If you haven't yet looked at the online Metal Clay magazine Metal Clay Today then you really should. It is free to subscribe to and has some excellent articles and inspiration. They hold competitions regularly and I entered the last one which had the theme New Beginnings.
The voting is currently open on the competition here so do pop along and read the stories for each of our pieces to see what you like best and place your vote.
This is the piece I have entered and I thought I would tell you a bit more about my inspiration for this.
Over Easter I did the Hot Houses Open Studios here in Hastings and I was in the house of Anna Keiller in Dudley Road Hastings. Anna is a ceramic artist and produces some amazing work. She does lots of life size torsos amongst other things and I have to say when I first saw these I was a little unsure if they were my sort of 'thing'. Over the time I was there when we had the odd quiet moment I got to look at Anna's work more closely and actually I was amazed at the detail and techniques she uses on them. There is so much work involved in each piece. All sorts of little details, creatures and designs not to mention her unique smoke firing method. Of course I like others initially thought - oh that it just another name for Raku, but no, she has come up with a different method which produces some lovely finishes on her glazes. I really loved the red on this one which is a reaction with the copper apparently.
this is one of her Angels...
If you click on these photos above hopefully they will blow up larger so you can see some of the details. Anna also makes a whole range of other things like fat birds ...
stunning huge bowls...
So to go back to my piece above really the inspiration was Anna's technique of press moulding that she uses. I had to adapt this to work from the back forward to the front as with the tiny silver coils I needed to see what the front finish was all the while but it is a different way of working for me and I shall be doing more like this. I really liked the way the piece came out.
Meanwhile Anna wants to experiment with the metal clays on her glazes and I want to learn more of her techniques so we plan to have a play day soon.
If you fancy having a go with ceramics then why not try one of Anna's wonderful ceramic workshops. And honestly - you do not have to bare all to make something with her!!!! :-)