What a summer! From the 6th of July to the 31st of July I was immersed in the beautiful artists residency that is Cove Park. Situated on the banks of Loch Long, on the Rosneath Peninsula is the most wonderful residential centre that supports artists and designers from a variety of creative backgrounds. I was accepted after application and interview to undertake a month-long residency under the Emerging Designer/maker category. What a privilege!
Off I went on that Monday morning with
two cars worth of materials...just in case. My plan for my time at Cove was to develop moulds that I would cast forms- progressing my current practice of working directly onto ready-made fine bone china. I was keen to produce the moulds, cast, glaze and apply decoration to as many pieces as I could in the four weeks I was there.
Week one was all about the moulds. Part of the charm of Cove is that you are left to your own devices. There isn't a technician on hand to help you out when a technical obstacle occurs. So suffice to say there were a few challenging moments when my mould making skills were put to the challenge, but I was there to learn how to solve these types of problems and to learn...and that's exactly what I did.
As well as working on my 3D pieces, I was keen to develop my 2D work. After saving the envelopes from my recent birthday, I used these as a source material and produced a selection of collage that felt like a turning point, but at that early stage, I was not completely sure as to the extent.
ek two, I cast from the two main moulds I made in week one, which were a chevron and an arrow. I decided on using formal, recognisable forms and with the application of the decals to allow the pieces to be more individual and one-off. I had to experiment a few times with how long the slip should be in the mould, but once that was confirmed I was able to produce several pieces a day. The drying of the pieces took some time too, but I manged to produce over 12 pieces ready for glazing and decora
At this stage of my res
idency I was keen to prepare my enamel decoration. I spent several days cutting out shapes from enamel shapes. Using both kilns at Cove, I was able to bisque and glaze my pieces in preaparation for the application of my decals. This was a very productive week and we even had a few days of sunshine too!
After a studio visit from Alistair Dearie, Dawn Youll and Laura Spring where we had a chat about the work I had produced and was pointed in a slightly different direction that I had been working on, I was very excited and 'fired-up' to try these new ideas out. It was amazing to have the chance to have an input from these esatblished artists and designers who were both constructive and complimentary. I'm looking forward, now that I am back home, to continue this new direction with my work...watch this space.
This four-week residency met my expectations and more. Not only did I get time, space and freedom to concentrate solely on my own practice, but I also met a seletion of creative people who although all came from very different art practices, we all had Cove in common. This was an amazing opportunity that I was very aware did not want to sqaunder and I believe that I made the most of it. Being at Cove Park was a privilege and a once in a lifetime experience that I know has made a positive impact on me and my work that I will never forget. If you get the chance to be a resident or a visitor- GO!