This Week We Invite: Diane Griffin
The inspiration for my work stems from a trip to Jerusalem many years ago. I visited the Wailing Wall and was intrigued by the thousands of wishes and prayers written on paper and crammed between the stones in the wall. I love this idea of leaving something of yourself, perhaps something very personal yet it's in a public place.
My work features many paper-like scrolls, sometimes single scrolls as a bud vase and other times pushed together to form a sculptural focus on a larger vase. I enjoy using a combination of techniques - slip casting and hand building. The main body of my larger vases is slip cast, then I hand roll scrolls in different sizes and apply them individually.
I use a variety of scroll sizes for visual interest as well as allowing different stem sizes to be accommodated. I have aimed to strike a balance between a sculptural aesthetic and a practical function.
Describe a typical day in a couple of sentences? I’m usually in the studio at the end of my garden by about 8.30am and work until about 11.00am when I get a hot chocolate while I spend time catching up on emails and other admin. Then it’s back to the studio for the afternoon with lunch and hopefully a walk slotted in somewhere. The end of the day is often dictated by whatever is on the workbench.
In your studio – what’s the first thing you see? (be honest- I can see an empty packet of chocolate digestives!) My kiln is the first thing I see. Beside it I keep a small collection of ‘talisman’ pieces that I use as my ‘Kiln Gods’. It is a tradition among potters to have a Kiln God by their kiln to watch over the work during firings. Mine are small pieces of work that other makers have given me over time which to me represent the positive times we shared, and therefore give a very positive vibe.
Which artist living or dead would you like to meet and why? I would have loved to have met Gillian Lowndes whose ceramic and mixed media sculptures continue to inspire me. Her experimental approach and materials led practice was pioneering back in the 1970’s but I feel her work is still very relevant today. Love it!
Cats or dogs? Cats. I have a lovely cat called Rose who follows me everywhere, although she doesn’t like it in my studio so she sits on the trampoline outside the window and watches me. It’s slightly unnerving.
Name your idle pleasure? My idle pleasure is a glass or two of wine while listening to one of my Spotify playlists, preferably volume up whilst I sing along, almost in time and almost in key.
Tell us a surprising thing about you? Hahaa! This got me thinking that I really need to up my game! No, I’ve not sky dived or climbed a mountain but I do have different coloured eyes - one of which changes colour. Bit lame, I know.
Recommend a book? I struggle to find time to read these days. The last book I read was ‘Ceramic Faults and their remedies’ by Harry Fraser which I dip into when I need to research a technical problem but I nearly always get engrossed. I am a self confessed ceramics geek. The last novel I really enjoyed was “Quite Ugly One Morning” by Christopher Brookmyre.
What helps you to focus? I find a good walk helps me to focus and get my thoughts in order.
What would your top tip be for the year – to yourself or to others? Dream the big dream, then set yourself mini goals to get there.
What are you looking forward to in the next year I am looking forward to developing a new sculptural body of work. I have started on my experiments but am excited to see where I end up with it.
Find Out More About Diane Griffin
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