Tutorial with Dave

A very useful half hour. Dave began by discussing the recent assessment, starting with the written assignment. I had to admit that, for me, it had been just a tick-box activity. I’d initially not known how I could even attempt it, but a chat with Anna allayed my concerns.  I completed it as quickly as possible and submitted it some weeks early so I could concentrate on issues surrounding the focus of my practice.

I hope I didn’t give the impression I thought the assignment lacked value.  It was merely that the timing was wrong for me.  I have since attended artist talks, such as Tony Cragg, Edmund De Waal, Emilie Taylor, Sabine Classen; discussed practice with artists such as Barnaby Barford, Rebecca Appleby, John Higgins, Arabeli Diaz; been to galleries, fairs and festivals such as  CoCA, YSP, Gallery Oldham, CAL, Earth and Fire, The International Ceramics Festival. All have been very valuable in informing and inspiring my practice. If I had the assignment to do now, I’d have enjoyed it and found it very valuable.

We didn’t discuss my Learning Agreement, or reflective blog, both of which are okay. Actually, I know my blog isn’t 100% what is required – posts full of reflection on practice. I write plenty of reflective posts, but I also like my informative and descriptive posts, my photos of buffets and fellow students, and posts musing on such things as the synaesthetic nature of art. I’ll only do an MA once.  This is my record of the journey.

Then on to the practical side. We discussed my misgivings about small scale pieces, and agreed that I don’t need to do small scale for the MA.  Phew! Such a relief. We also discussed some ideas I had having seen the Ostinelli and Priest demo at ICF and chatted to them about their methods. He didn’t think their texture technique would work, both practically and aesthetically. Something more on the lines of Ashraf Hanna and James Oughtibridge would be preferable, texturewise. He liked all the other proposals, though. I’ve considered it since and I think he’s right about the texture, but I also think Ostinelli and Priest’s armature technique might solve a few problems  – if it works. Looking forward to testing it. I’m also looking forward to trying dipping elements in casting slip. Exciting!

We looked at my colour blend test tiles, which had been fired at stoneware instead of earthenware – a happy accident. The finish varied from matte to gloss, so I indicated the satin matte finish I preferred and Dave suggested I try his dolomite glaze with rutile.  I’d considered a dolomite glaze before, but someone said it wasn’t as good with colour. More tests. We’ll see.

I’m not entirely comfortable with my grade. Although I’ve come a long way since October, I’m not satisfied with what I’ve made so far. Dave says the improvement in my handbuilding skills is ‘astonishing’. I guess he’s been doing this a long time so he should know and I should accept it.

Post-chat I’m feeling much better about my work.  I’m so pleased not to have to do small scale pieces, and I’m looking forward to trying out the new ideas and continuing the colour tests.






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