city. I have chosen two locations, Ikea and Jacob’s Antique Market. One sells mass produced objects for the home and the other sells second hand and vintage items. I have chosen them because they are so different yet both sell sought after artefacts, I want to take these artefacts out of their context and create a new object that could be found at each location. After initial visits I have chosen to focus on lights and shades as their warm glow is appealing to me. This is the basis for my inspiration and I am going to further develop concepts associated with products purchased from both locations.