Sophie Woodrow

Came across ceramic artist Sophie Woodrow’s work on Bunnylicious. Her figures appeal to me greatly, as does this from her artist statement: “Sophie’s sculptures are not visitors from other worlds, but the ‘might-have-beens’ of this world.” I find many of her pieces have a compelling innocence; others seem more fey and self-aware. Shaped like containers, they seem to invite us to speculate on or intuit what’s inside them.



She’s been a WIP for ages. Tricky because she’s so small and the wax is quite soft. I gave myself a deadline to finish her before I went away (back to Australia again for a few weeks soon), so she’s as good as I could make her in the time I had. I made some things carefully, like her feet, and kept a couple of irregularities on purpose (her ears). She has paws instead of hands. She’ll be cast and given a pale patina, as I’ve seen some pictures of whitish patinas that look lovely, and I’d like to see them ‘in the flesh’.

jenny01 jenny02

I want to try to come up some more adventurous imagery. Rosehead would be a good one to make. I’m not that good at thinking of new forms. I can do collage-y things, figures with mixed-up parts, but I tend to be rather literal in how I think of the parts themselves, and I’d like to break out of that and get a bit more expressive if I possibly can.


God and the fart

Bwaha, I love this poem by Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. Also love the picture of Elsa. One of these kids is doing her own thing!


WIPs: fetus and rococtopus

The rococtopus (left) is still a gleam in the milkman’s eye. She’s going to be a human-headed octopus with a huge rococo wig in place of the mantle. (The wig isn’t there yet!) She was a little pixie girl bust, but I decided that was really too boring. The other head is one of Pan’s spares, which is going to be the head of a 3D model of one of my fetuses with stomach faces.


Test run moulded on wire spine:


The umbilical cord is coming out of the mouth and is going to anchor the fetus in something below that will serve as a base — maybe a placenta, or something weirder. At Stu’s suggestion the sculpture is going to go in a jar.

Wax off, wire adjusted, umbilical cord wired on, wax on:

Once I’m 100% sure the cord’s where I want it to be I might open the wax at the back and secure it with epoxy.

I’ve started fiddling with the face. I need to decide how young to make it look — really like a baby, or older.

(No, Pan isn’t finished yet. He’s at the annoying stage where I need to get fiddly things right, and can spend ages getting nowhere, so indulging in playing with a few other pieces.)

ETA: Actually, I’m not sure the cord’s going to be pourable.

Posted in Art |

4000 word day

Yesterday I wrote 4000 words. That’s a lot more than my usual. I was wondering why I get so tired of writing, and it occurred to me that because I tend to work slowly, I might be like someone carrying around a heavy suitcase for a long time. There’s effort involved in just mentally holding onto material for that long. I forget things, make piles of notes, lose notes, change my mind, etc. — I waste a lot of energy.

So I decided to try writing fast. Not blurting, “bad writing” fast — it still took me about 10 hours to do those 4000 words — but fast as in, if I wrote like this every day for a month, I’d have a first draft of a novel.

I can only write in that steady way when I know what I want to write — what events occur, what the emotional content is. Too often I don’t know what’s happening, simply don’t know what I want, other than perhaps a certain atmosphere. And I can fiddle around for ages trying to create that atmosphere in a scene, and then plot blows the atmosphere apart. That has been happening with Gunpowder Tea. I’ve been finding it very difficult to get plot, the mechanics of the non-real world, emotion and atmosphere all playing nice together. I’m beginning to wonder whether there are certain atmospheric textures that are damn near impossible to create as sustained qualities in a fantasy world — or at least, a fantasy world with magic or supernatural elements — because the fantastical itself destroys them. It’s a bit like having the light filtering through a shoji screen, and going ooh, isn’t that nice and mysterious, and then a dragon charges through the screen. And the dragon is awesome, but the mysterious, suggestive light is gone. Anyway, the piece I was working on yesterday is mainstream, no fantasy whatsoever.

(ETA: Or maybe the problem is that I sometimes get enamoured with the texture of a film — the whole atmosphere created by colours, lighting, music, the ratio of dialogue to silence, and want to recreate it with the written word, and run into difficulties.)

(ETA 2: Of course, the problem just might be my magpie mind. I get the shoji screen, and then I just have to have that horse with a lamp on its head, and put it in the same room!)