Variation on an Idea (VOI) – the HORSE IV

Continued on from posts IdeasIdeas – the HORSEIdeas – the Horse II and Ideas – the Horse III.

Made a second horse just to play around with improvements.

Coiling the legs seemed unnecessary work; experimented with slabbing them instead so I could get on with the body and head sooner.

Took more care over the module joins.

Tried different positions of the legs and turn of the head.

Had to cut off and redo the head again – too large.  The second head is still too big, but will leave it and just make a third horse.

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Just to prove you can’t be too precious about what you make.  Had to cut his head off! and start again.


community hearth event info update

Community Hearth Event, Hamilton

The date is set for the next Community Hearth event!  On Saturday 22nd September my students and I will fire our large sculptures in the courtyard of the Waikato Society of Potters in Hamilton.  Friends, family and supporters are invited to experience the sense of occasion, camaraderie and excitement as the team tend the performance kilns during the day and reveal the fiery hot sculptures after sundown.

This is the third community hearth firing; the first two were in Auckland last year and undertaken as part of my Bachelor of Visual Arts degree at Unitec.  For some reason I developed an inclination to make a very large sculpture and fire it outside on a firebox with the help of a few friends.  It seemed a shame to waste such a good hot fire so fellow students, ceramists, friends and family were invited along to bask in the halo of the fire and hold their breaths whilst the 2.5m high statue of ‘adam’ was finally revealed at a glowing temperature of 1200 degrees.

The sculptures won’t be quite so big this year, but there will be more of them.  Over a 10 week period, each student on the course will make their own statue based on the design of the terracotta horses of South India.  They will learn to build a firebox and construct ceramic fibre kilns which will house three to four horses each.  Using their experience, networks and creativity, the team will not only raise funds for the project, but design, organise and run the community hearth event on the 22nd September.  Already word has got around and musicians, a teenage Shakespeare troupe and a dance company have put their hands up to entertain the gathering.  WSP members will be invited to put out work for sale so guests can start their Christmas shopping early.

The course starts on the 16th July, and runs for 10 weeks, Monday evenings, 6.30-9:30pm.  The community hearth firing on Saturday, 22nd September will be an all day event, with the sculptures revealed after sundown.  All levels of experience welcome to sign up.  People who wish to help on the day of the firing are also welcome, there will be lots of roles to fill – potluck food organiser, marketplace coordinator, film director, entertainment coordinator, event hostess/host (to ensure visitors feel at ease and welcome), etc, etc.  You can ring or email WSP and register your interest or 07 838 1950.

Community Hearth Videos

Have put two movies up on youtube.  The first is the ‘trailer’ I made right at the beginning of the adam project, when I had no real idea of what was going to be made or how it would turn out.  The second video is of the whole story – concept to firing – of adam.  There are a few images at the end of it that capture the firing of the phoenix too.

The Trailer for ‘the making of adam’

The story of ‘the making of adam’

We have a date!! Book your diaries.

22 Sept 2012 =9


2+1+0+2+2+0+1+2=10=1.  One = beginnings.    2+2+0+9+2+0+1+2= 18=9.  Nine = completion.

Well who’d have thought eh.  We figure out dates for the community hearth firing course and performance night and it lands on a ‘9’ and winter equinox.  Given CH events are always a bit of an experiment, it certainly helps to have all the fates aligned!

So here’s how it’ll go:

The course will run over ten weeks.  This will allow for the making of the sculptures and four weeks for them to dry before firing (as it is winter, we may need to help the process a long a bit using dehumindifiers).

In between the making, the class (a.k.a. project team) will design and plan the event, organise some fundraising (we need to buy ceramic fibre for the kilns, and possibly some fire bricks and soaps for the fireboxes etc), and work on some PR tactics.

Course dates:  Monday 16 July – Monday 17 September 2012; 6:30 -9:30pm

Community Hearth Firing:  Saturday 22 September 2012; all day/evening

Book your diaries.  Be there or be jealous!


It’s been suggested by someone I know and trust in the theatre world, NOT to call the CH project Ride of the Valkyries but to think up a new name (he gave lots of sound, and flattering, reasons as to why not).   But I’m hopeless at inventing names.  Think I’ll leave the final project name to the class.  Till then I’ll just call it Fiery Horses (I think).