On the Road: Perth

On January 27th the ‘No. 3’ One Stop Shop in Perth invited PA artist Jonathan McKinstry and I to deliver clay modelling workshops to some of their service users who had braved the stormy weather to attend the Centre that day.

We proposed to make clay heads with the group and started off with quite a formulaic approach. A cylinder of clay was rolled for a neck, then tapered into a cone and sliced on the diagonal so that an oval head shape could perch on top. Eye sockets were scooped out with wire tools, then eye balls were rolled and inserted back into the hollows... and so it went on.

What started out as very general shapes soon became quite specific and unique forms. It was great to see some people, who at the outset were not convinced they could really achieve much with this medium, become so engrossed in their work and produce pieces so full of character. Even Jonathan, who has recently been more at home with large expressive painterly canvases, was finding this a great channel for his interest in homespun cartoon characters.

By the end of the sessions we had an array of clay heads all projecting very different personalities including a jazzy looking dude with a goaty beard, ladies with amazing bone structure and pony tails and curly frizzy locks of hair, a Mohican with pointed Vulcan ears, an orang-utang-like fellow with top hat and rudely protruding tongue and even a true to life portrait study of a member of staff from the One Stop Shop.

Thankfully all the artworks survived the long journey back to Project Ability in Glasgow where they are now awaiting firing. I look forward to reuniting the artists with their finished artworks when we meet next month to explore a different medium.
-Meredith Crone, tutor

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