Tag Archives: jewellery components

Art Elements August Challenge – Swirls

At first I was very excited about the theme for the Art Elements http://www.artelements.net/swirl-august-theme-challenge-reveal/ monthly challenge. I thought swirls was going to be simple, so much to choose from. I had lots of ideas which I dismissed as I wanted to do something  different to what I have made before. I gave myself time for my little grey cells to get working whilst busy doing other things, I’m sure you know how it is, sometimes the ideas just pop in your head when doing mundane things like housework.

Ideas just happened when I wasn’t expecting them, I was booking my holidays for next year and I happened to be thinking about a whirlpool off a favourite Scottish island of mine, it’s called Corryvreckan, what a lovely word 🙂

Corryvreckan Whirlpool

Then out of the blue I started thinking of the work of Margaret McDonald, which I saw at Hill House a few years ago, it was designed by her husband Charles Rennie Mackintosh. I love that house and everything in it but that’s another story.

As much as I love their work I wanted to do something that was totally ‘me’ so I put them out of my mind (or so I thought)  and decided to look through my sketchbooks to see if there were any ideas there which I could develop. There were plenty of wavy and curving lines.
Sketchbook pages

Sketchbook pages

Sketchbook pages

Sketchbook pages

I found some lino stamping in my sketchbook, and thought I could try them out on clay.Sketchbook pages
Next came some very quick swirl scribbles (on a scrap of paper I can’t find now) with thoughts of Corryvreckan. I cut some more stamps based on my swirly scribbles.

Sketchbook pages
Once I stamped my clay I knew Margaret McDonald was still in my head 😊

UntitledSome of my already cut stamps had more swirls than others but while I was at it I thought I’d try them all.
Sketchbook pages

Once bisque fired I glazed some, used underglazes on others and fired some without any decoration, to have the application of china paint later. I made some little hollows in some of the pendants which were filled with glass frit, not knowing how the colours would hold up.


Here are my favourites.


This is my nod to Margaret Mcdonald, some have gold lustre as well as china paint. Those tiny swirls look so much like roses, I wish I could say that was my intention.
UntitledI got a clay order  this week so I set to and made some pieces using black and terracotta clays. I can’t wait to try some glazes out on these pieces but that will have to be for another blog post.

UntitledI do love the quality of line made by stamping lino prints into clay, they are delicate, more so than I could get with tube lining.

I have plans to carve some larger designs one day, but I have a lot of glazing to do in the next few weeks so it may be a while.

Now head over an have a look to see what everyone has made, I do love this part of the challenge.

New work inspired by Diatoms

A succinct post from me today; I’ve so much I want to do, so in a nutshell here’s some new design work that’s keeping me occupied today.

I’ve had a thing for diatoms for a long time but I’ve only just gotten round to using them in my designs.

Diatoms are a type of microalgae, and among the most common types of phytoplankton. I don’t have a microscope but there are plenty of images of diatoms on the internet if you look.

I got distracted the other day when I was at my computer ordering some glazes, and a few doodles ended up on my shopping list. This time I was determined to explore further and actually make something inspired by my doodles.
Why do I like diatoms?

It’s the simplicity and diversity of their form. Once I got going with my own ‘diatoms’ I couldn’t stop doodling in clay.

I can’t wait to get them fired and glazed.
P1470091More in another post soon.