New Drawing from Hungate Dig

spout of a roman mortarium, 75x75cm, watercolour pencil on paper. first draft.

During the summer I have been escaping and volunteering one day a week at an archaeological dig in York. The area is called Hungate and being developed over the next few years. You can find information on I have found it fascinating, taking a glimpse at how archaeology works, how to read the soil, about finds, about context and about the people who work and volunteer in a very interesting community.
Last week we found a piece of a mortarium, an roman food processor bowl, like a pestle and mortar, and it was so interesting that I had a strong urge to draw it, follow the curves of the spout and rim we found, the colours and markings of age, but the incredible strenght and its cool pottery feel that survived 2 millenia. It is broken, so it was rubbish to the romans because unusable and found in an infill trench, but it is a treasure to me. So this is the first draft after the first day drawing and it feels absolutely wonderful to be drawing again. Slept the best in ages.

Design for dinner service

These photographs of Japanese trees were taken this spring when I had the good fortune to go to Kyoto, Japan. I love trees especially the ones with twisting branches. Close to my house there are oak trees with contorting limbs. I enjoy watching the changes over the seasons.

These photos were used as an inspiration when I was commissioned by my uni to produce some dinner set designs based on the uni logo, a connected bud and leaf. The project is now in its final stages. The brief requested an oriental feel to the design, which is when I thought of using these photographs.

I wanted the final design to convey what it felt like to be at uni, running against the wind, holding on to course structure and especially fellow students, working to grow from bud to leaf and eventually let go and flow your own path.

Soup plate with guide.

I really enjoyed doing this project, working with people who were clear about their expectation, open to suggestions and respectful of creativity. It felt good to be an artist (or at least an art student). Especially since I didn't manage to steal enough time away from family to endulge much in creative work apart from cooking!