Today at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, Stephen Dixon, a professional ceramic artist and Professor of Contemporary Crafts at Manchester School of Art has given a talk about his work in ceramics and a workshop. I am inspired and grateful of the opportunity to meet, and hear about the work of Stephen, as his work has been an inspiration of mine for a long time.
Stephen Dixon's work is about commemoration, subversion and football. He also went on to say a narrative in his work is key, as he loves the idea of 'story telling' in his works. At this point, moving on he spoke about several of his ceramic works and their stories, for example, (image to the left) Paradise Lost, a series from 2003-2009 is commenting of the Iraq and Gulf war. Images of Tony Blair, printed on the large oil can vessels are portraying his 'fall from grace'. Another, in 2013, Stephen Dixon went on to say he worked with AMOCA, and created work commenting on G.I War brides, during the Second World War.
I found his talk so intriguing, as I also create work which is in commemoration of wars and conflict in history, and find it important to 'honour the history.' My most favourite of artworks are ones which 'tell a story' especially ones which are true.
During the workshop we were taught tips and tricks of making decals and layering them onto ceramics. First of all, he spoke about what kind of laser printer we would need, a cheap black and white printer along with Fotocal FC paper. The image you would like to put on to your ceramics, should be photocopied on your Fotocal FC paper (on the white side of this paper in opposed to the blue side). Once you have photocopied your image onto your paper, it doesn't have to dry before you put it into water for a few seconds. Make sure the ceramic you would like your image to be on is dry. Take it out the water, and you can then slowly with care, move the image off the paper and onto your ceramic - if there is a struggle to remove the image, you may need to leave it in the water for a while longer. Take a small paper towel to smooth any creases and dry the plate on the image. We were told during the workshop to only layer two images on top of each other, as it works best, before you fire it. Firing:- 1050 degrees - Low glaze and 1120 - High fire glaze.