Cardiff BayPosted: February 7, 2017
Today I spent the day at Cardiff Bay, as an easy way to get up close to some sea birds without having to travel to a beach (and then maybe not even see anything other than seagulls!), and to visit craft in the bay.
I didn’t manage to take any good photos of the birds because they were either moving too fast or too far away! But primarily, it was really useful for me to see a cormorant in person in order to get a better idea of their shape etc. I was also able to observe their behaviour, which was really interesting. Their head feathers were much fluffier than I thought, especially when they first emerged from under the water. The water also made their deep black feathers look beautiful and shiny.
I also saw a huge amount of gulls, and was paying attention to their colouring and the way that they tucked their feet under themselves when flying above me.
There were also a number of ducks, swans, coots and moorhens, however these aren’t birds that I am specifically focusing on for this project. This has opened my mind however to the possibilities beyond this module, after university, and I think that if the 3D bird making is successful for me, I have the possibility of branching out to a larger range of species. This has also come from a visit to the Brecon Beacons last weekend, where I was fascinated by the huge amount of small birds about, such as sparrows, thrush, blue tits and robins. Basically I’ve gone a little bird crazy!
My other aim was to visit Craft in the Bay in the hope of getting some inspiration from artists, but also to have another look at the gallery as a possible place where my pieces could hypothetically be displayed and sold.
One which really caught my eye was the current feature artist, Anna Noel’s exhibition: Telling Tales. She is a ceramicist who specialises in non-functional raku sculptures of animals and I thought they were absolutely beautiful.
I was interested in the lettering which she combined with the figure, which ranged from story quotes, animal definitions and poetry. I really like the idea of using lettering in my own work, with relevance to particular aspects of wildlife.
I also fell in love with her colour scheme, which has got me thinking about the possibility of me working with a much more muted, neutral palette.
I also looked at Claire Cawte’s pieces, who is a textile designer/maker using a variety of fabrics and fibres such as wool, silk, linen and fleece. I was particularly interested in her use of free machine embroidery on top of felted fabrics. This is a technique which I plan on using in my own experimentation so it was good to see it being used here.
Today was really useful in getting some motivation and ‘mojo’ back, after taking a couple of days off. Next week I plan on finally being at the point where I can get back in the stitch room and start experimenting and sampling, using all of the research and drawing that I’ve done.