Thursday, 31 January 2013

cottage in the wood

The project making memories is running over 2 years, working with older people in Oldham. Our brief is to develop 4 reminiscence boxes for creative use in care settings. Our subject matter for the moment is CERAMICS. This we are breaking down into smaller themes. 

Yesterday Phil and worked on Wedding Gifts, with the hope that for our group, many these gifts would have been in ceramic form. I took in a selection from my cupboard, things that I have inherited, or brought from charity shops, or been given as gifts... Including a 'tea trio set' which was my grandma's, to fine and breakable for my clumsy tea drinking.

With the help of the object and each other, the group remembered tea sets inherited from their own parents and ones received as wedding presents, to precious to be used- instead proudly displayed. Many of the gifts didn't have everyday use, a teapot in the shape of a house, a set of Apostle Spoons, fish knives and forks.... We discussed why when often they had so little material goods, did they have objects that had no use but to look pretty. Phil wrote up their conversation in the form of a poem, to be posted on the blog at a later date.

cottage in the wood, Denise Stephens, monoprint, 2013 

The second part of the session was a closer look at the objects, using the patterns on the plate- or memories of their own objects as inspiration to create monoprints. The joy of the monoprint is also the frustration for many- its difficult to control, the results are never the same twice, there are smudges and scrapes that you have to embrace. This encourages a looseness and a freedom that is harder to achieve with pencil and paper.

Everyone had a go, I've picked two examples here- I love the fairy-tale, summer day, quality of cottage in the wood, the more you look the more you see. And Doreen's portrait is so full of joy, exuberance and fun, it makes me smile every time I see it.

Doreen, monoprint Jan 2013