I love weddings; especially I love it when people come and buy their wedding gifts from my studio!
Fat Birds seem to be popular, and I seem to be running out.
This couple found a new home this weekend; I am not sure if I’ll be making any more. It is funny how you, as an artist, tend to look for expansion; for new adventures. But at the same time, you are defined by the products and concepts you made in the past; storylines that people still associate with you.
I love my Fat Birds, and I used to feel as snug and as safe as one of them. But the last time I tried to make a Fat Bird sculpture, a few months back, I ended up having to pour myself a very stiff whiskey, (and in the middle of the afternoon!) in order to calm down enough to walk back in to the studio and scrape the remaining clay off the wall.
I am not singing the songs of contentment any more. It is difficult to go on creating old favourites, not the least because the dream I had when I first started to make the Fat Birds is so different from the song I am currently singing.
Perhaps there will come a day when I actually feel good again. Until then, there will be some very odd stuff coming out of my studio.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged anna keiller ceramics, artist, ceramic sculpture, ceramic sculptures, fat bird sculpture, fat birds, song, studio, unique gifts, wedding gifts, weddings, www.annakeiller.com
‘Water water see the water flow
Glancing dancing see the water flow
O wizard of changes water water water
Dark or silvery mother of life
Water water holy mystery heavens daughter
O, wizard of changes, teach me the lesson of flowing’
poem by Robin Williamson
The ceramic bowls are between 12cm and 22 cm in diameter.
This ceramic sculpture of a water sprite or naiad is 53 cm tall and 39 cm wide and it is made to hang from a wall. The torso is first glazed and then smoke fired. I love how the smoke inter act with the glazes to make them more flowing and glowing..
This ceramic sculpture shows the sea of life from where Gaia selects the seeds of creation. I chose to use the old fertility symbol
of a bulls head and turned the skull and the horns into Gaia’s face and hands.
The sculpture measures 30cm by 30 cm. It is glazed except for the very blue bit inside her hands which is melted glass.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged art, arts, ceramic bowls, ceramic sculpture, ceramic torso, Gaia sculpture, glass, glazes, mythic art, naiad, poetry, smoke fired sculpture, torso, water, water flow, water sprite, water water water, www.annakeiller.co.uk, www.annakeiller.com
It’s funny, but when it finally happens, it’s kind of a relief
Many days like this; listening to the rain inside my living room.
..leading to a ceiling looking like that. The dark plug-like blobs are actually fungi. I wonder if they are edible.
…and then finally, this. Lots of soggy plaster, wood and insulation on the floor. And fungi, edible or not.
It looks a lot neater now that the hole has been squared up. There’s nothing like a bit of symmetry to cheer you up.
Did I mention that we have had a lot of rain in Hastings?
I have wallowed beneath grey clouds for the longest while. I have developed a thirst for a certain type of light.
It is the cold silvery light of stars that I crave. Illuminated crystals.
Or Ice, when the sun shines through.
I took these photos a few winters back when the Ice was cannibalizing my Hot House Geraniums.
I have developed a single minded hunger for that cold, white light.
I sit by my window at night. And I look out for the stars.
The clouds, coloured orange by Hastings sodium street lights, gaze back at me with bovine incomprehension.
These days I find it hard to function. The constant rain, darkness and cold is affecting me to the extent where I find myself standing by my windows for hours, staring out towards where the sea usually can be seen, clutching a hot water bottle.
Or lying on the sofa in front of the fire, listening to the drip drop of water pouring through my ceiling.
The work I produce is abysmal.
I feel as though my core has turned to mush and all I can do is wait.
Wait, and trust that new life will grow though the many layers of darkness and corruption.
As within, so without.
As above, so below.
I have been very angry and upset of late; my valley in the Old Town of Hastings has lost a lot of trees during the last few months, the police is harassing poor people who steal food from skips, David Cameron is bribing local Councils to allow fracking despite local opposition.
And on top of all of this it is constantly raining and I am cold.
So I have been seeking to regain my balance a bit and this poem came to me during a period of trying to understand more about my own rage. I thought I’d share it.
‘She took me to the roaring Sea
and She said;
Show the Sea your fury,
Force the waves to calm down!
So I raged and I cried
I stamped my feet in anger!
In response the shingle hissed
and the waves roared on
Then She took me to the Mountain
and She said;
Will the blizzards to stop
Show the ice your opposition!
And I wept and I cried;
I shook my fists in fury!
The snowstorm raged
and turned my tears to ice
She brought me to the Fire
and I saw the meadows burn
I saw the trees and deer engulfed in flames
And I screamed; Enough!
Tell me what you want!
So She brought me to the vast
Cathedral of my Heart
And She lit a candle
And I felt Peace.’
The poem can probably be improved on. That’s it, back to the studio!
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged anna keiller studio, balance, cathedral of my heart, david cameron, food in skips, fracking, Hastings, Hastings Sacred heart Catholic School, Joe Hellet, old town of Hastings, poem, trees, www.annakeiller.com
this funny Kenneth Williams look alike lead singer from B-52 is rocking the shack in the late 80′s
and here is Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker and various others doing the same in the 2010′s
I’m so glad times move on
This is a lazy post as I should perhaps had supplied lots more material; perhaps you can help?
What is your favourites ? The weirder the better; but it’s gotta be rocking, that’s the rule…
I am looking forwards to your suggestions.
Luxuriating in the morning sunshine, drinking my mug of coffee while inspecting what the new day has brought to the garden.
The Christmas roses are coming on nicely…Tick!
…the brassicas, the br…hang on!
My broccoli is being eaten! By this very wood pigeon! What the…! So I shout at it and I lounge at it…I make angry faces and wave my hands, menacingly, in the air! Shoo!
…and all she does is curl up and start cooing at me! She is singing me a throaty love song about brassicas and how good they taste.
How can you scare pigeons away if they are that trusting. She is so close I could pick her up at any moment. But I don’t.
Time for Plan B
A Cabbage Prison must be built, a Pigeon Exclusion Zone!
…and everywhere I went, she came too. I marched to pick up canes and netting, she hopped along, nibbling at dandelion leaves as she went.
So I decided on a compromise.
I left her my remaining savoy cabbage. They’re pretty nibbled anyway.
But I’m thinking that Foxy will have a nice fat Pigeon Pudding tonight. She’s just too tame.
I try not dwell on it too much.
I had to write my artist’s statement today to enter a show, and I found it quite a challenge; how do you verbalize what is essentially a a physical object made to symbolise an emotion, a dream or a state of mind.
But here goes.
Clay is my medium for exploring dreams and myths, fairytales and everyday occurrences.
I go to my studio with an empty mindset, intent on stalking mystery and myth. I’m looking for stories to tell. It may take me a while to get into the rhythm of the story that comes to me, but when I do, I’m on a roll; the universe speaks through my fingers!
Some of my inspiration comes from dreams and inner journeys. My series of Mythological Shrines is an example of such explorations.
This is the Phoenix Shrine
…and this shrine is dedicated to the Pheasant.
Making my torsos, I celebrate the Great Goddess in her various forms again and again, tracing plants, animals, birds and insects onto her skin.
My work is hand built using a mixture of press-moulding, slab building, carving and coiling techniques. I often use smoke firing techniques to paint the surface of unglazed work or add an extra glow to glazes. I also use bronze and copper effect finishes.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged anna keiller ceramics, artist's statement, arts, ceramic, ceramic sculpture, ceramic sculptures, ceramic torso, dreams, glazes, mythological gods, press moulding, sculptures, shrines, slab building, torsos, www.annakeiller.com
I am really grateful that people sometimes contact me to visit my studio to buy art. If it wasn’t for that, I’d probably starve.
But a nice couple from Kingston upon Thames popped down to Hastings recently to choose a ceramic torso for their home.
…and they chose this one with a bronze effect finish.
Bronze effects can be used instead of glazes to finish off sculptures. The technique can be used on plaster of Paris sculptures as well as on ceramic objects.
I love making sculptures out of found objects such as this sea shell and a dragon I made out of plaster of Paris and then bronzed.
I cast my neighbour’s daughter’s fingers and placed them inside a clam.
These are all Mood Critters; little sculptures I make to amuse myself, mainly.
I still get emails from people asking me how to get this bronze effect going, so I thought I’d share the secret recipe again…
Bronze metal filler powder ( can be found at Tiranti’s)
Matt clear water based varnish
Wire wool, medium grade
A few very good face masks
Mix varnish and bronze filler until you get a creamy consistency, and it covers your bisque fired sculpture.
Wait for the varnish to dry completely; say overnight just to be on the safe side.
This is the colour you will get when it dries;
The bib and crown is painted with a gold glaze and it has already been glaze fired. There is no reason why you can’t glaze some areas and use the bronze effect on others. The red heart on the Bottom Vase above is glazed.
Next, you mix the graphite powder with varnish, but now you want a slightly thinner consistency. Paint your sculpture and let dry for another 24 hours.
Rub the sculpture with the wire wool to expose the metallic finish. But do wear a good quality face mask and rubber gloves; it is a tedious and very, very long job.
Finally polish your piece with a wax polish.
This is little Earth Star, and you can find her and her brothers and sisters here
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged anna keiller ceramics, anna keiller studio, art, arts, bronze finish recipe, ceramic, ceramic objects, ceramic sculpture, ceramic sculptures, ceramic torso, ceramic torsos, ceramic vase, graphite powder, House Gods, mood critters, plaster of Paris, sculpture, sculptures, sold, torso, torsos, www.annakeiller.com