Seaweed pinch pot

Seaweed pinch pot

Monday, 3 August 2015

windows of branches

beakers with designs inspired by the patterns tree-branches make against the sky

Recently I've been making mugs, beakers, bowls and vases. Some of these I've been using to explore, using oxides and glaze, the visual affect of light through the branches when you're in a forest or under a tree canopy looking up. It's something I've been fascinated by for a long while, and I imagine it could keep me enthralled for a long time yet.  One of the things that holds me is a feeling that the patterns made by trees are somehow psychologically soothing and uplifting. I wasn't sure if this was an individual thing: I spent many hours of my childhood lying under trees looking up at the sky and so it's not hard to see that I'd bring my own fond memories to my adult experience, but co-incidentally I came across an article in the New Yorker just a few days ago describing how, according to new research, time spent looking at trees (even images of trees) calms us down and gives us a psychological boost. And interestingly it's not about deliberate, focussed sort of looking, but just seeing them in an undirected sort of way. Having trees around (or at least visual stimuli akin to trees) seems to be the key.

Different trees make different types of patterns of course and I'd love to know whether the type or form of the tree makes a difference to the way our brains are affected by its visual presence.  I imagine this is some very ancient brain wiring being touched upon. So much yet to learn.

Last Friday I dropped off a bunch of this new work to SMALLpieces gallery (at Northcote Pottery Supplies) - I'm excited to be their 'featured artist' for the month of August. You'll find my work in the window display there this month.
some more recent work, including a beaker with carved forest design and a cylindrical vase with textured wattle impressions rubbed with oxides

I'm also loving making some vases with seed-pod inspired forms and simple, comfortable mugs