Alys was very generous sharing her background, method of working, sketch books, samples of both made and unmade work with us. She uses materials that are often discarded; leather and fabrics from sample books, old belts and buttons and magics them into purses, bags and wallets. The matching of the pieces together may take days or even weeks and Alys carefully considers the placement of colours, textures and patterns together. It is this attention to detail that raises her work from recycled craft into a high quality item, the stitching (done on a machine passed down from her mother) is perfect.
I particularly like her bags.
After the talk I went into the gallery to look at Ooze: an exhibition by Brendan Stuart Burns. Brendan was one of my tutors on my degree course and I considered him to be a painter so it was with great interest I walked into the space to see his new body of work….in porcelain.
Brendan has continued to use the Pembrokeshire coast, in this work a walk between Solva and St David’s, ” to develop a personal visual language that often plays with the real and the illusionary, the figurative and the abstract.”
By taking moulds from the cliffs the clay has been manipulated and added to with mark making of various kinds. Some pieces have been laid flat but the one with the most impact for me was many pieces attached directly onto a wall. These images have been taken from Brendan’s facebook page.
With detailed images from Craft in the Bay website.
In the evening I attended another talk by the ceramist Ann Gibbs arranged by CASW. Ann took me on a wonderful journey starting at St Fagan’s Museum, onto Philadelphia (a report of her time can be read here), to the the wilds of Scotland ending up in Japan to investigate Ikebana before settling in Stoke on Trent for the Ceramic Biennial.
Household objects displayed at St Fagan’s Museum
Household Objects, Mercer Museum Philadelphia
Ikebana is a very precise form of flower arranging, with about ten different schools or styles. The influence of Ann’s study of the art is reflected in her work. every piece has an exact place for it to be displayed as can be seen in her most recent installation Crossing Boundaries shown at the British Ceramics Biennial.
Again I am so grateful that I able able to experience such rich and informative culture all for free.