Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Grad show photo's

and I like this one too...

Gradshow photo's

I'm slowly recovering from the aftermath of effort that was getting my installation complete. Dylan Esguerra from the MDA studio took photographs, one of which is... one view from my installation piece "The Wolf I knew, would lead me..." (after Carol Ann Duffy)
I was madly still installing on the day (and evening) of the show, so I was no where as organised as I was last year. So no photo's of my own of the rest of the glass studio...yet. Reminder to self..go take photo's.

Friday, November 16, 2012

All done

Well I suppose I will have to change the focus of this blog, now that 4 years of Uni is over. While I wait for results and photo's...I have bought 3 books today. Margo Lanagan's 'Sea hearts', Fiona McIntosh's 'The scrivner's tale' (ebooks) and 'The Snow Child' by Eowyn Ivey in paper back. Just about to go and mind the gradshow exhibition in the glass studio on a rainy day with a new book. Sounds good!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Writing quote of the day

This rather long quote is most of the last paragraph from J.C.Cooper's 'Fairy Tales: Allegories of Inner Life'.

"The tales meet the deep-seated psychic and spiritual needs of the individual as myth does for the race; both follow traditional lines and obey universal laws of symbolism. Through them runs the constant motif of man’s struggle to find his true worth, his inner self, his place in the universe. The themes deal with creation, paradise lost and regained, the union of the opposites, initiation, the conflict between the powers of good and evil, the meaning of life, a meaning which can vary from the moral and social to the psychological or the mythological and spiritual according to each person’s interpretation and needs.

But, psychological or spiritual, the chief motif is that of initiation and integration, the transformation of man himself by himself with supernatural aid, the transition from the mortal to the immortal in the ever-recurring cycle of birth, death and rebirth until that, too, is transcended and he can live happily ever after.

Cooper, J. C. Fairy tales: Allegories of the Inner Life. (Wellingborough: Aquarian Press, 1983) 154.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Writing quote of the day

In his chapter "The Utopian Function of Fairy tales and fantasy" Jack Zipes explains to us through Ernst Bloch's theories on hope...

"these intrepid heroes show the holes in systems of domination through which small people can slip to liberate themselves and gain their ends. Their goals are socialist and utopian in nature in that they assert the potential for humanity to be on it's own, nor dependent on a system, on phantom gods. The individual moves into his or her own, undergoing metamorphosis while gaining strength from the gifts of other beings. The building of the self and the other world is essentially a communal project."

Jack Zipes. Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales (rev. ed.). New York: Routledge, 2002, 169.

I feel like shouting hurrah at the end of HURRAH!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Writing quote of the day

This is the quote I am using to set the scene for my paper...woe betide you examiners who think fairy tales are nonsense!

"The scholarly world discovered the folktale in the 19th century. Before that time there was little serious interest in the phenomenon of oral tales, which were generally viewed by learned persons as a form of amusement proper to simple or uneducated persons, or to children, none of whom had much to teach the rest of us. Accordingly no one thought long about the nature of such stories, no one wondered about how old they were or where they came from, no one asked what they meant to their tellers and listeners."

William Hansen. Ariadne’s Thread: A Guide to International Tales Found in Classical Literature. (Ithaca and London: Cornell University press, 2002) xi.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fairy Tales Re-imagined Symposium

Fairy Tales Re-imagined Symposium

I will have to write this up later, I had a wonderful day. I talked to people as wrapped up in the study of fairy tales as I am, I met one of my favourite author's Kate Forsyth...and lots more. But I must not digress at the moment...too much work to do.
Just in case, I ran off a few 'calling cards'.

Friday, October 12, 2012

My research paper needs....a map!

Yes, I have decided that my research paper needs a map. Like the ones you see at the front of many fantasy novels. Though they aren't as easy as they look... for some inspiration and 'research' I pulled off a few title of the shelves

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Writing quote of the day

“The fairy tale, which to this day is the first tutor of children because it was once the first tutor of mankind, secretly lives on in the story. The first true storyteller is, and will continue to be, the teller of fairy tales. Whenever good counsel was at a premium, the fairy tale had it, and where the need was greatest, its aid was nearest. This need was created by myth. The fairy tale tells us of the earliest arrangements that mankind made to shake off the nightmare which myth had placed upon its chest.”

Walter Benjamin. The Story Teller. p11.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Writing quote of the day

I had real trouble finding the correct source for this one. Usually you will find it attributed to G.K Chesterton, but this one is Neil Gaiman paraphrasing Chesterton, and because Neil does it so well it has become the 'real' quote.

“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”


 This is the end product that I had in mind when I started making the rubber mould of the branch in these photo's. I wanted something blown, hollow and light. This method of blow moulding means you get really fine detail. I de-moulded the 2 that I trialled on Thursday night with Erica's help (I knew one was going to better than the other). I was really chuffed with the result...but the studio was really quiet this morning so my joy had to wait to be shared. I also stuck my self with a piece of glass, not so clever. Have to remember to sloooow down.

*This is a new word I have come across recently

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Writing quote of the day

“Inevitably they find their way into the forest. It is there that they lose and find themselves. It is there that they gain a sense of what is to be done. The forest is always large, immense, great and mysterious. No one ever gains power over the forest, but the forest posses the power to change lives and alter destinies.”

Jack Zipes. The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World. (2nd ed.) New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2002, 65.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Writing quote of the day

"The more one knows fairy tales the less fantastical they appear; they can be vehicles of the grimmest realism, expressing hope against all the odds with gritted teeth."

Marina Warner. From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and their Tellers. London: Random House, 1994, 225.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Writing quote of the day

"If there is one ‘constant’ in the structure and theme of the wonder tale, it is transformation."

Zipes, Jack (ed.). The Oxford companion to fairy tales: The Western Fairy Tale Tradition from Medieval to Modern. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002, xvii.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lend me your fingers

I lent my fingers to Tim to take a cast in alginate. Very squidgy minty stuff. Tim is casting a bed of fingers (all women's).

Monday, October 1, 2012

Last part of the branch 2 part mould

At last, the plaster support mould for the other side. It broke as I was prising it off, but it still works.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Tests, chunk de verre and draping

twigs of course!
I like the thinner part of the chunk de verre, so today I made up a larger mould. I think a slightly higher temp or hold for longer. The slump/drape too needs a bit longer / hotter.

Chunky bullseye frit still in the mould

Well it's a small test, hard to see what's going on really, but encouraging to go bigger, I like the edges, where the light can travel through more.

many more to make!

Sticks and twigs for hanging so far, 4 to come out of the kiln tomorrow and 2 awaiting in the cold shop. (oh and two hanging in the living room at home)
I do have some short branches, but they won't be suspended.

Second layer (almost there)

Well, since i'm using up my stock of DIY type silicon, this one is clear. Doesn't pong quite so bad as the white stuff but still quite vinegary.

Just to prove that I do tidy up at times!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Between the lines* but with the cracks

Maureen had a solo show at Salerno tonight. Great crowd and support.

Elaborate & experimental kiln loading!

Elaborate & experimental were words used as 'polite' words by tutors on seeing my kiln set up. What we have here is 2 'lost stick' moulds on the left using pre-cast furnace glass from another project. The one on the right is a lost wax branch using pre cast Spectrum '96 nuggets.

and now for the other side!

One side is complete. I tidied up, cleaning off clay, and bits of plaster, wiped it down. Applying Vaseline (not to my toast) to the silicon so that the next lot won't stick. First layer is Gelsil a two part condensation curing silicon rubber.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bathroom silicon

and on goes the second layer, this time white bathroom silicon. I had forgotten how much that stuff stinks!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cute piles of ash

These are the little piles from after burning the sticks out of the plater silica moulds... I'm using the ash later to rub into the glass (to give the detail some definition)

Brush on?

I seem to be trying every sort of mould making material this year. The  (red and yellow) re-meltable stuff, Pinkysil (pink) and now today a brush on product (blue) called Gelsil. I haven't used this type of stuff before. It's a 2 part mix. On opening the tub and trying to dollop out the white part I wondered about the description 'brush on'...imagine beating egg whites for a meringue and adding bubble gum and you'll get an idea of the consistency, much much stiffer than bathroom silicon. You need  good cake / concrete mixing arm to combine the two parts. The 'brushing on' step was more like persuading, trowel-ing or pushing action. Though I guess for a term to use brush on is OK.
So today I set up the branch with a surround of clay and applied the first layer. I used half a kilo for one side. It takes between 6-12 hours to set so i'll come back tomorrow for the next layer which I may do in a cheaper bathroom silicon.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Grad show forms

Don't you love filling out forms, when you don't know all the details?

Describe your work in detail: Um you mean the work that's not finished yet? riiight...

and here is my " " image for the catalogue.
I did darken the background for my entry

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cards from the past

My mum has framed some of the cards that I have made her and dad over the years. Here is a selection