Welcome to my blog. I work full time and creating is my sanity. I like to use many different mediums and was a finalist in the Fire Mountain Beading Contest in 2008. I am a passionate blogger, and a promoter of handmade goodness.

I love : my husband, my fur kids, family, music, sunshine, creating, chocolate, handmade soaps, the DUST Team, gardening, friends, Triple J Radio and photography. Comments welcome, I hope you enjoy the adventure with me.

Please respect my copyright and that the original ©photographs and ©text published on this blog remain the property of ©Maddabling (Samara). Please do not reproduce, crop or alter my original photographs.

made with love.........................maddabling xox

proud member of the down under street team

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Friends - West Australian Etsy Artists - ceramic snippets

Happy Friday lovely readers ! Have you got exciting plans for the weekend ? I think we are on yard cleanup duties before the winter storms hit i.e. trimming back tree branches and the like.......not very exciting but very necessary. I know the colder weather has set in too - time to get hubby to do his best Chimney Sweep impression and clean out the chimney so we can light the fire. The fur kids will be happy too - they become quite accustomed to snuggling in front of the fireplace. This week I want you all to meet Kate - the creative mind (and equally creative hands) behind ceramic snippets !
Kate is a fellow West Australian and a member of the West Australian Street Team on Etsy. As I mentioned in last weeks Friday Friends feature, I really really do admire artists who craft with clay, as it is something I was never skilled at. I want you to "meet" some of the creatures I discovered when browsing through the ceramic snippets photo albums on facebook. They really are just the cutest critters and the images I have chosen to share are firm favourites!
                           "Sheriff of the Sea"                                "Hoot"
"Spotty and Geometric Critters"
Time for you to turn the virtual pages of the the Ceramic Snippets Chronicle dear readers, wishing you the most wonderful of weekends, see you all on Wednesday for a new edition of Wednesday Wishes xo
The ceramic snippets Chronicle
who is ceramic snippets ?
'ceramic snippets' is a collection of clay creations by Kate Stevens. I am a part time librarian who lives in Perth, Western Australia with my husband Dan, my British Shorthair cat Lulu and my King Charles Cavalier dog, Ruby. Being surrounded by so much cute means a lot of it comes out in my work !
how and when did your handmade/artistic journey begin ?
I moved back from the hubbub of London and decided that I had to do something to engage and occupy me. At first I had the (mistaken) idea that it was study. I did nearly two years of law and dropped out in spectacular style after overworking and stressing myself out. After that I decided that I had to find something to relax and enliven me,and that it might help if I embraced my artistic side (which I’d suppressed for a really long time)
"The VIP"
I tried a few things and had some fun, but when my brother coaxed me along to a sculpture course I fell instantly in love with it. It made me feel so happy and creative, and my love for it seemed to come out in my work because people soon started asking if they could buy my pieces. I was a bit shy about it all to begin with, but with some encouragement from some of my friends I started ‘ceramic snippets’ and things have been going strong so far. It’s been a real learning process, which I’ve loved, because I felt for a while that I’d stopped learning things in my life.

what inspires you ?
I get inspiration from all over the place; I’ve noticed that a few of my critters look a bit like my cat Lulu, so I guess inspiration starts at home! Others also share their ideas with me and I try and translate that into clay for them. I also go through phases where all of my creations will have moustaches, or be covered in a certain pattern.
Sometimes I’ll get a vague idea and just try it out on the clay… even if my original doesn’t work it will sometimes lead me to something new and fantastic. I’m not a big planner or sketcher, I tend to just see where the clay takes me. There are a few amazing potters out there that I aspire to be like many, many years in the future. My absolute favourite is Amanda Shelsher. I also feel inspired by the success of other local artists, I feel driven to put my work out there when I see the achievements of many of my peers in all different mediums.

what mediums do you work with - do you have a favourite ?
Everything is handmade with Raku clay and then hand glazed with under-glaze (matt finish). On some pieces I will then add a shiny topcoat of glaze and / or a tissue transfer pattern to the surface that has been under-glazed before firing. I like patterns and colour, I’m mad about spots and spirals, so there’s a lot of them in my work too.
I like red raku for bigger pieces because it holds up under it’s own weight so you can build big and wide without it ‘slumping’, and white raku for small pieces because it has a clean, delicate finish and is less gritty than the red clay.

what kinds of things do you make / create ?
I make small, quirky clay sculptures with a whimsical feel. Most pieces are critters, some with quite human elements and a lot seem to have a slight touch of melancholy! My style evolved very unconsciously, I guess it was lurking in there somewhere, waiting to be released in clay.
Do you have a favourite piece that you have made / created ?
One of my favourite early creations was ‘mustachioed man’, the fourth ever piece that I made. I took him down to a local gallery and he was sold and went to Margaret River which I think is the perfect place for him!
"Mustachioed Man"
I also really like my piece ‘heartbreak’ because he is a more serious piece and a bit different from a lot of the cute and quirky pieces I produce. He went to one of my dearest friends so I still get to see him from time to time!
At the moment my favourite piece to make is Michael Mouse, he's quite satisfying to build and decorate, and the simplicity of colour and pattern has good impact I think. I have made a couple of girl and boy versions of him for a few buyers. 

what are your future plans, dreams, aspirations ?
I'd like to make a really big piece. My attention span and time limitations mean I stick to making small pieces, sometimes I would like to get building a piece that I work on for months and months and is totally amazing when it's finished.
"Michael Mouse"
I also aspire to be a full time potter in the future.....I'd love to have my own purpose built ceramics studio full of useful, tools, glazes and with a nice big kiln and an inspiring view for me to gaze out on while I think of what to make next. I'd also like to get more of a handle on the technical side of ceramics - kiln temperatures, firing methods, more adventurous glazing methods - there's a lot to learn !

Readers - want to own a piece of ceramic snippets for yourself ? Here are some LINKS that you can explore. :
buy cool creations through the Etsy shop here
become a follower on the ceramic snippets Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/ceramicsnippets
explore the ceramic snippets Web page here:
and read all about it over on the ceramic snippets Blog here: http://ceramicsnippets.weebly.com/blog.html

No comments:

Post a Comment