Sunday, 20 August 2017

August in the studio

I’ve been spending more time in my studio than in Steart Marshes this month. Only a few weeks to bring all my ideas together into resolved pieces for the ‘Change’ exhibition. So many ideas and images to sift through and plan a coherent body of work. My head and sketchbook are full of ideas and potential starting points and I’m keen to start playing with my willow.P1040777

Lengths of fine cane were soaked and when pliant, made into these formations and temporarily wrapped until they dried. This gave interesting ‘kinks’ into each strip that could then be further gently manipulated into other formations that seem to suggest plant, grasses, ripples in water perhaps and also delicate lines of insects?


I’ve added lines of bright green to suggest fresh growth; then moulded silk fibre forms that could relate to new life. Watch this space for further developments of this idea.


Another set of shapes that I am intrigued by are these overlapping curved shapes formed by the cracks in mud. So I processed more dyed willow into oval curved shapes and laid the resulting shapes overlapping each other to create the same sort of shapes. Working out a way of holding these together and will post more images later.


Playing with shorter curved lengths of dyed and wrapped willow. Each star point is held with a piece of lovely frayed and faded weathered fabric that ‘wintered’ at Steart Marshes.

P1050167  P1050166

The left image shows two layers and the right image, four layers. The image below is stacked with all ten layers. Thinking of a title around ‘wishing upon a star’.


Several drawings in my sketchbook were inspired by the sensuous curves created by the ebb and flow of water,defined by the  stepped bands around large ‘pools’ of water. It was invigorating to make such sweeping marks with  brush and ink.


The page above has been collaged with sections of two drawings to suggest changes in the water surface during the drawing session that day as do the two drawings below.

Sketch8   Sketch9

Starting to manipulate the dyed and wrapped willow lengths to form similar shapes and pleased with the way the willow held it’s unusual form to describe the curves..


Tried adding threads acrss the voids and making more curves and loops.


Further developments as I write this so more news soon.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Muddy developments

Some weathered fabrics have been given an extra coating of Steart mud.

P1040790  P1040792

I’ve also used the mud to paint with.

P1040809   P1040810

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

More mud and weathered fabrics

My fabric fragments have been collected - -thank  you Rich and Becky. Some have weathered well and show a dramatic change with fraying,and  bleaching. Others haven’t changed much at all.


My handful of mud has been stirred and some water added until it looks as if it might make a useful paint to draw with and to dip fabrics into. Looking forward to exploring ways in which I can use it tomorrow.


This looks quite a beautiful colour – quite different from the vanilla ice cream this container once held.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

And more mud…

These images might suggest this post looks as if it’s still March, but this is in the middle of May. The temperature on the previous few days was nearly 30 degrees! A path of mud shows how dry and hot it had been.


So the following week saw some intrepid walkers, well wrapped up against the rain and deep mud, I joined a team of scientists who were walking out to the breach (the opening of Steart wetland area to the open sea at Bridgwater Bay).


They were setting up monitoring posts to gauge the movement of the sediment during the re-alignment of the two levels – land and sea -  using GPS recording.

Sian28  Sian29

Walking as far as the breach, we could see the marvellous waterfall created by the difference between the two levels. This will gradually disappear as the two levels equalise so it was very special to see it on this adventurous walk. Don’t go any further Clem!


Close up pics of mud, glorious mud….

Sian6  Sian5


I collected a handful of mud to bring home to think about ways in which I could use it in my studio experiments so watch out for further posts and expect to see a lot of muddy marks..

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Three degrees at Steart Marshes today

It was a cold morning, but I needed to check my ‘weathering’ pieces to see if they were still in place and aging nicely.


We walked to Stockland Viewing platform and we took some photos and Polly bravey got her sketching book out for some drawing.


The winter details of texture were fascinating ; heaps of dead grasses trapping watery debris; flooded grass areas……..

20170306_114956  20170306_120851 

….and lovely mud – a beautiful colour that I brought home on my trousers – purely as a colour match of course. I added my welly foortprints to what looks like rather large bird foot prints but probably  tyre prints. Would love to play with some mud.


Sunday, 22 January 2017

Weathering at Steart

It was a very calm, mild day today at Steart Marshes, Somerset: perfect weather for placing several lengths of willow to which I’d attached small fragments of fabrics. I’m hoping the weather is going to be much wilder soon, with heavy rain, frosts and high winds so that the materials I sited today will get beautifully weathered and ‘distressed’. Here are lengths of dyed willow with attached fabric fragments, ready to be located somewhere in the wetlands area.

Trial materials

There are wooden constructed hides and viewing platforms to view this wonderful landscape.


cropped rushes1

Viewing platform (Combwich)  Viewing platform (Combwich) 2 Around admin2