From Aberystwyth to Borth

It has been a while since my last blog post, so now I am finally doing something about that. Since the last time I wrote here, I finished my second year at Aberystwyth University, visited my grandparents in Denmark, travelled home to Norway, went on a coast to coast roadtrip in USA with two of my best friends and visited Luciana and her family in Portugal. Now I am back in Aberystwyth and are staying here until I am officially a third year student at the School of Art and probably until Christmas.

This summer, and all my adventures, have given me a lot of inspiration that I will use in my future artworks – I can’t wait to get started (the only problem is that I have no idea where to begin). My plan is to write some posts about some of my experiences later in the summer, hopefully along with some finished paintings.

Today I did something I had been dreaming of doing for so long – I went walking from Aberystwyth to Borth. The walk is about 6 miles long and took me around two and a half hour. Luckily for me there was no rainy clouds today – the weather was behaving really well for once. You meet a lot of friendly people here in Wales and walking on this costal path there is no exception (I also got to see a lot of cute dogs). I had a really great experience and I am so happy for finally doing this. I am also really tired – even though the walk is not that far there are more hills to walk up and down than I am comfortable with. Here are some pictures from the walk:

I strongly recommend everyone that lives in Aberystwyth (and have not done it before) to go on a walk to Borth.

Staging an Exhibition

Today I helped staging an exhibition, Alternative Facts, that is being displayed at the School of Art from the 22 May until 29 September. This exhibition were a part of my undergraduate module “Staging an Exhibition” held by Harry Heuser. In the beginning of this semester, we chose three objects each and throughout this module, we have been taught how to write labels, introductory text panels and how to display the artwork.

Alternative Facts poster

If you are interested, you are very welcome to come and take a look at our exhibition!

Trying to Get Everything Done

This is the last weekend before our deadline, and now we are trying our best to get everything done in time. I still have a bit of work to do on my paintings, but at least I can see them getting finished.
This semester I have focused on the darkness and the light of my living room, and have tried to capture it into these four different paintings. I started the darkest one of them when it was still winter, and the lightest one is the most recent one, reflecting the light that summer is bringing.

I also have a bit of printmaking to finish, so I will try to get up early tomorrow and stay the whole day in school, hoping to make some good prints out of my plates.

Stone Litography

This semester I have had printmaking along with painting and here are some pictures of the processes I have learned to work with, stone lithography.

When I started printmaking I had not heard of stone litography before, and did not know how it worked, but I really like this process now – it is basically like drawing and painting. One thing I am still not used to (and that goes for all printmaking processes) is that the image will be mirrored from the original drawing.
Stone lithography was invented in the 18th century and was the first process to make it possible to “draw” and “paint” an image onto a flat surface. The basic of what you do are:

  1. Draw on the stone with something greasy, like a litho crayon or pencil.
  2. Add a little water to the stone, so the parts of the stone that are not greasy get wet.
  3. Roll an oil-based ink onto the stone, this way the greasy parts will pick up ink.
  4. Press a piece of paper to the stone to transfer ink from the stone.

There are more steps in the process than this, but this is the easy explanation. I will post more pictures of my final prints soon.

Pottery

This is the first time I am trying pottery. I started this semester, at the end of January, in a class called “Pottery for Beginners” at the Arts Centre in Aberystwyth. It runs every Monday evening from 6.30 pm to 9.00 pm and is held by Laura Hughes.


My works so far:

This vase was made using the slab method – it consists of nine parts pieced together. In the first picture you can see the vase after its first firing, bisque firing, and in the second picture it has been glazed and is ready to be fired again, glaze firing.

This bowl is the first one I made, and is made using the pinch pot method. You start of with a lump of clay, making it round and smooth before making a hole in the midle and then pinching the clay from every side until it is the shape you want it to be. This bowl is supposed to be brown on the outside and green on the inside, but it is also covered in glaze – on its way to be glaze fired.

This is my first mug made by the throwing technique, probably what most people associate with pottery, where you thrown a lump of clay (smooth and round) onto a wheel that you spin while forming the lump with both hands. It’s not as easy as it looks! First state, not been fired yet –  it is now you paint it.

This bowl is made with the pinch pot method after a failed attempt to throw. Also in the first state and ready to be bisque fired.

I have also a bowl made by the coil method, but I didn’t take a picture of it since it is not very good. Using that method you make the clay into sausage shapes and build up a vase, bowl, mug (or whatever you like) out of these sausages and smooth it afterwards with damp sponges.

Luckily I still have a few classes left so I am looking forward to making more pottery. It is a nice way to spend an evening – relaxing and creative.

Inspiration in Welshpool

Yesterday, Luciana and I had to take the train to Welshpool to get our National Insurance Numbers. While we were there we decided that we might as well to do some sightseeing so we went to see the Powis Castle – a medieval castle build around 1200. Since it was such a lovely and nice day (rain) we only went to see the inside of the castle, but it is supposed to be an amazing garden there with plants from all over the world.

Both of us got a National Trust membership, so now we can visit as many places as possible within a year – I will try to do my best!

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Except the weather (I have almost got used to it by now) it was a really great and interesting day – I got lots of inspiration for my paintings and even did a few sketches.