For the past 38 years we have been championing contemporary craft in the vibrant city of Leeds to shine a spotlight on independent makers and their small businesses from across Yorkshire and the rest of the UK. Through an exciting seasonal exhibition programme we highlight the skills behind handmade and share their inspiring stories. Bringing these amazing collections of contemporary craft together under one roof has created a haven for many visitors to escape the stresses of daily life & create mindful experiences. Please help us keep the gallery and the hundreds of small businesses we support alive by donating what you can so we can continue to keep bringing the very best of contemporary craft to you and help us and these creative industries thrive.
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Whilst everyone opens the first day of their advent calendars today we thought you may like to explore a different kind of calendar...intrigued? Read on...
On the 1st of January 2018, Anna Whitehouse began a project to make 1 bottle a day for 100 days. The aim was to free up her making and rapidly explore ideas towards a new collection of work. Using a 2 part press mould Anna could quickly make a plain bottle every morning; her blank canvas for the day. It allowed her to be far more experimental in her approach because there was always going to be another one tomorrow.
"Everyday I would post my creation to Instagram, a quick way to have a digital record and review progress, but it also put the project in the public domain and made me accountable - I couldn't skip a day! Throughout the 100 days I referenced my sketchbooks, which were brimming with years of unexplored ideas, patterns and textures. I tried pressing and scraping any tool I could get my hands on into the clay. From my standard clay tools to pen lids, tweezers, scissors and even a string of beads! I also started making my own tools from bits of broken pen, wire and aluminium to create particular marks. For me, creating the 100 bottles was like sketching in clay. I've kept the work unglazed, like white pages from a sketchbook, highlighting the mark making through the contrast created by shadows."
I used the 100 days as an experimental project to develop observational and modelling skills, whilst pushing towards a new collection of work, yet interestingly the bottles have become a piece in their own right. Not only for their intriguing surfaces, but because they record a moment in time. Explore Anna's interactive calendar over on her website and find your favourite today!
You can marvel at all 100 bottles in Anna's amazing Ceramic Showcase here in Leeds Yorkshire from 8th January until 20th April 2019. Meet the maker herself on Saturday 26th January from 1pm - 3pm. Find out what inspired Anna to make 100 bottles in 100 days, browse through her inspiring sketchbooks, see the tools of her trade and watch Anna at work. All welcome and it's free!