My Creative Process

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Many people ask me how I come up with my ideas and how I arrive at the final pieces.  This is not easy to answer as my creative journey is never on a straight path.  I don't have a sure idea, then make it and it's done.  It's more fluid than that.  More back and forth, like a conversation, which can often take years....annoyingly.  For this blog, I will show you some of the influences and processes around the ideas for my new 'Unravelled Bowls" . I wanted to make a new form that is a step on from my Single Scroll Bud Vases but still related to them.  

 
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I take inspiration from many places, but I do love a museum.  These images above are from the fabulous Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, in which I have spent many a happy afternoon.  I will mentally chew over ideas, just in my head for a while, until it gets to the point where it's keeping me awake at night, (there must be a healthier way), then I will sketch out ideas in my sketchbook.

 

 
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Once I have the basic direction, I will then, by this point be over excited (& maybe delirious through lack of sleep) and head the studio to do experiments and maquettes in clay.  This is where the real conversation starts.  There are technical issues to overcome and design problems that I had not foreseen. Sometimes, after seeing it in 3D, I realise the idea is just not quite resolved, but perhaps I'm not sure how to proceed.  This is when I shelve my maquettes, often for months. I have them where I can see them and slowly, over time I  work out what I like or don't like and then make some more.  And repeat....and repeat.....and repeat.

 

 
 
 Maquette

Maquette

It's working things out in clay where I have the most fun.  Ideas develop during the making process, so often my original idea grows or goes off in an unexpected but exciting new direction.  This maquette (left) was actually made about a year and a half ago and was obviously the stepping stone to my latest 'Unravelled' bowls.  Some maquettes don't even make it to the 'Contemplation Shelf' if I feel that the idea just wasn't good enough.  Others, like this one I continue to develop until I reach a final outcome that works.

 
 Unravelled Bowl

Unravelled Bowl

Once I feel happy with a piece, I will often bring it into the house for an evaluation from my family and anyone else who drops in. This can sometimes mean further developments are needed, after all opinions have been considered.

I'm quite fortunate as my husband also attended art college, it's where we met, so he's quite good at a creative critique and to bounce ideas around with.

I've usually got loads of ideas on the go of things I want to try or developments to ideas from pieces that I already make. 

So when I'm asked,  'how long did it take you to make?' I really don't know where to start. 

Do you have a similar process? A 'contemplation shelf' for tests that haven't quite worked but there's still something about them?