15th November 2017

Small scale experiments;

  1. Hand making cactus – make several to see if they can be made to an appropriate standard, rather than casting them
  2. Small scale – as above but seeing what qualities emerge from smaller scale modelling
  3. Mould breaking casts (“inherited kinstugi”) – kintsugi inspired process where the mould is broken and reassembled, then used to slip cast (mug, cactus), rather than traditional kintsugi method of the form baring the actual breaks.  Instead the cast forms ‘inherit’ the cracks from the parent mould, as a motif, rather than an actual breakage. Each cast may further degrade as the cracks in the mould degrades over time.
  4. Exploring colour – using coloured glazes to explore qualities of finish and apply colour… unsure about the potency of the colour as if applied via glaze.  I’ll then photograph these (little yellow cacti) on various coloured backgrounds (deep red, fuchsia pink, lime green).


Currently all 4 experiments are in the kiln, will analyse results next week.


23rd November 2016

After speaking to one of my colleagues about my mini-tactiforms, two of the textures I had applied – the dimples and holes – reminded them of the Suriname Toad.  She showed me a video and we both recoiled in horror and disgust!

I’m not sure why I didn’t realise this before when making the textures, but it has now completely changed my perception of what I have created, from something of intrigue, to something of anxiety.  Upon further research, the recoil I experienced is linked to a condition called ‘trypophobia’, which is the fear of densely-holed surfaces.  The rationality of the fear relates to the human condition to fear danger lurking in unknown, dark spaces, such as insects that may sting.  I was really surprised at how intense my feeling of disgust and recoil was, especially when I don’t consider myself to be afraid of insects, or pathological natural dangers.Suriname Toad

28th September 2016

I recently watched a TED talk by Professor Stuart Brown about how the inclusion of play-mechanisms in our life is vital to development and achieving potential… here are a few of my notes and observations


A state of play enables a “differential of power that can be over-ridden that exists in all of us”

Absence of play leads to vulnerability of anti-social behaviours, in some cases extreme

Why do we invest so much time playing with infants?

-cognitive development

-sensory discovery



– NOT as rehearsal for adulthood or adult situation

“If its purpose is more important than the act of doing it, it’s probably not play”

Object play – fundamental part of being playful. “The brain in search of a hand, a hand in search of a brain, and the object becomes the medium”

Stopping the using of one’s hands (object play) limited the ability to solve practical problems – could this also be applied to mental (psychological or emotional) problems?

Physical play (rough and tumble):

-emotional regulations

-inter-social normalisation

-cognitive and spatial processing

National Institute for Play

-the programme states that the opposite of play is depression

Neoteny – retention of immature qualities into adulthood

“Rules of the Red Rubber Ball”, Kevin Carroll, sites play as a transformative force over his life

‘From Play to Innovation’ – course at Stamford, focussing on group dynamics and development through play