Hi there.

Thanks for popping in. Great day today. Brilliant meeting with the accountant – which was a welcome surprise, I can tell you! Sometimes you just can’t see the spot you’re standing on, and it takes somebody else to size up the situation for you. All this hard work is paying off, I’m happy to report. January is always such a telling month, almost sinister after the happy Christmas period and all the festivities. So many businesses are closing their doors too, as Grace blogged about so succinctly yesterday over on the Clarity Matters blog. I’ve known friends, good friends, clever people, go to the wall – and it wasn’t necessarily down to them. So I am very grateful (and relieved) that Clarity is going from strength to strength. Long may it continue.

Skipped off to potty pottery this afternoon, to carry on with my latest creation – my African sculpture….Last week I spent 3 hours perfecting a little manhead…

This week, it was time to do the body….

You definitely need a lot of imagination with this one! At one point I was wishing I had stuck to bowls. BUT. The theme this term is Africa, and I have it in my mind’s eye to handbuild a couple – a man and a woman.

Here’s the thing. I’ve done the man’s head, but there’s something about this body which looks way too feminine. You see it too, right?!? So I decided to do the woman’s body here, and sort out the man’s body next week, with bigger shoulders (or something !) He’s ok with that. Like he’s going to argue with me! I’m making the heads separately anyway, so you can swop them if you’re feeling kinky. Like I said – POTTY POTTERY!

Eunice showed me a really clever trick with kitchen paper and porcelain slip. Brilliant! Look! Such a great teacher!

Now you can see she’s a woman, can’t you?! Doesn’t that look fantastic?! Now for the arms….

I know, I know. Ridiculous! Artistic license, I think it’s called. Don’t say a word about the shoulder pads and the concave chest either!

It’s like a lot of art – it ain’t over till it’s over. And this chick thought she was a bloke until about 2 o’clock this afternoon!

Homework tonight? Make her head. I have brought a lump of clay home to work on the face.

I’m thinking though, that I want to build a wonderful folded headdress out of the paper towels soaked in porcelain slip. You know what I mean.

Just had an idea. I’ll pierce her ears! I’ve got loads of wacky costume earrings from the good old days, which need a new purpose!

You know how you escape into Groovi and stamps and stencils and mixed media? Well, much as I love our world of Clarity art, for me it is mostly attached to business and commercial enterprise nowadays. That’s the price I have paid for turning my passion into a business. It’s fine, and as I say, I am very grateful.

But now pottery gives me that door to wonderful creative freedom. Art for art’s sake. No business links, no commercial attachment – just pure play. And those 3 hours that I take on a Wednesday afternoon, to go do something completely outside of my comfort zone, to soak up knowledge, to learn a whole new skillset – those 3 hours are the absolute highlight of my week. They also give me joy and energy to keep on Clarity-trucking….

Moreover, whilst I do love it when it works – you know what I mean – I am less interested in the outcome than the physical process. It’s not about getting to the top of the mountain for me; it’s about the climb up the mountain.

Time to go sculpt a little African woman head…

Love & Laughter –

Barb xx

PS And my African wall hanging came out of the kiln a treat! Now I just need to join all the bits together. Recognise the stamps?

26 thoughts on “Body-Head-Head-Body

  1. Your wall hanging is fantastic, Barbara. I love the colours. I am also very impressed by the paper towel in porcelain slip. Brilliant technique. I look forward now to the head and head dress. I’m sorry in a way that all things Clarity means work for you but I understand it and am glad that you have found another outlet for your creativity – just for you. We all need that. Can I also say that I had fantastic service from Louise today? Above and beyond. Thank you, Clarity. I hope Clarity continues to go from strength to strength. I sense you have the right formula. Hx

  2. Do enjoy your pottery posts . I to like to do something for the sheer pleasure , at the moment I’m trying more traditional parchment , not just doing cards because I need to get them done . Looking forward to seeing how your African couple turn out .

  3. Hello Barbara
    I am so pleased you can lose yourself in the pottery as we lose ourselves in Clarity.

  4. Barbara, you are amazing, love the kitchen roll and slip effect, what a brilliant idea. Love all you do, keep up the good work.
    You once signed a piece of ART for me that you created at one of the shows, (good few years ago now) I then went on to frame it, keep it in my craft room. Thankyou. What a talented lady you are…. nothing you do now would amaze me.

  5. Looking good already – the dress works really well and I’ll be interested to see how you do the headdress. I’m intrigued by the swappable heads – are they going to be like the nodding dogs you used to see in the back of cars?

  6. Hi Barb,
    Well done you! – I love your wall hanging – you could go into business! I’m not too sure about the woman/man yet but I reserve judgement. Have to say it’s 1,000,000 % better than I could do! At the moment I’m really getting into the mixed media backgrounds and things . I only really want to make cards at the moment but who knows where it will take me. I’m really pleased with my results so far. My ukulele is my get away from it all item currently. I can only play 7 chords so far but it no longer sounds absolutely awful!! Pleased your meeting with accountant went well , you must be chuffed to bits. Love and hugs,Alison xx

  7. Love the wall hanging & fascinated to see the figures progress. You look animated & very happy. I am so impressed with your clean & tidy work area too (unlike my craftroom 🙈🙈🙈)

  8. Wall hanging looks fabulous. Can’t wait to see the head and headdress and your choice of earrings – am thinking bigger will be better for this job. As the saying goes – “each to their own” – it is fabulous that you have your go to craft just as all your customers do. Right, am off for a browse, see what I can spend my voucher on!! 😂😂😂. Xx

  9. Just love your African wall hanging! Love African Art and colours after our trip to Kenya last year! Graham went to work in Nigeria for eight years, on his first trip home he was given a few gifts, including a wooden fertility piece for me, a figure of a lady! Made us laugh as I was over fifty! However I was also afraid to hide her!!! Xx

  10. It is obvious you enjoy your pottery by the art you create.
    Glad the accountant was positive and that all is going well and am sure Clarity will continue to do so.
    Got brave this afternoon and dipped my toe into your Facebook gallery. Wow, there are some impressive projects in there. Gave me lots of ideas.
    My thanks to all who contributed as I now know there is somewhere else to look for inspiration when my mojo goes into hibernation.
    Funny story;
    Having been incapacitated with a dodgy and very painful wrist, arm and shoulder for 2 weeks and unable to craft, although some die cutting was achieved, I decided on Friday I would try cooking dinner. Got up from my chair, felt giddy, promptly fell flat on my face and cut my head open. My knees also took a bashing and hurt like blazes as I’m no lightweight. On the plus side – I landed on the lump in my wrist and all the pain disappeared. Is this proof every cloud has a silver lining? Now I can start Groovi’n again – yippee – didn’t realise I’d miss it so much.
    Love the look of the stamps and dies coming up this weekend, will be watching both days.
    Have a good evening. 🍒🍒🍒

    1. Sounds like your wrist had a ganglion. Doctors used to hit them with a book! Sorry to hear about your fall and hope you are getting over the injuries and dent to the confidence. So glad you are back crafting.

  11. I love your wall hanging and African figure. I love all things African as I was born in Rhodesia (yes I am that old!) My husband has bought me a piece of African art for the last 3 xmas’. I now have an ‘African shelf’ I can’t wait to see your African couple when they are finished. X

  12. Wowzers absolutely love your wall hanging. I really enjoy following your potty pottery journey too.
    Well done you x

  13. Oh Barb, I am really loving your African couple so far. I can’t wait to see them finished! I feel a request for a commission piece coming on lol. How about an Egyptian Pharoah and his Queen? I am fascinated by ancient Egypt and bet you could make an amazing Royal couple 💖 xx

  14. I love how your pottery couple are coming on Barbara and it’s fascinating to see how they come together. Meanwhile your plaque is fabulous, you are so talented at whatever you take on, and as you say this three hours a week is just for you and you alone. x

  15. There really is something special about just doing art for the pleasure of it rather than having to make a card, gift, demo, business offer. So glad that you have found your outlet in pottery and love that dress. Had dinner tonight with an African lady who could just whip up one of those head- dresses from a scarf without even looking in the mirror. You should have seen me in her wig though – oh boy I had tears rolling down my face!!!

  16. Hi Barbara, so pleased the pottery is working so well for you and becoming your “go to place” to escape the day-to-day stresses. Loving your African designs and looking forward to seeing the finished art. Great to hear the accountant had good news and that Clarity is continuing to go from strength to strength – long may it continue. Crafting with Clarity is my “go-to-place” for de-stressing and relaxation as is your blog (although seeing a certain video interview yesterday on the Clarity Matters blog was a bit of a “shock”!)
    I’ve ordered my Open Day tickets – so looking forward to two days of fun, inspiration and crafty companionship!

  17. So glad you have an outlet yourself where you can be creative. Looking forward to seeing your African couple when they are finished, that dress looks super and a brilliant idea using the material and slip. The wall plaque looks brilliant too. You looked so happy doing what you

  18. Hi Barb, it is so interesting following you on your pottery adventure. Absolutely love the wall plaque, can’t wait to see what you use to put it together, and coming from Africa, I cannot wait to see your take on the African couple, what you have done so far is brilliant. Take care all. Bx

  19. Hi Barbara,
    Love the glimpse into your arty passion and I’m sure that your African couple will be amazing.
    I will always love paper crafting but recently have taken up knitting again, mainly for our new grandson but I think my son-in-law would also like a hand knitted jumper – a longer term project ; ). I also know that I would like to have a go at something else creative, something that’s not designed by someone else although not sure what that will be.
    Looking forward to the coming weekends shows.
    Thank you for all your amazing inspiration xxx

  20. that wall hanging is so beautiful – they are some of my favourite stamps. Love the woman you are modelling as well – I am in awe of your imagination and ability to see beyond to what can emerge. I wish I had half your talent! Will be ringing the office later to book onto the summer retreat, and then planning to tidy my craft desk and shelves. Trouble is, I don’t ever get very far before I come across a stamp that I want to use and so get distracted into playing with it!!

  21. So many people say “you should sell your work”, and I always say that it would take all the fun out of it. We do need our creative outlets that are not attached to any gain except to our soul. Love that you have found pottery, but am grateful for your dedication to Clarity as well.

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