“Every day for a year”

I realised I want the paperclay envelopes to combine the size/shape of Victorian mourning envelopes and relate to the letters Chris and I wrote to each other – the number will relate to the number of letters we wrote and  also connects to the ritual of going back to the Severn every month to photograph tying the threads.

I need to make a big batch of paperclay as it may mean 100s of envelopes!! I have made new bigger templates as they shrank by 16% I may need to negotiate firing these somewhere else or maybe in the summer, when the kilns are quiet!

The laser etching on the greenware is beautiful and I think I will combine that with pressing in the lasered mdf shoes. I also tested putting the oxide on and rubbing off on bisque fired clay. Paul was using laser engraved plaster to press mould flat red clay for a mini print so something else that might be worth trying, though I do like the texture of the cardboard for the envelope prints, it suggests the texture of paper

Showing the fired laser engraved envelope to Andrew he said slippers when he saw it (That’s good they are recognisable!) He also enquired about making the clay thinner so they are more transparent, maybe if I put them through a press I could achieve this?

I worked on more heat transfer press prints, holding the paper up and letting the dried blood coloured disperse dye run down it. When washing my brush in the big Belfast sink in ceramics (I was prepping the paper in ceramics because it was so manically busy in textile printing there was no where to work) I noticed the dye spreading out and mixing with the layer of water on the bottom of the sink, a bit like marbled paper. I decided to try and take prints from this, remembering how dark the dye was mixing it with water seemed no bad thing. The results seemed like traces on old plaster walls. I made fresh photocopies of the darkest footprint images tore them out and coated them in red and also the pale blue/grey. I then let myself play with layering these images in the press on long lengths like shrouds of the same synthetic translucent fabric as last time. I let the layers build up and pick up traces from the base paper, using the laser cut mdf shoes to give absent slippers and also the coated photocopies and number of times to give subtle footprints. I just kept working letting a rhythm build and responding in the moment to each one but also holding an awareness of the one preceding it.

I like what happens visually when they are overlaid on each other and wondered about hanging them but also putting a number together in some kind of deep frame to hold them taut and with a determined space between them and back-lighting so they have a strange uncanny glow.


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