Monday, November 19, 2018

Glass casting workshop with Max Jacquard and Noreen Todd

Having arrived late, I found a seat at the back of the hall and began listening to the talk that
had already begun. Max was telling the group about his work and the process of using
moulds to create glass pieces. As a ceramicist I had come across mould making but had no
idea that the addition of flint and fibre glass to plaster meant that moulds could be filled with
glass and fired in a kiln. Max showed images of work he had made for a fashion shoot - large
sculptural shapes of solid coloured glass that he had made using moulds taken from rocks.
The results when lit to complement the clothes on the catwalk were truly stunning. I learnt
that Max was going to run a workshop the following day that would provide an introduction
to the process of using moulds to create glass pieces. It wasn't long before I found myself
signing up.
We met at Noreen's workshop and after the necessary talk on health and safety the
information started to flow. Our aim was to make a shape from which a plaster mould could
be made. This mould would later be filled with glass and fired in a kiln by Noreen with the
finishing work to be done at a later date. I had taken a few readymade pieces of plastic that
had simple curved shapes from which to make my mould. I was still thinking very much like
a potter at this point and believed that my glass object would be hollow, as a mould made pot
would be. When others were encouraged to embellish their shapes, using modelling, or leaves
or in one case romanesque florets, I realised that with this process, unlike ceramics, it would
be possible to have undercuts. This is because, after firing the mould would be broken away
to reveal shapes that could be complex in all dimensions. Moulds for ceramics are usually
capable of making many pieces from the same mould but with mould made glass all the effort
of making the mould yields one piece only. So no pressure - the end result has
got to be worth it!
Noreen's studio is very well equipped and when our models were ready to be cast we went to
a separate casting studio. I have always found the mixing of plaster to be a tense time. The
quantities must be precise and the timing is crucial. Luckily Max was shouldering that
responsibility and as we were casting several pieces with each mix of plaster the process was
quick and straightforward.
As a ceramicist I tend to dislike plaster. I find it unsympathetic to work with and it can easily
contaminate clay with disastrous consequences. The only good thing about it is that it sets
very quickly and so it wasn't long before we were working at the next stage of the process
which was to remove the original form from its mould. Easier said than done in my case. One
of my plastic elements had become stuck in the bottom of the mould and needed expert help
to remove it. Then I needed to borrow someone's dental tool with a fine curved prong on the
end in order to remove some clay I had used to create an undercut. All the while I was still
trying not to think like a potter and to remind myself that the final piece would be a solid
piece of glass.
Those that had used the process before were introduced to core casting, a way of adding an
extra element to their mould that would enable a hollow form to be made. I tried to eavesdrop
whilst working away on my mould but soon realised that the complexities being explained
were well beyond my beginner status.
Filling the cleaned mould with glass sounds as if it should be straightforward, once the

displacement measuring technique has been understood. However there were many factors to
take into consideration when deciding which type of glass to use and which colours to
combine. In the end I chose what Noreen described as her 'conservatory glass', largely
because I liked the matt quality but also, I must admit, because the batch available had
already been washed and was ready to use.
The filled moulds were put in the kiln room to be fired, a date was set for the de-moulding
day, I gathered up all my pages of barely legible notes and drove home - rather tired.
For a ceramicist, opening a kiln door is always a mixture of anticipation and anxiety. Getting
the glass out of the mould was a similar mix of feelings. It did seem strange to be literally
breaking up the mould rather than to be treating it with care to be used again. Plaster that has
been fired is a strange almost spongy substance. It is called ludo and can be incorporated in
the next batch of plaster moulds to give additional strength.
I was delighted with the glass that came out of my mould but was fully aware that it was the
result of much help and a few happy accidents. I soon realised that, once the glass is out of
the mould, then the real work begins. We were introduced to a wide range of tools and machinery with which to finish our pieces. I have never been a fan of loud noises and potentially dangerous equipment so was pleased that the only machine work my piece needed was a quick blast on a diamond surfaced spinning disc to make the base truly flat, and Noreen did that for me -
thanks Noreen! I then used diamond sanding sponges and files to remove burrs and to soften any sharp edges.
Others were more adventurous and had used colour to create interesting combinations and depth as the different coloured pieces of glass fused together. Discs were cut from their glass forms and polished using various grades and types of grit. I could see that the possibilities were endless. A final spray of silicon polish added a professional sheen to my piece and I drove home in the rain thinking that the subject of glass making had huge potential - and that I had barely scratched the surface.

CCGG. Glass casting workshop with Max Jacquard and Noreen Todd. September 2018
By Rachel Damerell

Monday, November 12, 2018

Porthleven Exhibition

This year's Porthleven Exhibition once again was a most successful event which brought in £2460 in sales for our exhibitng members, with a footfall of 485 visitors. The high quality ceramics, glass and paintings on display made the whole exhibition space feel like a well-established gallery, thanks to the planning and placing of the pieces by Heather Frary, who was working on this on the Friday evening until way after 10.30pm. Thanks also go to John Mee for overseeing the event with Heather Frary; to Paul Finlay and Noreen Todd working on the sun-committee, and to Noreen for organising the financial side of the event.

Please put in your diaries the date of the 2019 Porthleven Exhibion which is from October 19th to October 25th.

January will see the next CCGG Film Day (details to follow soon).

CCGG exhibition in February at Bude Castle from February 15th to March 7th.
Bude Castle Gallery is advertisng the exhibition as:
                          "Coast to Coast.  An exciting and diverse mix of work from the Cornwall Ceramics and Glass Group including vessels, sculpture and wall pieces. Members’ paintings, drawings and Studio pottery will also be on show.       Ceramics and Glass at its best".
CCGG Exhibitors will be expected to steward for one day.
Space for approx. 14 exhibitors. Cost of exhibition £10 per CCGG exhibitor.
Bude Castle will handle sales payments at 25% commission plus VAT.
In the first instant please can members contact Danka or 01840 213308 to register your interest so we can draw up a list of exhibitors.
No payment yet but we will ask for payment asap to secure a place.
Set up will be Thursday 15th Feb. Exhibiting room is on first floor but there is a lift.
Public car parking close by and it is possible to drive right up to the Castle for unloading.They will supply a free parking permit each day so stewards won’t pay to park.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Tim Andrews Potter and Raku Artist – 40 Years On

Sunday, November 18th, 11.00am – 4.00pm , Ladock Village Hall, Ladock,TR2 4PG
Tim Andrews is known internationally for his individual raku/smoke-fired and porcelain work. He has regular large exhibitions both in the UK and around the world and recently celebrated 40 years making and 25 years at his studio and gallery in Woodbury, East Devon. He has written two bestselling books on Raku ceramics and his pieces have been acquired for many museums and other public and private collections around the world including Arizona University and The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
“The transformation of raw materials – mud to art – is a fascinating journey of evolutionary transition, peppered with risk-taking step changes. My own work represents an on-going dialogue between the technical sophistication of processes, serendipity, and timeless human qualities. After 40 years of making, my pieces have become more minimal in style; yet the simplicity and apparent effortlessness aimed for stems from a labour-intensive, unforgiving and demanding technique, together with a dramatic and intense firing process. Ultimately, for me, each piece has to justify its existence with a quiet, yet powerful, presence.”
Training originally with David Leach and then at Dartington, Tim has worked from his present studio and gallery in Woodbury, East Devon for the last twenty five years. He is a writer and exhibition curator and also teaches and lectures widely in the UK and abroad. He is a Fellow of the Crafts Potters Association of Great Britain and Honorary President of the Westcountry Potters Association.
Event Fee… CCGG Members £15 Students £10 Please bring your own lunch
Guests. Members’ guests are very welcome to attend CCGG Events but must be booked in by a CCGG member or introduced by a member if paying the event fee “at the door” Guest Fee £20

Friday, October 19, 2018

Sally Giles ... Chairman's Report 2018

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to our Cornwall Ceramics and Glass Group Annual General Meeting.

Our group was inaugurated in 2004, one of its aims being "To raise the profiles of Ceramics and Glass in Cornwall through events and activities"

Throughout the past 14 years the Committee has worked hard to continue with this objective and looking at the past years programme of workshops, presentations, visits and exhibitions, all well attended by members and their guests, I do feel we are fulfilling our commitment.
Looking ahead to the next year's programme I  think you will agree that we are on track to continue to do so, and with membership numbers steadily rising I feel it is on line to be another interesting and exciting year...(list of events shown on power point).

The second aim is "To promote high standards in Cornish Pottery, Ceramics and Glass". (slide)
Having seen the ceramics and glass on display at our Fowey Exhibition in May, I and many other visitors could see that high standards are being achieved in making, glazing, firing and presentation of finished work, both in ceramics and glass.

On Saturday October 20th our next exhibition of Ceramics and Glass at The Lifeboat Gallery in Porthleven opens. I do hope that members and friends will support our exhibiting members and see for themselves that our second aim is fully augmented. That evening from 5.30 to 8pm will give you a chance to sip some wine whilst you meet the makers. The majority of us enjoy talking about this process, including the odd disaster, and are always happy to advise on technical matters.

The third aim is "To create educational and social opportunities for members". (slide) Here today, we are socialising whilst our caterer is preparing a delicious lunch. At this point I would like to thank Carol Scott for organising this comfortable venue and Danka Napiorkowska for arranging our lunch.

This morning thanks to Max Jacquard's presentation we have learnt about his currant work and inspirations and a number of you have chosen to do a workshop with him tomorrow. This afternoon we are looking forward to seeing Jenny Beavan's presentation.

Not just today, but throughout the year we have had wonderfully informative experts arriving, huge boxes in tow, to tell us about their working practices, and to demonstrate their skills plus we have the bonus of handling some of the beautiful examples of their finished work they have for sale.

The film day, studio visits, raku making and raku and pit firing days are yet examples of educational and social opportunities for members and guests of CCGG. The sun always shines for us (especially on the film day!) and the Committee has always received great,positive feedback from these events.

The Committee 
The Cornwall and Ceramics Group has a dedicated Committee which meets throughout the year to plan events. I do hope that we appear friendly, approachable and supportive of you as fellow members.

As a committee we were sorry that Paul Finlay retired as Chairman and I thank you Paul for all your hard work and enthusiasm and we are delighted that you continue to support our events and joined our sub-committee with Heather, John and Noreen to organise this year's exhibition in Porthleven.

Karen Simpson retired earlier this year after many years on our Committee.  We are sad to see Brenda Albert, Fran Osborne, and Carol Scott step down. On behalf of CCGG I would like to thank them for their generous support not only given to me and everyone on the committee but also to all the members. Between the three of them they have given a total of more than 30 year's service. You will all be missed greatly and I do hope that you will still visit and enjoy our programme of events. (clap).

We are delighted that Cookie Scottorn has agreed to join out committee. She is an experienced potter who joined CCGG in 2017. Some of you visited her Potter's Barn in June housed in Michael Cardew's old home at Wenford Bridge. She exhibits her work there and at art fairs.

During these past four years, I have attended 23 out of  a possible 27 committee meetings and I have thoroughly enjoyed the friendship I have received whilst working with all my colleagues and Cookie I am sure that you will too. We are always happy to welcome new members on to the Committee so please do not hesitate to say if you feel you would like to join and work with us.

Last, but not least I do need to thank those continuing on the committee. Our secretary Heather Swain works quietly and efficiently with excellent assessments of all situations and she sends out the minutes almost before I get home. Noreen Todd taking over as Treasurer from Carol Scott both working hard to accomplish this smoothly and then Noreen , you have had to deal with all involving the privacy laws that came into force in May. Simon Warren our Membership Secretary liaising with Noreen over new member payments and dealing with enrolments throughout the year. Danka Napiorkowska who retired from her position as Membership Secretary last year but who has continued to support each event. Lynn Hare, Ben Barker, John Mee and Barry Marshall Johnson not only help set up each event but also give expert tuition on our making and firing days. Lynn for hosting this event this year at her pottery in North Devon. Barry a special thank you goes to you for continuing to work so hard in your many rolls and particularly for all the invaluable advice and support you have given me when I took over as Chair this August, and thank you Carol for assisting me as Vice Chair.

I would like to record a special thank you to 2 non members. Nina and Rod Ducker who over the years have provided us with an excellent and beautiful setting at Feock for our raku and pit firing day. Sally Tully,  not on our committee, but who has generously given her time to demonstrate raku, do mould making and in 2019 offers us 2 sessions when we can make a raku kiln in a day to take home, for £150.00 all in! Rowan Fawdon, not a member, who stepped in at short notice to hep with our raku day and biscuit fired the pots.

Our Constitution states that "Membership is open to anyone with an interest in Ceramics, Pottery and Glass wherever you come from" and I do hope that you will encourage fellow artists to join us. It is wonderful for the committee that you are always enthusiastic, appreciative and helpful. 

Please join us in November as we have the fantastic Tim Andrews coming to give a presentation and demonstration. His expertise is not only in stoneware. His reputation as a raku potter is worldwide. I know he will give of his time generously...not to be missed.
Thank you.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Pottery at the Poly Falmouth

They  are so close to having the funds to open the pottery to the rear of the Poly - they have the kilns, equipment, wheels, space and a very experienced pottery manager, but need to raise the final £3,500 to get the power supply and ventilation. When open it will offer workspace for 5 makers, community courses for clients of local charities, like St Petrocs, pottery courses, 1:1 throwing tuition, and kiln firing service. They have set up a silent auction on

To hit their target they need to reach the max amount of people who might be interested in bidding online. Work has been donated by Jane Smith, John Howard, Felix Packer, Karl Owen, Tim Lake, Paula Downing, Peter Webster, Dot Serle, Claire Ogden,Jane Howard,Yolanda Mack, Michel Francois, Colin Meir, Clementine Neild, Esther Connon, Lesley Harry and lots more.  The auction continues until April 28th. Most work can be posted and packed to anywhere in the UK by arrangement.

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