Sometimes it's good to be alone, and somtimes it's not. I've just come back from a weeks 'residency' at the studio of my friends Jude and Ed. Jude Stoll is a glass-maker like myself, and Ed Bentley is a cermamicist and an expert mould-maker trained in the Potteries. We were also joined by Jan, a jeweller and teacher. The idea was to work together for a week and learn from one another. We all spend so much time rushing about that we thought that perhaps if we got together we might actually make some work. I wanted to do something that would make the most of what Ed could teach me, and so I opted to attempt a cast lidded vessel. I'm never quite sure what I think about high-technique things, I get bored with the precision required and want to break out. But I also know that sometimes technique teaches you things - a visual vocabulary and a sensitivity to the material you are using. So I was determined to stick with it and am pleased I did. All right, the cast didn't work first time, but the vessel tooks promising and there's an interesting interplay between the outside and the not-quite visible inside. I used pencils in the model to create small nodules in the base of the interior of the vessel in bright green glass which you can just see through the walls of the vessel. I came away determined to have another go at the cast, and will a few ideas for new work using refined mould-making skills. A great week that prooved how good it is to get together with others, share ideas and spark off one another.
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