Failures and successes

I bought some CoCo3 impregnated patterned rice paper at Aberystwyth. I thought it would be interesting to try it out on some of my sheets. Unfortunately, they must have contained some mineral residuals in the colour. They set solid and ruined the tiles; sadly – because they would have looked good. Sanding, grinding and acid all failed to remove it:

This prompted me to set off doing some printing on clay to make some little bowls to sell at Rufford. That wasn’t to be, either. The only one that survived intact was a direct print of CoCo3 in acrylic medium on to 2x BCS. The image was a photoshopped OS map of Rufford Abbey. Unfortunately it was printed in mirror writing because I got the acetate upside down. Doh! All the rest failed too- several direct prints with fritted pigments and a number of mono prints on to rice paper which I then placed on the wet clay and fired when dry. The outcome was a slightly stained piece of bone china with a bit of coloured dust sitting on it. Why? Because I was being lazy about my plans for Rufford. Bad karma.

Anyway, the success was inspired in Japan by this paper question mark.


As soon as I saw it in the book shop I was struck by how I could use stacked thin BCS sheets instead of paper. It set me to thinking over the next few days about the mass effect of them and shaping their external edges. Cutting/drilling holes or grinding followed as ideas. There was obviously an issue of how to mount and illuminate them. Initially I thought I might drill a series of holes through them and connect with a long bolt, separating the sheets with thick washers.. This failed on 2 grounds: there aren’t any thin 20 cm bolts and there is the risk of fracturing the sheets.

Next idea was to mount them vertically in acrylic blocks. I have found a manufacturer who will do this but he’s gone strangely silent now I’ve put my order in. Illumination from below.

At this point I had a review with DB of my plans for the degree show. We agreed that I would develop the cubic frame, the screen, some of the lights and explore the papery qualities of the sheets. Another Japanese inspiration of highly textured paper. This is my 1st ceramic version.




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