MA Design: Central Saint Martins 2011

It has recently occurred to me that I started this blog 5 years ago shortly after finishing my MA at Central Saint Martins in 2011. We were the last year to graduate in the Lethaby building, Southampton Row in Holborn, and for the first time allocated the large room on the ground floor.

Here are a few images from our final show MA Design Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery.
All Images have been taken from the University of the Arts Central Saint Martins degree show blog 2011.

Anne Frobeen 

Sam Sheard

Alexander Mazur-Knyazeva

Elena Nunziata

Niloufar Afnan

Kim Norton


Haptic:  Relating to the sense of touch, in particular relating to the perception and manipulation of objects using the senses of touch and proprioception

Tacit: Understood or implied without being stated

These two key words are for the title of two group exhibitions involving 
Myself, Jane Cairns, Thomas Appleton, Laura Grain and Grant Aston. 

 Together we are working towards two exhibitions starting in 2016 following through to 2017.

 We all met on the Crafts Council development programme Hothouse in 2013.

This programme has given us a strong peer group connection that has continued to flourish long after we finished.
 Our motivation behind this initial idea is to be able to make work that we wouldn't normally have the opportunity to explore and to be able to work on our own terms.

During these two events we are planning some networking events and possibly a Q&A

More to follow in the next few weeks. 

Making ideas with brick.

My first blog post for 2016.

So far I've been working on several different projects some I can begin to drip feed images through. Here are some ideas emerging for a couple of pending exhibitions later in the year.

My continuing fascination with brick is a starting point. Some of these pieces have been found some have been given to me and others have been carved by myself. 

What I'm immediately thinking about is weight. 
Or how these pieces and compositions can join together to make one large piece of work.

Revisiting these porcelain chunks that were initially split into sections. However,  I've never fully explored the fact that they all belong together. Considering that they were cut from one piece of clay there is an immediate connection.

The cuts and joins, the raw outer edges, the traces of being handled.
These elements have been a consideration of mine for a while now and it may have been something that remained part of that feeding process whilst developing another idea. 

I often find that pieces of work that have been produced quickly as part of a bigger thought can still hold their own as a stand alone object. There is a huge value in these pieces and to move them into another context can often unlock those initial thoughts that may or may not have fed the final work that they were originally born from. 

As well as being consumed by the idea of weight in clay I have also been throwing other key words around such as suspension, gravity and balance. 

Using existing work to begin this process I ventured outside with a bag of string, hooks, wire, sheeting, fabric and with Ben's help we began to explore how we could convey these singular descriptive words through objects and compositions. The works will not be shown outside but I find it so much easier to have space as opposed to being restricted to a room or studio. It also helps to have the addition of the elements to contend with because this could help change the direction of the thinking or help to stumble across something that would never have previously been a consideration. 

This is a starting point! I still have a long way to go but I always enjoy the time that allows you to really experiment with ideas without feeling they are too precious. Thoughts and ideas come and go quite swiftly at this stage. 

Physical traces of making through language

Week 3: Thinking about where I was last week with new compositions and objects. Since then I've had a couple of conversations that have led me to begin to look at language. 
Our understanding of particular words and how those words translate into an action, motion or movement. 

Below I've included the written verb list by Richard Serra to which this enquiry completely hinges on and my own list of important words that have relevance either within my making process or my practice as a whole. 

Looking at some of these words more carefully I would say that they definately have a link to the material I'm using. 


I wonder whether this is a case of my material knowledge and understanding or whether I'm making assumptions about the material. If I asked someone to describe clay I wonder whether any of the words I have just used would be included within their own description. 

I think that has to be my next step forward. 

This is an example of a very simply process through the action of pushing using a rolling pin by pressing down using my own body weight and applying pressure. So what we have in this one simple action is the involvement of two to three other words listed above. 


Is there a way that these words and the way we engage with the clay can simply be made by one action through interpretation of the selected word. 

Initially I thought that I was going to strip all tools away. I'm convinced that the hand held pieces of clay can be made through the use of hands and a surface such as a table. 

With regards to scaling the work up, on reflection I think tools will have to be incorporated but again it's very much about how they are being used and this will have to be carefully documented in the same way the smaller works have been. 

CaCO3 10days Winchester

CaCO3 will be on display until 7th November 15 at the Theatre Royal Winchester as part of 10days chalk Winchester's art biennial.

I will be in conversation with Sara Roberts and Jackie Bromley on Thursday 5th November from 5-7pm in the Theatre discussing Chalk in making. 

Follow the links to purchase tickets:

Chalk 10days Winchester 2015 work in progress

This is a quick update about the work I'm currently making for 10days Winchester opening in October.

Since my last post I've managed to move it along slightly with one of the three large canvas panels almost finished. 

After a conversation with Sasha this morning I'm still undecided about how the smaller test pieces will be hung in the space. I started photographing them outside in natural sunlight this afternoon and there are some interesting elements beginning to unfold, which has now made me think about lighting and possibly positioning them away from the wall in order to be able to see these details more clearly.

Chalk in three stages some of the process work will be on display along with some photography taken in  Sombourne chalk quarry.

As for the larger panels these are going to be hanging from the red brick wall but I can experiment with spot lights once the work in installed. It's something to consider and will give the white expanse a little more depth as the marks made through making will have a stronger resonance. 

10 Days Chalk 2015 Winchester Arts Biennial

Chalk: A white soft earthy limestone (calcium carbonate) formed from the skeletal remains  of sea creatures.


In October I'm showing a new piece of work called CaCO3 in Winchester for the Arts Biennial 10Days: Chalk 2015.

This can be seen in The Winchester Theatre Royal just one of the many venues hosting events exhibitions and performances across the city for the month of October - November.

I'm just in the process of gathering everything I need together to begin making so in the meantime here are a few images of some of the material tests I've been working on recently. 

These pieces of chalk were collected from just outside the train station in Winchester on my first visit to meet Kate Raines at the theatre to measure the space where the final works will be hung.

It's pretty easy to find once you start to open your eyes. Chalk is very much part of Winchester's geological foundation but it will be interesting to find out how many people living in and around the city take notice of this material beneath them. 

Having collected some medium sized pieces of chalk to begin initial tests. It requires quite a lot of time and effort to crush it down into a workable state.

Here are the results of some of the tests to date. I'm also finding that different mixing mediums create contrasting finishes. Although the largest piece of canvas I've worked on so far is only 50 x 50 cm square I'm beginning to understand how far I can push it. Although, it's often a very different story once you scale it up to full size.

Physical traces of making: Part 3

Since my last additions based around 'Physical traces of making' I've been scaling the work up slightly and also looking at different ways to present it. 

Work in progress with porcelain 

The two or three pieces below have been photographed on mirror glass against white and black backgrounds to see how or whether it changes the appearance in any way. On closer inspection the porcelain against black seems to bring out more detail on the surface. 

The use of monotones in reversal is definitely something to explore further.

Mirror glass is a material I'm revisiting from the exhibition at Arthouse1 in 2014.
I'm fascinated by extending the work and revealing parts of the form that would normally be concealed by the plinth or surface it's sitting on. 

I'm particularly interested in these tiny points of contact with the mirror glass raising the rest of the surface up and away. Creating new visual spaces intangible spaces and small pockets of space. 

High fired Porcelain

Physical traces of making part 2

In the previous post I briefly talked about the development work around the traces of making. 
Here's some of the work I started a couple of years ago. I wanted to see how different sized pieces of clay would impact on the shapes and forms that could be created through simply using  my hands. 

As I mentioned by following simple words led as instructions these small abstract shapes began to take place. 

As I worked through each ball of clay I wrote down what I had done and how each shape had been made.
For example: using both hands pressed down on to the table. 

I gradually worked through porcelain paper clay, terracotta and a course black chunky clay.
To see if that had any impact on the work or whether the colour changed the way I handled the clay. 


As I began to accumulate a collection of interesting objects I considered the idea of extending this exploration to involve other people. 
As a maker I felt that I may be making certain assumptions around the capabilities of the clay and second guessing how it would behave which could hinder the outcome. 

Here are a few examples of Lisa's pieces. A friend of mine who has no knowledge of clay. 

It was an interesting process as there were some similarities between my own pieces and Lisa's. This most likely came about from one another's understanding of the words used as opposed to the clay. 

So… Is the clay simply the felicitator for the work and what is more important here? 

Physical traces of making

This exploratory work has been sitting in my sketch book for a while now. I'm revisiting it as I think I've finally formulated my thinking enough to begin to develop it further.

I'm looking at the process of making and the importance of that direct contact or handling of a material through making. In this case I'm using three different clays. 

With a simple set of instructions such as: pushing, squeezing, folding, opening I've been interpreting and responding to these words through the movement and manipulation of the clay itself.

 The initial idea came from looking at Richard Serra's verb list. There is a rhythm to this list in much the same way there is a rhythm to many making processes. 

Each piece of clay begins in the shape of a ball. The idea is to work quickly without over thinking each instruction meaning you are left with an object that hasn't been overworked. All tools have been removed from this process. Every mark, trace and indentation has been made through my hands or contact with the work bench.

I will be posting more images as this begins to unfold. 

All images taken by Ben Winkley 2015