Shelley Rhodes PSG :: Sally Payne

Shelley Rhodes

On a visit to Sally’s house, I noticed a wire figure on her wall, which had clay pushed into the structure. I had worked quite extensively with clay in the past and we discussed how she might develop this idea. Combining textiles and clay was something I was already interested in, but really wanted to dedicate some more time to. This sharing of ideas led me to ask her to collaborate on this project.

We relished the chance to experiment with different media. We met regularly for practical sessions, where we used porcelain slip, paper clay, plaster, wire and image transfers. We explored the use of fired and unfired clay and together we resolved the problems which arose from each method of working.

Working together gave us the opportunity to share, teach, learn, combine skills, assess, evaluate and select ideas for development. This helped us raise the level of our work. When working alone it is often tempting to use tried and tested methods, rather than continually trying to push the boundaries.

In the end the journey towards the finished pieces became as important as the arrival and the friendship that grew was as important as the work.

Sally Payne

The collaboration with Shelley has been a fruitful and enriching experience. The interaction of ideas and sharing of skills has encouraged us to consider diverse approaches to our work. I have always worked with mixtures of contrasting materials and had been experimenting with soap, clay and wire. Working with Shelley’s ceramic expertise has allowed me to explore the possibilities of finer clays and porcelains.

The ceramic has been the uniting media in this collaboration each exploring the potential and limitations of the clay in relation to our work.

We met for practical sessions, experimenting with clay, porcelain slip, wire and fabrics. This was a great opportunity to exchange techniques and ideas. Our regular meeting instilled an urgency to show a progression of ideas with testing and sampling between each session. These self imposed deadlines were an excellent spur for decision making.

Each meeting giving time for constructive criticism and an attempt to tackle problems arising, disasters with soap, breakages of ceramic, consideration of scale and practical solutions for presentation.

The collaboration has been a successful venture enabling a sharing of our strengths and talents. We look forward to continuing our dialogue into the next body of work.

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