La Pedrix

Day 1 – After rushing trough traffic to Birmingham airport I caught the plane at 8:15 to Bordeaux and by lunch time we were sitting in a lovely cafe in the center of Bordeaux soaking in the sun. We walked through the streets to Place de la Bourse and visited a couple of shops recommended by Ingrid. We then traveled in the mini bus to La Pedrix where we welcomed with a tour and a lovely evening eating and drinking wine by the sun set.

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Day 2 – After we all settled in and had breakfast we met in the library for our brief. We all received an era to study from the 1900-2000, I received 1990-2000 and were told to make a dinner set based on that era using earthenware clay, white slip and transparent glaze, through the week we would also have to create a ‘reliquary’ with clay we have to reclaim and a porcelain. We also had to prepare pots for a raku firing and dress up representing our era with our dinner set by our last night.

With a lot of work set I started to research my era:-

  • Stuckism- Billy childish (figurative painting)
  • Acid home, Raved, Ecstasy
  • Y2K – Pre 2000 computer making, global network didn’t prepare for the year 2000, thought they’d loose everything digitally and the digital world would crash
  • Started to appreciate skill again
  • Frank Gherry created American center in Paris 1993 and Gueggenheim Museum in Bilbao in 1997
  • Zaha Hadid
  • John conran
  • Lord foster and Lord Rodgers

Not much happened in terms of event in the 90’s so I decided to base by work on an architect which is most known for his work in that era which is Frank Gherry and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, it was known for uniting everyone over the building and I thought this could be represented over the dinner table by gathering everyone for a meal. I started to slab build the pieces but I was working to slow and they would dry to quick in the sun, I reclaimed my clay ready for the next day to start making my reliquary, I wasn’t feeling very motivated that day the sun was shinning!

Day 3 – After a disappointing working day yesterday and further research I decided to change my artist and focus on Keith Haring, he died in 1990 but his work boomed after his death. His work was based on America’s street culture and birth, death, sexuality and war.

I had a go at the wheel and Mick and Ingrid taught me how to center and make a cylinder, at last I could throw the basics! I made a little cup and a bowl with figurine like Keith Haring on the base and made a pres mold a plate, I added white slip on top and used a scraffito method to scratch away figurines on top. I also started my reliquary, I created a little chicken out of porcelain as I love my chickens back at home and create a capsule similar to an artichoke as my work is usually based on organic forms.

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Day 4 – We went out of the house and visited the market, this gave us a chance to purchase some clothing for our fancy dress for our final evening, there were a mixture stalls from ceramics, clothing to cheese! We later visited vintage shops as well for inspiration, between our travels from the market I decided that I need to create a center piece for my dinner set so i thought of a bread bowl as we’ve been eating so much here! We also did our first kiln firing, my cup, bowl and plate stayed intact.

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Day 5- I pulled by bowl out of the mold and trimmed some sides, luck it was still together and will be ready for a firing today. I press molded another plate so I’ll have a started plate and a dinner plate for my meal. I had another go at throwing as well using some raku clay, it was surprisingly soft to throw with as usually raku clay is quite coarse. Today was also the day I had to cook for everyone with Non, for breakfast they had a selection of fruit, croissants and yogurt. For lunch they had a potato salad and tuna pasta salad and for dinner I made samosas, curry and chocolate covered strawberries, I enjoyed cooking for everyone but wish I could have spent more time in the sun.

Day 6 – We visited the beautiful Monolithic Church of Saint-Jean of Aubeterre which was hand carved from rock then made our way to visit a local ceramicist and an ice cream shop before making our way to the beach for a bit. This evening we made our own delicious pizza with Ingrids home made pizza oven.

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Day 7 – This was our final day here in France, we started by visiting the local market which wasn’t as good as the last one we went to, then we came home to glaze our dinner set but because we won’t be able to fire them ready for this evening dressing up we were allowed to add color to our pots, I decided to choose very vibrant primary colors for my figures to mach the vibrancy of Keith Harings work. After everything was ready in the kiln we glazed our raku pots and I rakued my first ever pot! I made a little cup but I was unaware that raku can’t be used for functional ware but I adore the copper finish. After a long day of glazing it was time to dress up for our final dinner inspired by the 1900-2000, it was an amazing evening, everyone put so much effort to their costumes, we looked incredible.

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France has been an amazing experience getting to know my course mates and bonding with everyone, I realized how much work can be achieved in a week once we put our heads down and get on with it. I can’t wait to see how my dinner set turned out and hopefully we will all gather again for an evening with dinner served in our dinner set and era costumes!

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