Saturday, 20 March 2010

New work environment

There was a time in time, when the majority of humans had to leave their homes and go to work, sometimes miles away. Those humans were called among other names, commuters, workers, staff. They worked for institutions who were represented by other humans, who were called bosses,masters.... Bosses and workers formed part of an economic system1.

So they did go to their jobs, and followed externally imposed routines. They went to factories/ offices/shopping malls,or those locations where they could sell themselves for money. At the work locations there were tools set in place for them to use. Their work was divided in tasks in which they specialized.
They worked their scheduled time shifts, and when finished returned in mass to their homes. This was called exodus or commuting. The displacement of high numbers of humans generated many problems, jams and delays. So roads, tube systems, buses, rail tracks, and maintenance of everything was implemented.
The workers may have had the transport to the work placement payed by the company for which they were working. Maybe even have had their food payed

Back at home was the other reality, family, friends, neighbors and house to keep , or their absence. That meant a segmentation of their lives. The family, clan, tribe, or herd disintegrating . Lots of people thinking they were not happy.

The bosses problem was their need to keep investing on the maintenance of the system infrastructures, including those huge buildings needed for everything. They had to build them, and pay for the energy resources consumed during all the processes.

As anything in the known world the system was reaching its peak and was exhausted.


The advancements in communications, internet and the personal computer enabled many workers to work from home. Lots of people found unnecessary to leave their home, neighborhood, in order to work, to earn money.
So for some it was not necessary to commute anymore.

The system was cracking.


At some point workers started to rent their own offices, work placements, studios ,shops/stalls, corners in warehouses , or whatever the premises.
They payed for the furniture, tools of their trade, installed all of it, payed for the energy resources and for any transport needed , etc, etc. They payed for their food.


Some say they wanted to be their own boss.

Some say they did not have space at home. Or they were not able to proceed with work without having interruptions or distractions. In an office/factory/mall environment workers were directed. They were given appropriate breaks for tea,gossip and loo. Nothing could break the pace of their routines.
At home, by themselves they did not keep straight to their work roles. Some returned to short time attention spam behavior and spread themselves out of the assigned work pattern. Some just collapsed in non-action.

Many needed somewhere to escape to from their household lives. They needed to have separated life realities to switch to and from. So there appears a need to reproduce the lost work environment.

So some people started to rent work premises away from their homes, where to work. This time though workers work ed for themselves.
They worked to pay the rents, insurances, bills, maintenance, marketing, transports, holidays and loans/or mortgages.

Some time during time most of us were enslaved by human masters. Most of us were serving human lords or following human leaders.

Now , soon, there will be no need for human masters,lords or leaders.
Many workers think they have become their own masters. They sustain themselves incessantly working and competing against each other.

The system is their master.
The system has survived.

It was humans who created the system. Is what some humans want. Is what some humans need.
Many humans do not know what to do, and some humans are not up for doing it.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

clumsy week

Last week was one of those clumsy ones.
I did many things wrong, had bad news or been neglected and broke some of my work. The casualties were mainly from the functional, 5 items in total. But I also managed to break my last favorite figure. This figure was based on a painting from William Bouguereau which depicts two souls fighting, an illustration from Dante's inferno. I love the painting I made a 3D of version of it.
It took me more than a month, which I enjoyed of course. I set the two figures on top of an inverted skull. I am using the inverted skull quite often lately as a metaphor for humanity; 'the skull is a vessel for the human soul' many people said that.
I was very content with the modeling, form, size , proportions and everything about the figure. But then boum! shit happens....I broke one of its hands when I was packing it for the biscuit firing. I was trying to fit as much work as possible inside the kiln so I was arranging and rearranging the pieces, wrong...Before biscuit firing clay figures are in the most fragile state. After biscuit they are quite hard and is save to manipulate them.
It did not feel good, even though I can repair the figure. I am considering to make it again, after I leave a bit of time to pass by. Somehow Ceramics is a battle with destiny, so many things can go wrong without reparation and sometimes due to bad luck. As ceramist I can not help but to aim for the perfect piece, technically speaking, no cracks, no glaze drops, even and uniform. But that is irrelevant for a sculptor like me who wants to communicate with the work.
I did not want to communicate perfection but the human struggle for survival. How we fight against each other even if we are lookalikes or love each other... We fight.

Great! I tickle with my catastrophes. Somehow I was in good mood, upset, grumpy but happy in the back of my head. So I went out for a few drinks during the weekend, wrong again...

My clumsy week is finished but I managed to caught a virus during the weekend. So now I am at home feeling awful with a red nose and time to spare on having this little crisis with Ceramics
Shall I stop doing ceramics?, as it distracts me from my real goal. At the same time I love the medium, I even love to do functional table ware, and to eat from them...

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Design-makers Market

I will be selling some of my domestic ceramic wares at this event.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Art fairs: Ceramic Art London

Last weekend I went to Ceramic Art London.
The event was housed at the RCA . It was my first time at this fair and venue. There were 77 different stands, divided in 3 rooms , talks and lots of people buzzing around. I ended up spending more than 5 hours in there, but managed to miss the work of some exhibitors. I realized of this fact when going over the exhibition catalog, back at home, my fault.

I went by the second day which was a Saturday. My first impression was, oh my! too much, too many people, lets get out of here. Nonetheless after paying my £12 entrance ticket I dipped myself in, not chatting at first, just looking. By my second round I started to engage in conversion with those who I knew or liked the work. My acquaintances seemed to be doing well as they were quite relaxed in their attitude. Even if there was a lot of variety in color and shapes, by the end of my first round I had the impression it was all focused around the vessel, functional or not. Just at the end I found some figurative work and there were maybe 2 or 3 more makers of volumes which were not based on containers.

CLR is a major Ceramic event in London. It is a showcase for Ceramics but for the artists is very important to make good sales. I could guess from the artists attitude and stress (not just the red dots) who was selling and who was not. The price of the stalls is very high , from around £600 the smallest to almost £2000, but I was told you just have to pay a percentage in advance and the rest at the end of the fair. The fair lasts for three days and it is organized by the Craft Potters Association

In future years it is a kind of a must for me to apply to this fair and to get in, which is not so easy. There are many fairs like this one, in the ceramic world and in the art world. It is fun to attend but as an artist is another investment to make in order to get my work out and have some remuneration from it. Sadly I can not live from air, even if I could I have to pay my rent and materials and studio rent and transport, and etc, etc. included in this etc is the price for stands at this kinds of fairs. It is all linked.

This year I will do Battersea Contemporary Art Fair. I am looking forward to it. Both as a way of exhibiting my work and as a way of making cash out of it. It sounds bad but it is what it is. In order to produce more work and sustain my practice I need to be purchased . If I do not go to this sort of fairs I have very few chances for my work to be noticed. My work is very time consuming to produce and fragile in nature. It is not possible for me to be moving it from small exhibition to small exhibition risking to damage it, which already happen and none compensated me.