Wednesday, 10 December 2014

TV Opportunity for Ceramists

I received an email with the following information if anyone fancies becoming a TV star!

Love Productions, the makers of BBC1's ‘The Great British Bake Off’ in London.

We are currently producing an exciting new programme for BBC Two about pottery. We are scouring the country for potters and ceramicists to take part in this new talent search that will test all the different aspects of their craft.

I am emailing to see whether it would be possible for you to pass on the attached information via your blog to help spread the word about the programme.
Would this be possible?

If you yourself or anyone else is interested in applying you can request an application form at pottery@loveproductions.co.uk (preferred) / 0207 067 4829.


Monday, 12 May 2014

Photo Shoot

I have been spending my time shooting photographs of my work and updating my website. I have a new website address now which you see here. http://www.annecastano-ceramics.com/

I would also like to share with you some of the pictures from the shoot....
























For my next collection of work I am investigating further into the human form, the body looking at muscle structures and tendons.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Its been a while....

OK, I need to get back into the habit of a post a week, its been a while.

Please check out my new website, all designed by me. I really don't enjoy this stuff too much, and it has taken me all day to get this far. But I think it is OK, your thoughts and opinions would be, as ever, gratefully received.

http://www.annecastanoceramics.portfoliobox.me/eggs

Also here is my new artist statement. A bit poncy maybe?

 am a ceramic artist, I started studying ceramics in London at St Martins in 1999. I worked from Archway Ceramics in The East End of London for 7 years and now live on the South coast of England.  I build stoneware and porcelain sculptural vessels, I mainly coil, but I also use moulds and pinch pots.
I am interested in the role that clay plays in art. Often people look at ceramic sculpture and ask, 'what does it do'? There is an assumption that seems to be ingrained in the collective psyche that things made of ceramics must do something, however that outlook is now changing. It is an exciting time for ceramics but also a time of change. Clay is being accepted as a material to be used as Art, however ceramics as a standalone unique discipline seems to be fading and this is evidenced by the number of university courses that have closed in recent years. In my own practice I have been straying into other media, paint, textiles and photography also form part of my practice. Maybe that is symptomatic of the general changes in ceramics.
I often use the body as a starting point in my work. My fascination with the body in clay came about because of the verbal connection, the 'foot' of the vessel, the 'body' of clay the 'neck' and other  references. I started to see my pots as characters, families, relations if each other. I read books such as The Body' by Lisa Blackman this got me interested in the portrayal of the female form in media and art. I thought about how by displacing body parts it can be unsettling or even a bit funny, and I asked myself why it is that nudity is still taboo in certain contexts and not others? 
I am still exploring along these lines at the moment. I am interested in the body as the seat of all our experiences, how the mind is sometimes seen as the 'real' us. Body and mind become separate, the mind somehow superior. The way the body is dressed and modified to send signals, the way the body is our vessel that contains us, our carriage in life. Impermanent, ageing, diseased, flexible, inflexible, resilient and quite amazing in every way inside and out. I think this fascination became more intense when I developed Raynauds and experienced other health problems that made me realise the fragility of this vessel that contains our being. 
It seems the body that contains us dictates very much who we become, male, female, black, white, Asian, gay, straight. Expectation is placed on depending which vehicle we are riding, some are pretty, some ugly, some able, some disabled. One thing is certain the body isn't permanent, all the atoms, minerals and molecules will go back into the melting pot at some point and be reformed into something else. There is finite oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus on our planet and these elements are infinitely recycled and reformed. Clay itself is malleable and undergoes many transformations in order to become clay, and then more to become an artwork. These are things I think about when I make my work.

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Body & Clay

I recently got an email asking me how the figure inspires my work in clay by a student who is studying for their degree. They are going to evaluate three contemporary artists and evaluate how they use the female form. It got me thinking, and it really helped me to organise my thoughts. I am giving an artist talk on Thursday so I want to say thank you to that student for sending that message, it really helped.


Here is my response. 


I think my interest in the figure and clay came about because of the obvious verbal connection, the 'foot' of the vessel, the 'body' of clay the 'neck'. I started to see my pots as characters, families, relations if each other. I then started reading books like 'The Body' by Lisa Blackman and this got me interested in the portrayal of the female form in media and art. I thought about how by displacing body parts it can be unsettling or even a bit funny, and why it is that nudity is still taboo in certain contexts and not others? 


I am still exploring along these lines at the moment. I am interested in the body as the seat of all our experiences, how the mind is sometimes seen as the 'real' us, body and mind become separate, the mind some how superior. The way the body is dressed and modified to send signals, the way the body is our vessel that contains us, our carriage in life. Impermanent, ageing, diseased, flexible, inflexible, resilient and quite amazing in every way inside and out. I think this fascination became more intense when I developed Raynauds and experienced other health problems that made me realise the fragility of this vessel that contains our being. 


It seems the body that contains us dictates very much who we become, male, female, black, white, Asian, gay, straight. Expectation is placed on depending which vehicle we are riding, some are pretty, some ugly, some able, some disabled. One thing is certain the body isn't permanent, all the atoms, minerals and molecules will go back into the melting pot at some point and be reformed into something else. There is finite oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus on our planet and our planet is good at recycling. 



Sunday, 26 January 2014

Spiky Eggs


These are the last pieces out of the kiln for the show at Brentwood Road. Spiky and gold, developed out of the egg shapes that I first started making last year, I am pleased with these ones and plan to make more. Tactile, fragile, dangerous.

Tomorrow I am loading up the car with my life's work and driving it up to the gallery in Romford. I have started preparing for my artists talk, I will rehearse before hand to make sure it is not too boring, my poor husband john will have to listen!