Morocco: Found, Made

Final post on Morocco and a notemaking process to take back into the things being made back home. Ceramics has knocked me healthily sideways, regarding the behaviour of glazes, shrinkage and knowing when to let it be. Don't want to lose a natural tendency to worry something into shape but it can be offset.

Some of the colours here resonate with stoneware glaze tests; violets and purples especially which have surprised me. Also, not so clear on this image, manufactured surface repeats subjected to erosion.

And knotting. Was playing a while ago with remembered lashings and unfamiliar ones, such as the Monkey's Paw.

This last image is an improvised brush used by a boy we met, who made and painted something to give to my boy. He did it just because he wanted to. Best moment.


Morocco: Washed Forms

Back now in London, always somewhat disorientating after neighbouring the Atlantic for two weeks. Time there does give vent to overview of one's work and one's conduct as a maker, a teacher; moreover as a father, a partner. That sounds pompous but it happens.

In terms of making, there needs to be more of it bearing relation to the speed I think. Not that all the ideas are so good that they beg to be realised; just so that the intent is clear throughout the rendering. And so that I stop having people hang on too long for the result. There is such a discrepancy between design, art and craft lead times; it's tricky to know when one is slow or not but at the moment I want to quicken.

Reading was judged right this time. Often take away the wrong book but gained a good deal from Hyphen Press' God's amateur: the writing of E. C. Large, which I'd taken away from the live reading by Stuart Bailey at Somerset House a few years back. Bailey's essay, on re-reading, resonated here this time; particularly his notions of low modernism and of a nowaday supplanting of experience by convenience.

Also a collection of Graham Greene's short stories. Coming to him late on, like ignoring the obvious or resisting the forcibly recommended. And in terms of process logic, James Langdon's concise iteration of Ulises Carrión's texts on the book; as he says, "potentially a manual for making and using books".


Morocco: Found Colour Notes

Coming to the end of another stay in Aglou, near Tiznit, in the Souss-Massa-Draâ region of Morocco. On the doorstep of the Atlantic, an empty beach with tidelines of salt- and sun-bleached organic and synthetic matter.

Combing and collecting colour has become something to look forward to each time. It's had a significant effect on my attitude to and use of colour; something I've considered to be a struggle. Local colour; colour arrived at through the action of one agent upon another; elemental wearing of processed forms — variegations therein make so much more sense than the burnt umbers and cadmium reds of My First Acrylics Set.

Same applies to the varieties of battering to a recurrent form.