Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Guest post: A Walk in the Woods...

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By Charlotte Hupfield from Charlotte Hupfield Ceramics.

Many artists, designers and makers say that they have not had the chance or taken the time to unlock their imagination by really looking and seeing what is around them. For ceramicists for example, it is easy to get carried away by the feel of the clay when in fact the most vital consideration is the 'idea' and making work that has individuality and a personal voice. To do this requires inspiration.

Inspiration for me comes from the natural world: the amazing effects from weathering and sea erosion evident in rocks and coves, the bumpy and colourful linear patterns found within hills and fields, a walk in the woods, and the surfaces in nature where no two marks are ever the same. It is this particular aspect that my ceramics connects to.

I often spend time at my local country park, whether it be enjoying the surroundings on a quiet walk, walking a friends dog, or collecting nature. It is a perfect little place where I sometimes go to get away from the rest of the world for a while.

I have a 'thing' about trees - the roots, bark, textures, forms... and I sometimes like certain peculiar things that other people wouldn't stop to look at, such as a patch of mould because it has pretty colours growing in it. Does that make me weird?!

When I'm at craft fairs and events, many customers comment on how natural and earthy my work looks, and I take this as a huge compliment because I'm glad other people can relate to what my work is about. A customer once picked up one of my little sculptural vessels and said "This looks like it has just been taken from nature."

I love to photograph my ceramics outside amongst pebbles and greenery because it shows strong relations to my influence of nature. I find that natural light is also the best for taking photos!

I think I have recently discovered a new fascination with combining twigs and branches with pieces of ceramics, shells and copper wire to make hanging mobiles/wind chimes. I made the first one a few weeks ago after collecting some twigs from the woods, and now I can't stop! They look so pretty hung up and make a delightful sound when blown in the breeze. I sold one of my newest mobiles last weekend whilst at a craft fair and was so happy that someone else liked the beauty of it enough to buy it :)

I will have to make another trip to the woods soon to collect some more twigs to continue developing my new project!

From what I have researched, it seems many people are inspired by the different elements of nature, as it is so diverse. What are you inspired by?