a-n SPACE – TIME – MONEY support 2

Digital Drawing and the recycling of ‘Type Wall’ and ‘Kings Cross Labyrinth’

Materials & methods:

Once the commissions were won, the business of working began with making small studies and processing ideas in drawing books as working drawings or as finished concepts in themselves or as new beginnings of a more complex nature.  My Low-Relief ceramic and metal murals were completed in the digital drawing domain for the finished items.  As we can also see in Support 1 this includes physical models, the actual trial & error stage.  My ‘Type Wall’ mural was entirely created and finished as a digital design strategy with all images and text formats in place. The design was digitally routed into Low relief polyurethane panels and made ‘foundry ready’ as part of that process.  The foundry created the metal panels in LM24 Aluminium, replicating the design into the finished material. Various craftsmen handled the project through to and including the    in-situ installation.  It was my first long-term experience of working with others in the production of large scale work. A positive and educative experience.

The outcome left me with a very large stack of original relief panels after the foundry use of them.  As every square millimetre was designed by me I felt inspired to recycle the material in some other form.  My ceramic mural ‘Kings Cross Labyrinth’ was created very differently, made entirely by hand in basic moulds that were produced as digital drawings and produced by digital routing. Copied into Plaster, the moulds were simple to use and were individually designed and made on spec, fired and completed, and installed by an expert stone mason.

Making 275 tiles gave me great experience of a new-to-me material, Porcelain clay. The concept of recycling the images from the ‘Type Wall’ in clay seemed like a good thing to do.  As a result I made several large Low-Relief ‘wall-works’ that took my work into an entirely new domain of making and exhibiting. Recycling my visual material was not entirely new to me.  This recent application is a new subject, method and technology.

Low Relief Ceramic Sculpture

'9-MOONS-ECLIPSE'-RAKU,-WALL-ART-W&D-9 MOONS ECLIPSE‘  Terracotta & Raku Technique  2007
(White background disc 90cm dia   –  individual tile discs 22.5cm dia x 2.cm)
Recycled press mouldings from ‘Type Wall’ Kings Cross   2005
Installation: a place where the objects and Illusive colour meet.

Studies were made in my notebook for geometric variations, format, tonal values, etc.  The artworks are mounted on velcro type Hook ‘n’ Loop material. The background painting is a new concept in these works as is the term: Installation.

Tile Samples

  1. Contemporary                       2. Historical                                3. Fictional
    Studio Archive                           British Museum archive          My ‘MAC’ archive


Flat Holm Island: a 4-Day Visit from Cardiff School of Art

A major ceramic based project ‘in waiting’ is part of my sculptural aim.


A 4-Day annual visit to the island with 1st. year students and staff.  Flat Holm is a bird sanctuary and has resident staff and visitor accommodation.

All the participants are confined to the island. There is a boat to and from Cardiff on Monday and Thursday only.

Observation & Inspiration with Notebook References & Concepts

Montcrieff_Gun_as_installed_on_Flat_Holm_island-2-W&D-Day 1 was spent walking around the island and settling in. Touring the island was completely fascinating with the evidence of its long historical importance and natural beauty. It is home to 25,000 seabirds!

The most important visual impressions to me came from seeing the Montcrieff Pits; 5 gun emplacements put there by Queen Victoria.

These are wonderful architectural structures in the form of underground gun positions and contraptions for raising and lowering the guns [now in Cardiff Museum] in the event of hostile encroachments from our French neighbours, at least that’s what Queen Victoria suspected. The diagram above (from the museum) shows how the working parts would function with the gun in both positions.  A gun can be seen in the photographic image above, lying alongside the circular pit (outlined in red) , all beautifully built in Limestone and Brickwork. Access to the pit is from below ground and through narrow tunnels. Five gun positions are on the island in varying states of disrepair.

I found these object/buildings fascinating in their use of materials, the space, location and purpose. I came up with the idea to view the Pits as Pots, as vessels excavated from the soil.  From this notion I produced the sketchbook studies on the island.  I am really familiar with travelling and working in books, so felt very comfortable with my working strategy and environment. I also came along equipped for the work in hand.

‘Pit Pot Island’:   a Ceramic Project Awaiting Completion

Funding and time denied the completion for what I conceive to be an ‘installation’  This is a Floor Mounted sculptural project.  It would be my first attempt at free-standing Sculptural Ceramics.

MONCRIEFF-PIT-CERAMIC-SCULPTURE-W&D-Sketchbook pages showing the cross section of a possible concept for ‘Pit Pots’ as I think of them. I imagine them excavated from whole bags or mounds of rough clay, an idea expressed by the collage of torn paper in the circular image. The coloured circles are showing the mechanical nature of the ‘Pit Pot’ as excavated with neat geometry with a turning tool on a potter’s wheel. The rough mounds would be left as is. All would be confined to a fragmented external circular base shape, an island perhaps?  Above the circle drawing is a conceptual cross-section (outlined in red) inspired by the built structure of the pits themselves. Here the ‘Pit Pots’ get their name!  The tool required for making the pots is already made. (see below)

Concepts for Making:

A more rough and ready approach is how I conceived the making processes. But I do enjoy the idea of the orderliness of the geometry, the five parts and five circular ‘pots’ within each section as nicely balanced.  But I need chaos to be surrounding them.


Making the Tool: 

The mechanics of making the ‘Pot’ forms within the mounds of clay will be be created on a rotating ‘jollying’ structure created from a redundant sculpture stand.  The rough sketches contain all I need to know before making the final drawing for the tool. 

This article demonstrates how working with others; Sebastian Boyeson created the Semi-3-D digitally routed styrene foundry models from the data drawn in Adobe Illustrator. I produced the ‘dwg’ files that could be used by the routing technology. Recycling the images showed a new endeavour on my part. This process also had input from ceramicist Will Barrett-Soliz in Raku technique and making the glazes. The outcome has introduced me to a new vocabulary of making which continued for 7 years after completing the murals.