Found some film in the back of the fridge and turns out it's from last summer- from when Joe, Andrew, Toby, Gareth, Lucy and I went to Pukkelpop in Belgium. Kraftwerk, Peaches and 50 Cent. Moderat and Florence & the Machine. 4 nights. No showers. 30+ degrees. Hot vodka. A sea of plastic rubbish. It was kinda like Survivor.
Some places just feel like home. Old wallpaper, crooked lamps, worn velvet couches, paintings of crying children, knitting lying about... a little bit Wellington, a little bit Melbourne. And a touch of Berlin: they serve Club Mate! I think Café Brecht is my new favourite bar. Heel gezellig.
My finished piece from my workshop with Kesem. I'm really happy with it- I love the how the glaze turned out. The crackled finish is exactly what I hoped would happen. Now I 'have so many ideas, I just want to go back and make lots more. But there's a limit to how many crafts a girl can take on, my brain feels overloaded already!
A flying visit from two of my favourite people in the whole world was a happy interruption in my work day. Karina and Nils had a short stopover on their way from Oslo to the States. They desperately needed copies of Alledaags for Ryan- who they are visiting there- because all three of them feature in it! So I met them at Zuid and had just enough time for a coffee and a hug. Bad coffee, great hug.
A noiseless patient spider,
I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to
Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.
A Noiseless Patient Spider - Walt Whitman
I ordered a koffie verkeerd in Rotterdam and they gave me a free shot of booze topped with slagroom. It wasn't even noon. Go Rotterdam.
This billboard by artist Ken Lum is fantastic. Hilarious. I love humour in art- it's a rare and precious thing.
I spent Saturday in Rotterdam, mostly so I could visit Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Try saying that five times really fast.
Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson's exhibition "Notion motion" was gorgeous and mesmerising. Large pools of water and spotlights created rooms of dazzling reflections. You, as the viewer could directly participate by jumping up and down on floorboards that popped up; this caused ripples in the pools. It was so damn simple but so enchanting.
Lucy and I split off from the others to go check out some Hieronymus Bosch paintings and found an installation by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. The mirror room was totally awesome so we took lots of giggly photos. Then we opened the door and got the full power of the security guards disapproving stare. Whoops!
Although I've started working on the ruby ring, I was just not in the mood for fiddly work. I needed to bang and hammer and smash something. (It's been a rough week at work.) So I pulled out a piece of silver I'd been saving and got out the hammers. I used the technique repoussé because I want to have a bit more fun with the metal, I want to create texture and personality. I'm sick of perfect, flat, gleaming surfaces right now. When you hammer the metal, it sits in a bowl of pitch, which helps hold and mould your piece. The pitch then has to be melted off the silver which is stinky and messy and dirty. I enjoyed every second of it.
As you can see from the initial rough drawings, I started with the idea of a bird's wing. As this is all a bit experimental because I'm learning this technique as I go, I think I will end up with a much more abstract final piece. It's nice to start somewhere though and see your ideas grow and change. I'm thinking this piece will end up as a brooch.
I went to the second half of the ceramics workshop with Kesem. She had fired our creations and we spent the class glazing our pieces, which all felt a bit like guess work as the glazes look completely different when fired. So my piece, which should end up a combination of matte white and transparent turquoise, right now looks a powdery grey and white. I have to admit, my colour choices were greatly inspired by Kesem's own work, as she uses many blues and greens. I should get back my piece tomorrow and I'm so excited to see what the finished product looks like!
Autumn is here. I know this because there is one tree in our garden prematurely shedding it's leaves, the spiders are taking over the backyard again and I have been baking. The spiders also remind me that we have been in this house now for one whole year. Thanks spiders.
On top of these portents, I also have a horrible cold, but I thought I'd spare you a photo of that.
Sometimes I have so many ideas buzzing around that I can't even decide where to begin. Inevitably I end up with lots of unfinished projects. This unfinishedness plays on my mind and sometimes drives me a little crazy with all the finishing I feel like I have to do.
But then I have other days when it's all just too much or there's no inspiration. And being able to pick up a forgotten something and add that last little touch to complete it is so satisfying.
Kesem Yahav is a ceramics artist who runs classes for small groups in De Baarsjes. Her studio is gorgeous, calm and well organised. Last Friday, Tracey, Rachel, Sarah, Jen and I took the first of two workshops, an introduction course. Kesem, who is very relaxed, taught us the basic techniques to build an object out of clay and then we were left to our own designs. Next week we glaze them, which I'm really looking forward to. Making something out of clay is harder than it looks, but there's something so satisfying about physically making something. I feel the same way about silver-smithing.
I sense a runner in the garden
Although my judgements known to fail
Once built a steamboat in a meadow
Cos I'd forgotten how to sail
I know the runner's going to tell you
There ain't no cowboy in my hair
So now he's buried by the daisies
So I could stay the tallest man in your eyes, babe
The Gardner- The Tallest Man on Earth