Winter Garden

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I spend as much time gazing into the garden in winter as I do in summer. I have a lot of bird feeders and I never tire of watching the birds. The Sculptures give the garden structure and a bit of drama, especially in winter.

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I test pieces out to see how they look in the different light of the changing seasons. I know they are all completely weather-proof but it is reassuring to put them up against the harsh Brecon Beacons winter.

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This slightly crazy looking Harbinger was a technical test piece that got exploded into smithereens  subsequently giving me the opportunity to test some fixing-materials. Like all the sculptures it is hollow and I hope Bees might take it over. It is 130 cm  high and stands straight on the earth. If a piece needs raising up I try and make the plinths double up as toad or hedgehog homes. It’s working because I have both living here and almost no problems with slugs at all! These days I add holes and spaces in all my sculptures for insects to rest in and my garden is always full of bees , especially Bumble Bees. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Sculpture in the Garden

_F147690A Sculpture will transform any Garden, huge or pocket-sized, elaborate or austere. It will need to be made of beautiful, quality materials that have a radiance complimentary to your gorgeous plants. A piece needs to be frost-proof and easily cleaned. No material is as durable or as low maintenance as high-fired Clay.

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Half a Century I (sold) and II, £950 each.

The River, commission.

The River, commission.

 

Wyvern IV,62cm H x 55cm W.

Wyvern IV,62cm H x 55cm W.

 

Wyvern II, 70cm H x 52cm W. £850.

Wyvern II, 70cm H x 52cm W. £850.

 

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Up is Down XV, £300

 

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Harbinger I, £600. (sold)

 

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Up is Down XVI, 26cm H x 56cm L, £300.

 

I make simple , movable plinths with old bricks and attractive stone paving tiles. Dig a hole and put in some bricks to make a foundation if the Sculpture is tall or very heavy, then build a hollow plinth with a small doorway that can double as a safe, cosy home for wild-life. If security is an issue or the piece is tall and vulnerable to high winds sink a stake into the ground, build the plinth around this and have the stake go into the Sculpture- many of my Sculptures are hollow and you can set them securely with cement if needs be.

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Up is Down II, 42cm H x 90cm L, £650.

 

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Half a Century III, 40cm H, £150.

 

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Some of the Sculpture is fresh from the Kiln and new work will be on the go in the Studio.

River Harbinger, 125cm H, £950

River Harbinger, at Wyndcliffe Court Sculpture Garden, 125cm H, £950 (sold)

 

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The River III, 80cm H, £500

The River III, 80cm H, £500 Sold

 

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The Edge III, 57cm H, £600, (sold).

 

I freely admit I spend countless hours staring into the pond ''thinking''...there are Newts !!

Callipygous, 41cm H x 73cm L, £600.

Callipygous, 41cm H x 73cm L, £600.

In the winter sculptures give the garden focal points and structure while the plants rest.

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Up is Down IV, 44cm H x 58cm L, £1100

 

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Up is Down II, 80cm L, £500

 

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Harbinger I, £600. (sold)

 

The Garden backs right onto the wonderful country-side of the Brecon Beacons National Park

Osprey Studios Garden backs right onto the wonderful country-side of the Brecon Beacons National Park

Sculptures will define each area of your garden. This patio at the end of the garden is a calm, reflective place with dappled shade in the summer and warm sun in spring and autumn. In the winter the sculpture stands out and is eye catching from the house.

 

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Up is Down II, 41cm H x 80cm L, £500.

 

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Musings, 21cm H, £150. (sold)

 

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Musings, 20cm H, £150.

 

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The Edge XI, 77cm L x 49cm H, £600

 

The Edge I , 52cm H, £730.(sold)

The Edge I , 52cm H, £730.(sold)

 

Coastal Harbinger, 79cm L x 53cm H x 36cm D.

Coastal Harbinger, 79cm L x 53cm H x 36cm D.

 

The Edge XII, 71.5cm L x 46.5cm H x 40cm D.

The Edge XII, 71.5cm L x 46.5cm H x 40cm D.

 

The Edge XI, 77cm L x 49cm H x 40cm D.

The Edge XI, 77cm L x 49cm H x 40cm D.

 

 

Powys Arts Month 2014, Open Studio and Garden Exhibition.

Osprey arts mo flyer

 

All over Powys in Mid Wales, UK,  Artists and Craftsmen are opening their Studios and putting on special events to share work. It is a great time to find someone whose style appeals to you and go ask them about projects of your own. We all love talking shop and encouraging others with their creativity. It is an excellent  event for Bargains as Artists spring-clean their Studios and admit it is time to part with secret favourites.

Osprey Studios is open every weekend in May or phone and book any  time that would be more convenient. Evenings are a tranquil, charming time in the Garden.

Everything in this section is under £30.

Everything in this section is under £30.

 

Osprey Studios. Easy parking and access.

Osprey Studios. Easy parking and access.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the Sculpture is fresh from the Kiln and new work will be on the go in the Studio.

Some of the Sculpture is fresh from the Kiln and new work will be on the go in the Studio.

Beautiful Penpont ,half way between here and Brecon has an Arts Month site too and is a glorious place to visit. The ‘Visit The Studio’ page here on this site has other attractions, directions  and details for having a lovely day here in the south-western corner of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

You can show up on the day for my 2 workshops but booking in advance will secure your place.

You can get a feel for my best white clay, Scarva Architectural,on the Join-in Sculpture  which will be on the go all month and I’ll put out my Momentum wheel for anyone to try for free too.

A Join In Sculpture at Brecon Jazz with The Big Skill.

A Join In Sculpture at Brecon Jazz with The Big Skill.

The lovely kids visiting Osprey Studios with The Chernobyl Life Line trying out the Momentum Wheel

The lovely kids visiting Osprey Studios with The Chernobyl Life Line trying out the Momentum Wheel

On the 17th the wonderful Photographer, Stephen Foote (see links) that did my best pictures is coming here for anyone else needing top quality images at an affordable price. Everyone is welcome to visit on that day- it will be busy and very interesting to see Stephen Foote working in the Studio.

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I have had a massive clear-out; I’ve got a large Commission to build in the Studio. It will be on the go during Powys Arts Month and your feed-back during the build would be a great help. It is not going to be an easy one! I’ll have a lot of brand-new, never shown, work here. You can handle the range of  specialist clays I use to see if they might suit you. And there’s also some fab seconds  for sale including my Gwenllians.

Taken as a pair they will be just £500 or £300 each. Some of my other smaller seconds will be £1-£30. They are all frost proof.

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Gwenllian was an actual historical Welsh Warrior Princess. Both Sculptures of her are life-sized and fully frost-proof.

Gwenllian was an actual historical Welsh Warrior Princess. Both Sculptures of her are life-sized and fully frost-proof.

Everyone including Schools and Families will be  very welcome  to Osprey Studios during Powys Arts Month. You can relax in the Garden with a complimentary drink and the kids can play with clay for as long as you like.

 

 

Studio Diary April 15

Up Is Down- in progress

Up Is Down- in progress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not sure about the results yet; they will change hugely when they are fired apart from anything else, but the method is working. These pieces are built solid from layered different clays that all have the same shrinkage and firing temperature so they shouldn’t crack at the joins… IF the joins are good…The main form is done in one go,thick. Then, once it is firm enough a lot of extraction is done. This shows up the colours.

Up Is Down- in progress

Up Is Down- in progress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are not meant to be portraits of rocks.  The pieces are meant to have implicit forces running through the form causing the curves and the form creating a flow to the forces – exactly what happens as the tide ebbs and flows through the stones at Bracelet Bay. The Sculptures are about us. (see earlier posts about Up is Down)

Up Is Down- in progress

Up Is Down- in progress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At last these are properly 360 sculptures! I turn them over and in every direction as I carve,focussing on getting that flow to run past and into the surfaces,up and down.

Tidying and polishing takes forever because of keeping the white clays clear. An old, rough e-cloth is very helpful just on the white areas, used dry.

Up Is Down- in progress

Up Is Down- in progress

 

 

 

 

 

Studio Diary 25 March 2014

Up Is Down is a fascinating theme that is leading down all kinds of roads. Only time will tell how many of them are very bad….a percentage of my work is regularly too awful to fire – that’s the price of experimenting and taking risks.

I’m working for a very creative Company in the USA involving fire. And I have started a collaboration with  Photographer Stephen Foote (see Links for his Web-site) Both of these projects are benefitting from the early work of Up Is Down and now they are leading it with the movement and pull of forces and the changes that leaves on a form.

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Music is still key. A central space for Fire  and the intension to have no

or little base is a starting

template for the clay-armatures.

 

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Steve and I visited Bracelet Bay in the Mumbles, Swansea,one of the first of many spectacular  beaches around the Gower Peninsula. It was a strange, foggy day, very atmospheric, with the Fog-horn sounding in the mist. The feeling of the draw and strength of tidal waters pulling through the forms of stone is accentuated by faces covered in barnacles and pebbles left behind.

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 Steves pictures will be the reference point for the next batch of Up Is Down pieces.

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The resulting Sculptures will then potentially inform his next set of Pictures. And so on until it runs out of steam.

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The Up Is Down Series .

Up is Down IX, 20cm H x 49cm L x 31cm D, £800

Up is Down IX, 20cm H x 49cm L x 31cm D, £800

The Up Is Down Series started in November 2013. As often happens there was a progression from a previous Series ( the Edge). I knew there was a shift, and I knew what it was about, but couldn’t find the words for it. Sculpture is my ‘first language’, the one I think in and use to work out my understanding of the world. This is how it goes for many Artists, it’s not unusual.

Up is Down V, back view

Up is Down V, back view. Links to The Edge Series are obvious in this piece.

I’ve been describing our perceived borders in The Edge Series but we don’t actually possess  clear borders; the cloud of particles and especially  bacteria that make up us dissipates and interacts with our surroundings and fellows , interchanging constantly. When you leave the Forest some of it comes with you , some of you is left behind.We are constructed from atoms that have been used to form countless other things since the Big Bang. After death those atoms will move on to build other parts of the World. As my son put it beautifully when he was 5 ; ”So we become part of the mountain? Good.”

Up is Down V, 44cm H x 58cm L x 50cm D, £1700

Up is Down V, 44cm H x 58cm L x 50cm D, £1700. The Osprey theme recurs constantly in my work. Ospreys make their living crossing  the boarders between the earth,the sky and water.

Up is Down VII, back view

Up is Down VII, back view. Many of these pieces relate to the Half A Century Series.

Up is Down VIII, 18cm H x 43cm L x 30cm D, £800

Up is Down VIII, 18cm H x 43cm L x 30cm D, £800

Up is Down VI, 25cm H x 31cm L x 17cm D, £1100

Up is Down VI, 25cm H x 31cm L x 17cm D, £1100

http://www.sciencemusings.com/2008/01/key-to-riddle.html

by Chet Raymo

‘Behind the apparent decay and new growth the atoms endure, those mysterious and eternal particles that contain within themselves tendencies to combine and recombine in endlessly creative ways.

The church, the village, the rank tropical growth, the creatures that creep and fly and crawl are composed of recycled star dust, atoms forged billions of years ago in hot, massive stars, here woven by the hands of energy and entropy into a fabric of gorgeous complexity.

I went there for the same reason the naturalist/scientist Rachel Carson went to the edge of the sea. She wrote: “Underlying the beauty of the spectacle there is meaning and significance. It is the elusiveness of that meaning that haunts us, that sends us again and again into the natural world where the key to the riddle is hidden.”’

Up is Down IV, 31cm H x 58cm L x 37cm D, £1200

Up is Down IV, 31cm H x 58cm L x 37cm D, £1200

The title, Up Is Down, came from Hans Zimmer, the fabulous Composer and his brilliant piece of the same name  in Pirates of The Caribbean III. I have all 4 Pirates , Rango,and The Lone Ranger  sound-tracks on shuffle most of the time these days. Fantastic stuff,full of wild leaps of emotion , heady ideas and humour. His version of The William Tell Overture for The Lone Ranger is hilarious and wonderful.

Like the Up Is Down scene in Pirates III,”At Worlds End” this Series breaks away from the normal parameters that have defined my forms, particularly the base contacting with the table. It will take me a while to get this right but in theory the Sculptures can be turned and displayed any way you like ; the full 360 should have impact. The weight of the wet clay makes this very difficult to pull off….! I’ll get there. I will work smaller to reduce the weights and allow me to move through new forms more quickly. It is a massive challenge for someone who started out as a Vessel builder seeped in the tradition of the classic Vase form with it’s reliable base. But even in my earliest work , 30 years ago , that base kept trying to disappear. A-symatry and unlikely balance have always been my trade-marks.

Up is Down VII, 23cm H x 40cm L x 18cm D, £1200

Up is Down VII, 23cm H x 40cm L x 18cm D, £1200 

This piece still has a ‘base’ but it has nearly gone. It is not necessary  to loose the base for the piece to make sense; I work to Themes but I don’t set rigid rules because that would be trite. It is very difficult to trust that the Forms will evolve in a valuable way  given the freedom but if you don’t this work-meathod is meaningless. The idea is too prepare your craftsmanship, memory and sub-concious with as much expertise as you can. Then you add Music and  give your hands and clay free reign.

A new Up Is Down in progress

A new Up Is Down in progress

In Progress

Up is Down I ,41cm H x 80cm L x 48cm D, £1400 In Progress

Up Is Down II in progress

Up Is Down II in progress

 Extracts from J.P. Hodin, Barbara Hepworth, London, 1961, Two Conversations with Barbara Hepworth: ‘Art and Life’ and ‘The Ethos of Sculpture’, pp. 23–24(in conversation with J.P. Hodin, 18 August 1959)

“Art at the moment is thrilling. The work of the artist today springs from innate impulses towards life, towards growth – impulses whose rhythms and structures have to do with the power and insistence of life. […] In the past, when sculpture was based on the human figure, we knew this structure well. But today we are concerned with structures in an infinitely wider sense, in a universal sense. Our thoughts can either lead us to life and continuity or […] the way to annihilation. That is why it is so important that we find our complete sense of continuity backwards and forwards in this new world of forms and values. I see the present development in art as something opposed to any materialistic, anti-human or mechanistic direction of mind.”

Up Is Down III, 20cm H x 40cm L x 29cm D, £800

Up Is Down III, 20cm H x 40cm L x 29cm D, £800

Detail, Up Is Down VII

Detail, Up Is Down VII

Detail,Up Is Down VI

Detail,Up Is Down VI