Mountain backdrop near Gonnesa
Sardinia is an old and rugged place and has so much natural beauty - large craggy mountains and a huge blue sea are the main features of the area I'm staying in. It's fresh, raw and basic and gives one a feeling of having been shaped and formed over a long, long time. Impossible not to be affected in some way.
These are the first pieces to emerge from my new old studio in Sardinia. I am working in a small room that was once a kitchen, a little over a metre wide. I managed to locate some clay and a rolling pin and a few found objects were all that was needed to get started. The clay is a little rough and gritty and posed an initial challenge ... like a wilful child it wasn't going to give me what I expected: a well-behaved, smooth and even finish.
Working with clay is all about shaping and forming, understanding the nature of the material and working with, rather than against it. After a slow and somewhat dubious start, I have come to embrace the rough and rugged nature of the place I am in and applying it (with great courage I felt!) to the clay making process - scratching back into the dry clay with coarse sandpaper (found in the studio clean-up), leaving in accidental marks made while rolling or moulding, pricking the surface with an old bristle brush, imprinting a seed pod while still wet.
Crystal clear water with pebbles at the beach in Gonnesa
On the other hand one might just as well be influenced by pebbles found in the sea, marvelling at how the coarse sand has smoothed the surface over eons. Time and tide. Not to mention the colours ... a whole new range of possibilities for surface decoration and glazes.