Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fusion Mentorship with Keith Campbell

Fusion - the Ontario Clay and Glass Association has offered its second Fusion mentorship program. It will run from Sept 2012 until the summer or fall of 2013. There are two mentors - Rita Redner in the Ottawa area and Keith Campbell  in North Bay. Since North Bay is only 1 1/2 hours away vs 2 hours for Ottawa and Keith is more inclined to do work that carries a message I felt that he was a better fit for me.
I could hardly wait until Sept 8 and 9th and to meet my fellow journeymen - or rather women in this case.. There are 9 of us - 4 from the North Bay area and the others from as far away as Sault St Marie, Sudbury, Toronto, Ottawa and Deep River (me) and we are meeting in the ceramics room at Canadore College in North Bay.
We had a two day introductory session.  On the first day Keith explained how he creates - always pushing the status quo and asking, "What if - what if I did this or that?"   He is also the master of the stencil and spray gun - and his pieces are simply exquisite - with very detailed, and elegant craftsmanship.
Stenciled image using mouth sprayer and underglaze.

Stenciled image stretched.
An example of stretching your idea - both literally and figuratively is his idea of stretching the stenciled clay - it is amazing how it can energize the image, yet still remain recognizable. (By the way it is a photo of the Canadian Group of Seven painter Tom Thomson.)  So we all had lots to ponder over after the first day.
You can see some of Keith's finished work here - http://www.keithcampbell.ca/gallery.htm  As he says, his work  is "a fusion of ideas, form and communication".

On the second day we saw presentations of each others' work. Since most of us were strangers to each other we were really curious as to what sort of work we all do - and it was amazing - a wide variety - from functional to sculptural.
So this band of journey women with their fearless leader (Keith will be working along with us) have started on their voyage of discovery into the unknown - 10 different backgrounds, 10 different styles, 10 different goals which will culminate in an exhibition in the fall of 2013 together with the Ottawa program.
So on the drive home I had 1 1/2 hours to think about what direction I will be taking. - so many paths, so many choices and so many ideas that will all have to percolate in my brain for a while before I can tease something out.
As this will be my second time that I will be doing a mentorship program - the first was in 2008-09 with Steven Hill -  I hope that I will be able to rise to the challenges. I also intend to blog here this second journey again as I found that is was very beneficial as it not only helps to keep my ideas on track, but often by writing them down, it helps to generate new ideas.
Our homework - have three pieces finished for the next meeting on Oct 13th. Yikes!