Victor-Victoria, the making of

Victor-Victoria is a unique vase constructed by hand in cream coloured earthenware, painted with engobes (underglazes) and finally coated with transparent glazing.

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Ce week-end : Portes ouvertes des Grands Voisins/This week-end: Open studios at Les Grands Voisins

Dans le cadre des Portes Ouvertes des Grands Voisins, mon atelier sera ouvert au public le samedi 1 juillet, après-midi, et le dimanche 2 juillet toute la journée.

 

Rendez-vous au bâtiment LEPAGE (cf plan du site ci-dessous), 1er étage, fond du couloir, sur le site des Grands Voisins au 82 av Denfert-Rochereau, métro Denfert-Rochereau ; ou bus 38 arrêt Hôpital Saint Vincent de Paul.

 

Bienvenue !

 

Toutes les informations sur l'événement sur le site ici :

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/279732625831928/?acontext=%7B%22ref%22%3A%22106%22%2C%22action_history%22%3A%22null%22%7D

 

OPEN STUDIO this Friday at the address above! See the FB page for more informations on all events on the site during the week-end. Welcome!

 

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Journées européennes des métiers d'art aux Grands Voisins/Open studio at Les Grands Voisins

Dans le cadre des Journées européennes des métiers d'art, mon atelier sera ouvert au public le vendredi 31 mars du 14h à 20h.

Rendez-vous au bâtiment LEPAGE (cf plan du site plus bas), 1er étage, fond du couloir, sur le site des Grands Voisins au 82 av Denfert-Rochereau, métro Denfert-Rochereau ; ou bus 38 arrêt Hôpital Saint Vincent de Paul.

Bienvenue !

 

Toutes les informations sur l'événement sur le site ici :

https://www.facebook.com/events/583521521841286/

 

OPEN STUDIO this Friday at the address above! See the FB page for more informations on all events on the site during the week-end.

Welcome!

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Ceramics exhibition with Les Printemps de Dauphine/Exposition de ceramiques dans le cadre des Printemps de Dauphine

Shops at Marché Dauphine, situated in the middle of the famous Clignancourt flea market (140 rue des Rosiers, St Ouen), host a month of exhibitions by diverse artists, photographers and artisans. My latest creations are at booth n°200 with the vinyl and poster dealer Gérard Morice. Open on week-ends until Sunday April 23rd.

Les marchants du Marché Dauphine aux puces de Clignancourt accueillent des artistes pendant un mois jusqu'au 23 avril prochain dans le cadre de l'initiative "Les Printemps de Dauphine". J'expose chez Gérard Morice au stand n°200, au 140 rue des Rosiers, St Ouen. Ouverture tous les week-ends !


EDIT: Due to personal reasons this exhibition has been interrupted. / Cette exposition a été interrompue pour des raisons personnelles.

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sculpting a mug/sculpture d'un mug

Voilà comment un bloc de terre devient une tasse quand il est déjà trop sec pour être transformé d'abord en plaques ou en boudins. Le travail sur ce bloc a pris plusieurs heures (sans compter les cuissons et l'émaillage) parce que même si au début il y a une petite idée de la forme finale, elle doit être travaillée avec soin et peut changer et évoluer dans le processus. Ainsi, on la révèle par petites touches, on tourne la pièce un million de fois, et l'on observe l'apparition lente de l'objet. Très méditatif et absorbant, profondément satisfaisant!

Here's how a bloc of clay becomes a mug when it's already too dry to be worked into slabs or coils first. The work on this one took several hours (not counting the firings and the glazing) because even though at the beginning there's some kind of idea of the final form it has to be carved out carefully and may change and evolve in the process. So you work in small touches, turn the piece around a million times, observe the slow appearance of the object. Very meditative and absorbing, profoundly satisfying!


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SEEN AND LIKED AT SO BEAUTIFUL!/VU ET AIME A SO BEAUTIFUL!

So Beautiful! carries well its name. The three Haussmann-style apartments of the showroom are a cascade of beautiful, decorative and innovative things.  The apartments themselves are frequently used for film shootings, which explains the sometimes surprising wall decorations found in certain rooms. The above photos show a selection of some of my favourites. Click to enlarge and see in detail.

 

So Beautiful! porte bien son nom. Les trois appartements Haussmanniens présentent une succession de choses belles, décoratives et innovantes dans un cadre insolite et chaleureux. L'immeuble étant en vente, les appartements sont fréquemment utilisés pour des tournages de films, d'où les décors inattendus dans certaines pièces. Les photos ci-dessus montrent une sélection de quelques-uns de mes favoris dans le showroom. Cliquez sur les images pour les agrandir.


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SO BEAUTIFUL! some photos/SO BEAUTIFUL! quelques photos

My creations are among the smallest exhibited at the So Beautiful! showroom. Their official "home" is on the 5th floor, with the furniture maker Mjiila, but some pieces are also in other locations, namely in the 5th floor lounge area with Vauzelle, BacSac and BoBoBoom, and on the 3rd floor in the reception area as well as with in'Ove.

 

I'm happy to say three of my ceramic pieces have been sold (photos below). The cat pitcher and the rectangular bowl went to the same person, while the tea/coffee tumbler on the far right was sold to another person.

 

I've had very positive and encouraging feedback on my stuff. The cat carafe sparked divided reactions, people either loved it or more or less hated it - very much in line with the opinions of my friends one of which called the carafe "the creepy thing" :D. Well, I'm glad one person liked it enough to want to buy it!

 

Online registrations continue to visit the showroom so don't hesitate to come and meet us!

Mes créations, de petite taille, n'ont pas véritablement de lieu dédié à So Beautiful! showroom. Officiellement, je suis domiciliée au 5e étage dans la même pièce avec le fabriquant de mobilier Mjiila. Quelques objets majeurs sont posés sur ses tables basses mais d'autres sont situés dans le lounge à côté avec Vauzelle, BacSac et BoBoboom, puis encore au 3e étage à l'accueil et dans la dernière pièce à gauche chez in'Ove.

 

Trois de mes céramiques ont trouvé un nouveau propriétaire (photos ci-dessous) ; une personne a emporté le chat carafe et le bol rectangulaire bleu, alors qu'une autre a choisi le petit gobelet à thé/café à droite.

 

Les retours sur mon travail ont été très positives et encourageantes ; le chat cependant a divisé les opinions de manière très tranchée, on l'a soit adoré soit détesté. Je suis heureuse qu'une personne l'ait suffisamment aimé pour l'acheter !

 

Les inscriptions en ligne pour les visites se poursuivent pendant toute la durée du showroom alors n'hésitez surtout pas !


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SO BEAUTIFUL!


Inscriptions pour visiter le showroom/To visit the showroom register here :  http://www.sobeautiful-showrooms.com/inscription-visiteurs

 

Sur Instagram retrouvez-moi avec/On Instagram find me with : mltuoriniemi.

 

Sur place, je serai au 5e étage, 3e porte à droite (voir le plan ci-dessous) ou alors juste à côté dans le Lounge./ At the showroom you'll find me on the 5th floor, 3rd door on the right, or right next door in the Lounge area.

 

Pour voir les exposants, suivre les photos et présentations postées sur les réseaux sociaux/ All exhibitor presentations and info on social networks :

* Page Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/sobeautiful.showrooms

* Evénement Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/events/1121746557877760/

* Twitter : https://twitter.com/SoBeautifulByDW

* Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/decoworkers/

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Business & Art: Silmäniloa arkeen/Spicing up the ordinary


Kalevankulman Antell-kahvila Oulussa on lähtenyt mukaan pienimuotoiseen taideprojektiini "Business & Art: Silmäniloa arkeen". Viisi työtäni ovat siis esillä kahvilan vitriineissä kahden viikon ajan 5-19 helmikuuta.

Etsin Oulusta ennakkoluulottomia yrityksiä jotka voisivat kiinnostua taiteen edistämisestä oululaisessa liike-elämässä ja katukuvassa. Tarkoituksena on tuoda taidetta vain silmäniloksi yritysten työntekijöiden ja asiakkaiden jokapäiväisiin hetkiin, monet kun eivät tule koskaan käyneeksi gallerioissa ja museoissa tai jopa kaihtavat niitä. Näin myös taitelija saa tuotantoaan hieman esille tavanomaisten ja aika suppeiden piirien ulkopuolella.

Projekti toimii "no profit"-periaatteella, eli tarkoitus ei ole myydä töitä yrityksen tiloissa vaan asettaa ne vain ilmaiseksi esille liiketilaan sen kaunistukseksi, yhdessä sovituksi ajaksi, muutamasta päivästä pariin viikkoon. Taiteilija jättää paikan päälle mahdollisen esittelyn, käyntikortin tai muuten yhteystiedot mahdollisia tiedusteluja sekä palautetta varten, ja hoitaa myös esille laittamisen, purkamisen ja vakuutukset itse jotta yhteistyökumppanille ei koidu ylimääräistä työtä/vaivaa/kuluja.

 

Olen erittäin kiinnostunut kuulemaan mielipiteesi, anna siis palautetta vapaasti tässä alla, julkisessa Vieraskirjassa tai yksityisesti kontaktisivulla.

 

EDIT: Harmikseni henkilökohtaista palautetta tuli todella vähän, mutta onneksi kahvilan henkilökunta kertoi asiakkaiden positiivisesta vastaanotosta! Kiitos Antell!

"Business & Art: Spicing up the ordinary" is the name of my miniature project that brings art to the general public through "no-profit" cooperation with businesses. The Antell café at Kalevankulma in Oulu, Finland, is the first business to join in the project, taking in five of my "light sculptures". The artworks will decorate the café's windows for a two-week period from February 5th to 19th.

 

The "no-profit" idea consists in not selling the artworks in the businesses' premises, but just bringing nice things to look at to customers, employees and passers by. The artist takes care of everything, including insurance, so that the business partner does not have any extra work or costs from from project - only nice decoration!

 

Art and creativity in all its forms belong to our everyday life and should not be confined in galleries and museums. This is my contribution to freeing Art and bringing together people who feel the same way, whatever their professional and personal profile. 

 

I would love to have your feedback here below, in the Vistors' book or through private contact on this page.

 

EDIT: Unfortunately personal feedback from the exhibition was scarce, however the café staff told about positive reactions of the clients. Thank you Antell!


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Artika Gallery/Gallerie Artika

With still one week to go, the feedback from the "Saven Lumo" (Charm of Clay) exhibition at the Artika Gallery in Helsinki has made me very happy. It is good to hear people find my light sculptures original and beautiful. My space in the gallery is a separate small dark room with black walls, excellent to really bring out the lights. And I am in such good company; my four fellow exhibitors are all truly professional and much more experienced than I am. All in all, the whole experience with the gallery has been wonderful, Nina and Mari (in the picture above) are active, kind, warm and easy to work with. Thank you for everything, it has been a pleasure!

 

Il reste encore une semaine de l'exposition "Saven Lumo" (Charme de la terre) à la gallerie Artika à Helsinki, et je suis très heureuse des retours. Il est agréable d'entendre de la part des visiteurs que mes objets lumineux sont originaux et beaux. Mon espace dans la gallerie est séparé du reste de l'expo, une petite pièce avec des murs noirs, ce qui permet de vraiment mettre en valeur les lumières. En plus, je suis en très bonne compagnie ; mes quatre co-exposants sont très professionnels et bien plus expérimentés que moi. De tous les points de vue, cette expérience avec la galerie Artika a été formidable, notamment grâce à Nina et Mari (sur la photo ci-dessus) qui ne pourraient pas être plus actives, gentilles, chaleureuses et attentionnées. Merci pour tout, cela a été un véritable plaisir !

 

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Expo à Helsinki/Exhibition in Helsinki

J'ai l'honneur d'avoir été sélectionnée pour cette exposition de céramique contemporaine aux côtés de quatre artistes/artisans finlandais. Elle se tiendra à Helsinki, Finlande, du 2 au 20 décembre, à la galerie Artika, située 19-21 Uudenmaankatu. Alors, si vous êtes de passage à la capitale finlandaise le mardi 1er décembre, soyez les bienvenus au vernissage à l'adresse citée, entre 17h et 19h, j'y serai aussi !


I am very honoured to participate in this exhibition of contemporary ceramics with four Finnish artists, from December 2 to 20, in Helsinki Finland. If you happen to be in the Finnish capital on Tuesday December 1, you are very welcome to pop in at the opening party at the gallery Artika, Uudenmaankatu 19-21, from 17 to 19. I'll be there myself so maybe we'll meet !

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Trezzo sull'Adda, or Learning From Mistakes

Installation "At the source" en trois pièces. Chaise mandala en céramique émaillée blanc ; récipient cônique en céramique émaillée sable, avec une plaque de verre fusionné coloré et un système d'éclairage LED ; récipient en forme de chat, émaillé noir mat

This is my installation "At the Source" that participated in a group exhibition from August 1st to September 15th at Centrale Taccani, in Trezzo sull'Adda, Italy. These photos were the ones sent for the jury; the first one gives an idea of how the installation should be presented.


It has taken me a long time to digest this. Mistakes, failures, they’re rarely easy to accept and process. So I’ve been disappointed, bitter, angry, feeling stupid and so on. But in order to learn, it is necessary to go through it all. Luckily there are those who have already been there and who have generously shared their experiences, so we know we are not alone!

 

 

I’m going to tell everything in detail, so before you go any further, take some refreshments with you.

 

 

Here’s the story.

 

 

For those who do not know it already, I’m a beginner in the art world, autodidact and without connections in the business where I live and work. So I’m really really starting from scratch. This summer, I participated in two international art events, both being of those where you pay for your exhibition space. I have read discussions in the Internet (namely LinkedIn) about the usefulness of these things, and I can now say I finally have my own opinion (more of this at the end of the post).

 

 

The first event covered a period of three months, in Milan, during the world expo 2015. The concept was new, at least to me: a curated selection of international artists would exhibit in a fashionable area, and business events would be organised in the exhibition space to attract potential investors. Opening hours for general public were a bit difficult: office hours and only during the week, but then again the main target was the business people. The international exhibition was located in the upper floor, while Italian artists and designers had the ground floor. An auction of art works was held at some point in the course of the three months. As for the price to exhibit, I thought it expensive but worth it, judging by the location, the space, the catalogue, and the quality of the organisation team. Everything went smoothly, the communication with the artists was good, the catalogue was very nice and the people too, but I don’t know if the press was ever invited there nor how the works for the auction were selected.

 

 

The second event ran from the beginning of August to mid-September, and was located in a fabulous turn of the century hydroelectric power station, more like a castle than an industrial building. A beautiful space in beautiful surroundings, in the small town of Trezzo sull’Adda, halfway between Milan and Bergamo. This event was cheaper than the first, but still expensive, and I started to smell a rat even before I got my stuff on location – but I had already paid so there was no turning back.

 

 

Why did I smell a rat then? There were two curators, and the one I had been arranging everything with through e-mails (Mrs N, an internationally recognised artist herself) stopped answering about a week before I was to bring my works to Trezzo. I never got answers to my questions about how things were supposed to go on that specific day, namely at what time the place would be open. So I took the train from Paris with all my stuff without knowing if anyone would be there when I arrived. Impossible to get through by phone – the curator’s phone number (when at last I found it) was, guess what, Israeli. So yes, she is from Israel, but one would think that for this kind of event organised in Italy there would be a more convenient way of reaching her. No other phone numbers were available.

 

 

Luckily, a friend was able to take me to the power station by car. The place was open, but Mrs N was not there and the second curator, Mr G (Italian and in fact the boss of the whole thing) did not speak a word of English. I thought this was strange for someone organising an international event. Of course I had Googled him and found that he was a known art critique in Italy and had organised other art events, so I thought I had no reason to be suspicious of him. With my friend as interpreter, I explained my business. He behaved as if he did not know Mrs N (blank face, no reaction to her name) and was not aware of my participation nor of the space that Mrs N had suggested I occupy to exhibit my work. When I insisted that I was supposed to be placed in the cellars, he finally took us underground and let me choose between a few spots. I had been promised a table and sockets for electricity – but nothing was there. Surprisingly, we found that Mrs N was not only one of the curators but also one of the exhibitors, her works were not far from mine.

 

 

As Mr G. was busy showing around the exhibition to “important visitors” (that’s what he whispered to us about some people from the Columbian consulate) he did not have time to attend to my needs, “oh don’t worry about the electricity, we’ll take care of that tomorrow, same goes for the name tag on the table, I’ll send you photos of it all later”. By this time my friend had told me more than once he thought the boss was an a.....e with a very unpleasant attitude. Unwillingly, I prepared to leave everything as it was, only half finished. But before leaving I asked Mr G through my friend when the exhibition catalogue (promised in the contract) was coming out and how I would get it. The reply was at the end of October and that he would send it to my friend (how, I have no idea) – but he would need photos of my works and a description text. As if Mrs N never got them. Ok, I said, I need your e-mail address – but he would not give it. Instead, my friend had to take Mr G’s telephone number and call or text him in the evening in order to get it.

 

 

This sounded so bad I ran back inside and chased after the staff (no spoken English there either) to get what I needed to set up my installation properly. With the help of B, a very kind staff member who spoke some French, I managed to get everything except the name tag on my table. I exchanged e-mail addresses with him and he promised to send me Mr G’s e-mail so I could send the info for the name tag and the catalogue, with a hidden copy to B himself. B would send everything to the right people if Mr G. did not make a move.  So I left Trezzo with photos of my installation, with all its pieces in place and the lights as they were supposed to be. No name tag, but a good contact with B and so hope of getting things sorted out. That evening, even if I now had a way of getting Mr G’s e-mail address, my friend sent him a text message asking for it. We never received a reply.

 


This is how I left my installation at the exhibition site in Trezzo. Originally I was to have a table with suitable dimensions; I ended up with three Ikea coffee tables put together. Not so very pretty but at least they are the same size. The name tag was supposed to be added the next day.



Back home in Paris I got in touch with B, got Mr G’s e-mail and sent him what was needed for the tag and the photos for the catalogue. But I still had a question about the description text – I put it in English and in French, as B was getting a copy he could maybe get an answer for me if Mr G did not have the time/the skill to reply. I also sent an e-mail to Mrs N to let her know that I had not appreciated her disappearance and the strange events at the power station.

 

 

I never ever got any reply from Mr G, and my kind B disappeared into thin air too, for good, so my hopes of ever getting the name tag on the table, not to mention the catalogue, were getting rather thin. But, surprise, an answer came from Mrs N: “Sorry, call L” with L’s telephone number in Italy. That’s it. “Sorry”. I was not going to pay international phone calls so I told her I would be needing L’s e-mail address, whoever he was. She gave it, so I once again asked the same questions she and Mr G had left unanswered, and then I waited. And waited. When, after one week, there was still no answer from L, I wrote back to Mrs N again saying her contact was a dead end for me. “Oh yes” she replied “L fell ill, and we have had problems with staff, write to R”. So I wrote to R. By this time, questions about how I was going to collect my stuff from Trezzo at the end of the exhibition (“was it ok for September 15th in the afternoon?”) had to be added to the list. And I waited. Now it was time to buy the train tickets, and still no answer. So I wrote a new e-mail to R with an open copy to Mrs N, saying since my previous message had not been answered I had been forced to buy my train tickets and was coming to get my stuff on location on the 15th at 15:00. This was three days before my train left from Paris. R replied in the evening saying “the 15th is Tuesday, we’re not open so you have to come later, between Thursday and Sunday”.

 

 

Right. Since the beginning of the exhibition (1,5 months) I had been trying to get relevant information out of these people, without success. Instead, I had been taken for a fool. And I had paid a fair sum of money for it. Double fool. Now I was told I was not going to get my stuff out because “they were not open on Tuesdays”? The trouble is, I had to take the train back to Paris on 16th, to take the plane for Finland on 17th, the same day R said was the first possible day to collect my installation.

 

 

I would describe my ensuing message to R as “cold” and “assertive”. In short, in consideration of the lack of communication by the organisers since the beginning of the exhibition, and in consideration of the fact that I would be on a plane to Finland on Thursday 17th, I would be at the power station as intended on Tuesday at 15:00, and the least they could do was to see that someone would be there to open the door for 15 minutes so I could get my stuff out. The day before my train left for Italy, R let me know that Mr G had “given his approval” to open the door for me but that “the chief curator himself could not be there”. So finally Mr G was within reach for some people, through some means of communication.

 

 

I was now having some massive trust issues with the organisers and the whole thing, so I was expecting the worst: was my installation still there, intact? At the power station, I saw I was not the only person come to collect my work – so what was all the fuss about being closed about? Down in the cellar, I saw to my amazement that, while the three pieces of my installation were intact, they had been moved so that nothing was left of the original idea (it was not my installation anymore) and that there was no name tag on the table. For 1,5 months the place had been open to public, people had seen my work, but no-one would ever know it was mine. Then and there it really hurt to think I had paid for all this. Against the wall opposite to my table I saw paintings with a familiar name tag; they were painted by R. So he was no employee but an exhibitor.

 

 

I took photos of the new arrangement, packed everything and left. My friend and I were in the car and leaving the parking area when we saw Mr G arriving. He saw us too but I don’t know if he recognised us, and anyway I was in no mood to meet him so we just drove on.

 

 

I know I’ll never see the exhibition catalogue. It is mentioned in the contract signed by Mr G and Mrs N, so if I want I can have an Italian lawyer look into it. Through my friend it would not be difficult. But I’m kind of tired and want to move on, indeed I already have.

 

 

So I’ve been analysing all this, trying to see if there was something about the Trezzo exhibition in the first place that could have warned me not to go there. In this unpleasant task, an article in LinkedIn by Penelope Vlassopoulou helped me, and the answer is yes, several things could have stopped me, if I had had more experience and a more critical eye.

 

 

I’m not going to explain here all the 7 points of Mrs Vlassopoulou’s very insightful check list but I will name those warning signs that apply to Trezzo: 1) poor level of English in exhibition documents (presentation, contract etc), 2) poor aesthetic of website, 3) expensive fee, 4) event sold” heavily on its connection to a particular location and to the world expo 2015. These four “red lights” make the Trezzo artist call a very toxic one, to use Mrs Vlassopoulou’s expression. Thanks to her, I’ll know better next time.

 

 

One more element came to my mind. I visited Mr G’s FB profile. It is public, but one cannot leave a message without being first “a friend”. I browsed through the contents: almost exclusively photos of Mr G himself with artworks and with artists themselves, and messages from the latter. I can read enough Italian to understand the positive and thankful greetings in the messages regarding the Trezzo exhibition – what a difference compared to my experience! But these photos made me wonder, I mean what kind of art critique/curator posts a hundred photos of himself next to a painting or a sculpture?

 

 

It is this discrepancy between my experience and that of apparently many Italian artists at Trezzo that started me thinking about what was behind the whole thing. I now have a theory that covers both the Trezzo and the Milan exhibition.

 

 

I suspect that there are organisers (call them curators, critiques, gallerists, or whatever) who have a certain number of artists, let’s say Italian artists, they want to promote. In order to finance the promotion of these selected artists, the organisers pick an attractive location, let’s say a fashionable area in Milan (one of the art, fashion and design capitals in Europe as far as I understand) or a superb industrial site in a quaint touristic town somewhere near a big city, so that foreign (non-Italian) artists will want to pay to exhibit there. And everyone’s happy: the foreigners that pass the jury get visibility in a fashionable place and maybe a nice catalogue, the organisers get good money for the space, and the Italian artists get to reap the fruit of the PR and marketing work financed by the foreigners.

 

 

There is nothing wrong with this as long as everyone wins. If I’m the foreigner who pays a high fee, I want the event to be classy and well organised, I want good communication and a pretty catalogue, so that I don’t feel that I have been fooled. This was the case with my Milan exhibition, I got what I expected and wanted so everything is cool. Not so with Trezzo. If those artists on Mr G’s FB page were as happy and grateful as that, it must be because he really did a good job with and for them. But I do not think I was the only person from outside Italy to have a very bad experience. For me, Trezzo was not classy, the communication was crap, my installation was nameless and transformed without permission and I have no idea what is going to happen with the catalogue. No ROI there.

 

 

So, in the end, what is my opinion on these “pay to exhibit” events? I would say most beginners with no connections, like me, need them to reach the public in order to get started in the business. But for them to serve their purpose, they need to be well organised and fair to those who pay the fees (value for money). Unfortunately they are not all like this so artists must be vigilant to avoid the “toxic opportunities”, but only one’s own experience and the experience shared by peers and other professionals can give us the tools to be better judges. So even without ROI, Trezzo was valuable because it taught me a lesson.

 


This is how I found my installation when I came to collect it 1,5 months later. My whole idea was ruined as the pieces had been moved - and there was no tag with my name and the name of the installation. Instead, one "Frederica Dubbini" had her name on it.

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A propos de la lumière, encore/About Light, Again

Quelqu'un qui m'a récemment écoutée parler de ce que je fais m'a fait cette observation : "tu as l'air de faire une fixation sur la lumière". Cela m'a marquée car je n'y avais jamais pensé en ces termes. Mais je suppose qu'on peut le dire, même si je préfère le mot fascination à la fixation. En effet, j'aime toutes les sources de lumière, les bougies, les lampes, le soleil, la lune... La lumière est la vie. Mais ce qui me fascine véritablement est ce qui se passe lorsque l'on introduit un élément entre la source de lumière et son environnement, de manière à n'en voir que la projection ; son empreinte sur l'espace tout autour. Reflet, ombre, lumière, couleur, leurs interactions sur les surfaces. La transformation de l'espace par cette lumière sculptée et peinte comme si elle était une matière première.

 

D'où cela vient-il ? Après réflexion, je le sais maintenant : c'est le fait d'avoir grandi sur le Cercle Polaire. Une région remarquable à plusieurs égards, mais pour moi personnellement, en raison de sa lumière qui change radicalement selon les saisons. Une nuit d'hiver où l'on trouve parfaitement son chemin dans la forêt sans lampe torche, grâce à la neige qui multiplie la puissance des rayons de la lune. Le pénombre d'un jour glacé et tout en tons de pastel qui ne dure que quelques heures dans la période la plus sombre de la nuit polaire. La douceur des bougies sur les bords des fenêtres dans cette même période. Les nuits blanches de l'été polaire. La façon dont les rayons du soleil sont filtrés à travers les feuillages des bouleaux ou entre les troncs longs et droits des pins dans la forêt. Le jeu de reflets et d'ombres dans l'eau peu profonde, sur le sable du fond marin modelé en reliefs courbes par les vaguelettes. La liste est interminable.

 

Il me semble que tout ce que j'ai appris sur la lumière - pas scientifiquement mais dans le sens de connaissance par observation et expérience dans un environnement particulier (cela me rappelle le livre "Smilla et l'Amour de la Neige") - s'infiltre maintenant dans ce que je crée avec le verre et la terre. Comme je l'ai dit plusieurs fois dans ce blog, avec le verre tout est question de lumière. Mais dans mon cas, c'est souvent pareil avec la céramique, quoique différemment. Ensemble, le verre et la terre forment un objet tangible, un contenant qui permet de sculpter la troisième matière, la lumière. En retour, la lumière émanant de l'intérieur du contenant donne vie à e dernier. Cet objet devenu rayonnant, presque vivant, modifie à son tour son environnement en créant une atmosphère, une vision.

 

Alors, si j'essaie de condenser ma pensée en une phrase : c'est mon amour pour la lumière qui s'exprime à travers la création d'objets qui associent le tangible à l'impalpable et qui sont plus que la somme de leurs parties.

 

Someone recently listened to me talking about what I do and said "you seem pretty obsessed with light". That kind of stuck with me because I had never thought of it that way before. But I guess I am - only I would rather use the word fascination than obsession. I love candles and lamps, the sun, the moon, all sources of light. Light is life. But what I'm truly fascinated by is what happens when you put something between a source of light and its surroundings. You no longer see the source, but its projection, its imprint on all surfaces around, the play of light and shade and colour. It's like sculpting and painting light, taking it as a raw material and transforming it into something else. And the result may change the wall behind, the table underneath, or the whole space around.

 

So where does this come from? I know it now: growing up on the Arctic Circle. A very special place on many accounts, but most of all, for me personnally, on the account of light. The light and the way it changes with the seasons. The snow making moonlight so bright you can go out without a pocket lamp and see perfectly your way on a forest road. The midsummer night when the sky is all bright with the sunlinght coming from just below the horizon - or a little further up north, light coming from a big red sun that stays above the horizon all night.  The sunshine filtering through birch leaves waving in the wind or between the tall straight stems of pinetrees in the forest. The changing play of light and shade in the shallow water, on the sandy seabed molded all curvy by the movement of the waves. I could go on for a looooong while like this.

 

It would seem that all I have grown to know about light - not scientifically but more like a sense of light that developed in that special environment without my really knowing it (I think of the book "Smilla's sense of snow") - is now coming out when I associate it with glass and/or ceramics. Glass, of course, is all about light, as I have said several times in this blog. But in my case ceramics is often about it too, in a different way. Together, glass and ceramics create the tangible object, the vessel that makes it possible to sculpt the third matter, the light. And in return, the light inside brings the object to life. The result, the live object, changes its surroundings, creates a mood, a vision, and maybe triggers a (good?) feeling in the person that is watching.

 

So finally, if I concentrate it in one sentence, it is my personal sense and love of light expressing itself through the creation of objects that join the tangible and the intangible and that are something more than the sum of their parts.

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Milan chapitre II/Milan part II

Près de 400 personnes ont assisté à la soirée d'ouverture, selon les organisateurs qui contrôlaient les entrées. Pendant les trois mois d'exposition, le rez-de-chaussée sera réservé à l'événementiel autour de la création afin de faire venir sur les lieux un public bien ciblé et averti, le plus à même de s'intéresser aux œuvres exposées au premier étage. Nouveau concept expérimental que je trouve assez intéressant ; à voir s'il fait ses preuves ! En tout cas, j'étais très contente de voir que l'accrochage des tableaux et la scénographie de l'étage expo globalement étaient aérés. En revanche, en ce qui concerne les échanges, j'ai été réduite à me faire un post-it mental : renseigne-toi sur les cours d'italien à Paris. Rien ne sert d'avoir un discours élaboré sur ses créations si la barrière linguistique est insurmontable.

Comme dans tous les vernissages, la foule la plus dense pouvait être observée autour de la table des rafraîchissements, et je reconnais volontiers que le Prosecco et les amuse-bouches étaient excellents. Par bonheur, l'intérieur était climatisée, car la température à Milan était insupportable (en tout cas pour un ours polaire comme moi) depuis plusieurs jours. Et puis la bonne surprise : parmi les sponsors de l'expo j'ai trouvé l'ambassade de Finlande à Rome.

Cerise sur le gâteau : chaque exposant est reparti avec deux exemplaires d'un catalogue bien édité. Et pour le chemin de retour un beau coucher de soleil au-dessus de Via Mecenate !

 

About 400 visitors were registered at the opening night - courageous people to get out in that heat. During the three months of the exhibition, the ground floor will be used to organise events and venues around art in order to attract well targeted audiences to the exhibition on the 1st floor. This appears to be a new experimental approach so we'll see if it proves successful. In any case, I was pleased to see that the exhibition space was well organised and not too stuffed with artworks. On the other hand, I was forced to make a mental note to myself : back home, find lessons to learn Italian. It's absolutely useless to prepare oneself to talk elaborately about one's work if the language barrier limits the conversation to just a few basic notions.

As in all opening venues, the crowd was the most dense around the catering tables. I was there too, very often, so I can tell the Prosecco and the appetisers were delicious. Luckily the place had air-conditioning, a welcome relief in the terrible heat-wave. I also had the nice surprise of finding the Finnish embassy in Rome among the event sponsors. Well done Finland !

The icing on the cake: all exhibitors took home two pieces of a well-edited catalogue. And for the way back to the hotel, a beautiful sunset over Via Mecenate!

 

Les photos dans ce post sont de moi, sauf numéros 10 et 12 (Giacomo Marchetti) / Photos in this post are by me, except numbers 10 and 12 (me photographed unawares) by Giacomo Marchetti.

 

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Milan chapitre I/ Milan part I


Voilà, je suis à Milan depuis vendredi. Après une nuit blanche à faire les valises pour mes pièces et un trajet en train finalement pas long du tout, le moment était venu de tout installer, samedi midi.

L'espace est beau, du type ancien industriel, dans une zone où il y avait beaucoup de manufactures dans le temps, et qui maintenant devient très à la mode, avec pléthore de galleries, studios de photo, espaces événementiels, entreprises de tous les domaines de la création. 

J'étais un peu dubitative de ces pellettes - je voulais les couvrir, mais je comprends qu'il faut garder l'uniformité à travers toute l'expo, et comme on est dans un lieu industriel les pellettes font partie de la scénographie choisie. Rien à dire donc. Et avant tout, les organisateurs sont efficaces, à l'écoute, et essaient toujours de trouver les meilleurs solutions.

Mon espace est bien placé au bout d'une longue allée dégagée. Il serait mieux pour mes pièces si l'espace était une peu plus sombre car cela mettrait plus en valeur les lumières, mais ça va quand même, j'ai réussi à les disposer de manière satisfaisante. Dans cet environnement noir, la structure en céramique, le côté sculpture, devient plus présente que dans un environnement de surfaces claires. Aussi, même si la table est couverte d'un film réfléchissant, la couleur noire absorbe davantage les reflets de la grande pièce ronde que ne le ferait une surface blanche.  C'est donc un contexte nouveau, différent pour ces œuvres - et une information précieuse pour moi.


 

In Milan since Friday, I set up my artwork at the exhibition site on Saturday. The space is beautiful, in an old industrial site transformed into a kind of creative business incubator - center for fairs and venues.

The wooden pellets did not appeal to me first and I wanted to cover them, but I understand that they are part of the chosen scenography. So it's just fine. And most of all, the staff is efficient and they try to arrange everything the best way possible.

My personal spot is well situated at the end of a long alley so it can be seen from afar. A little less natural light would be better for the LED lights to come out more, but globally it's ok, I'm satisfied. It's surprising to observe that this black environment makes the ceramic structure, the sculpture, to come out more than in a white or at least fairer environment. The table has a shiny finish, but the reflexions from the big round piece are still more absorbed by the surface than they would be on white. So, this is a new and different context for these four pièces - and a precious piece of information for me. 


L'expo se tient du 2 juillet (vernissage à 18h30) au 30 septembre à / The exhibition takes place from July 2 (opening venue at 18:30) to September 30 at:

 

East End Studios - Spazio Progetto, Via Mecenate 84/10 Milano.

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Fournée/Out of the kiln

La magie du verre est dans la lumière. Ci-contre, la même plaque est photographiée avec des lumières et des arrière-plans différents, et on a parfois du mal à croire qu'il s'agit de la même. La première image montre la plaque avant la cuisson, la dernière est un détail.

 

Light is what makes glass so magical. Put the same plate in different lights and with different backgrounds, and you may find it difficult to believe it's the same plate every time... The first picture is taken before the kiln, the last is a detail.

 

Plus de photos ici./More photos here.


Voilà quelques autres exemples du même phénomène./Here's some more examples.




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Fournée/Out of the kiln

Huit nouvelles plaques composées chez Tempo Vitraux lors des portes ouvertes attendent le passage au four !


Eight new plates composed during the week end of public access to arts and crafts ateliers in the 14th district are waiting for their turn with the kiln !


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Flash Info/News Flash


Bienvenue !/Welcome!

 

Les ateliers du 14e arrondissement ouvrent leurs portes au public ce week-end, venez nombreux!/Arts and crafts ateliers of the 14th district in Paris are open to visitors this week-end, come and meet us!

 

JOURNEES PORTES OUVERTES ATELIERS DU 14e
Samedi 6 juin 2015 de 10h à 19h
Dimanche 7 juin 2015 de 10h à 19h

 

Atelier Grain de sable AAA...
20bis rue Hippolyte Maindron
75014 Paris

Atelier Tempo Vitraux

33 Rue Bézout

75014 Paris

COMMENT NOUS TROUVER/HOW TO FIND US

Atelier Tempo Vitraux

33 Rue Bézout

75014 Paris

Atelier Grain de sable AAA...
20bis rue Hippolyte Maindron
75014 Paris


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Fournée/Out of the kiln

Les expérimentations se poursuivent, cette fois à l'atelier Tempo Vitraux. Voilà donc une nouvelle plaque avec de nouveaux "ingrédients" : grisaille (les traces de pinceau foncées) et tissu de métal. La photo du milieu est un test avec lumière artificielle, pas la solution finale.


My experimentations continue, this time at the atelier Tempo Vitraux. So this is the first new plate with new "ingredients": grisaille (see the dark brush strokes) and metal fabric. The middle photo is a lighting test, not the final solution.


Plus de photos ici./More photos here.

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Installation

Voici une petite installation que j'ai imaginée récemment et nommée "A la source". Il y a une idée bien précise derrière cette composition et son intitulé, mais je n'en parle pas car j'aime que chacun puisse avoir son expérience bien personnelle à regarder une œuvre et la liberté de se l'expliquer comme il/elle veut. Il n'y a pas de bonne ou mauvaise interprétation !

 

This is an installation I came up with recently and named "At the source". I have put some precise thoughts in it and its name but I do not intend to talk about them, as I like everyone to have their personal experience looking at an artwork and the liberty to explain it their own way. There's no right or wrong interpretation !

 

Quelques détails / Some details

 

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Flash Info/News Flash

Quatre objets lumineux partent me représenter à ARTEXPO 2015 MILANO du 2 juillet au 30 septembre. Cette exposition collective est organisée en marge de l'exposition universelle qui a ouvert ses portes début mai.

 

Four of my Light Sculptures are participating in the group exhibition ARTEXPO 2015 MILANO from July 2nd to September 30th. The venue is organised in the framework of (but is not part of the official programme of) the EXPO 2015 that opened on May 1st in Milan.


http://www.artexpo2015.com/exhibitors/attachment/maija-liisa-tuoriniemi-da-aggiungere/


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Fournée/Out of the kiln

Des bienfaits de la lenteur / The advantage of taking it slow

Comme constaté précédemment, les plaques rectangulaires ne sont pas aussi transparentes qu'elles devraient être. Après un nettoyage minutieux pour enlever toutes les traces du primeur qui avait collé derrière les plaques, on peut voir sur les photos à droite que celles-ci restent  comme laiteuses. Quelques traces de pinceau sont aussi visibles, laissées par le fond du four sur lequel les plaques ont cuit.


So, as I said before, the rectangular plates came out less transparent than they should. I cleaned them thoroughly to remove every bit of the primer that had stuck to them, but as shown in the photos on the right, the plates remain sort of "milky" on the backside. One can even see some of the brush strokes left by the firing surface that was covered with the primer.

Mais, mais... après pas mal de réflexion et  d'observation, je crois bien que cette opacité non recherchée est plutôt bénéfique. Il se trouve que certaines poudres de verre que j'ai utilisées pour colorer les plaques - notamment le mauve/violet clair - donnent un  effet très subtil, c'est-à-dire que leur pouvoir colorant a été plutôt faible (bien moins que j'attendais en tout cas, en regardant la plaque avant la cuisson). Sur la plaque blanche ci-contre, une couleur n'est même jamais apparue ; elle devait se situer autour du cercle central là où se trouvent les petits points turquoises.

Lorsque les couleurs sont subtiles, la lumière en passant à travers sans entrave a tendance à les "manger" encore davantage, ce qui n'est pas gênant quand la composition et les couleurs sont en harmonie. Sur ma plaque multicolore ci-contre, il y a des parties en verre opaque (intentionnelles) en jaune et en noir, puis des couleurs en transparence mais relativement fortes en bleu et marron. Si la plaque était restée totalement transparente, les parties en mauve n'auraient pas fait le poids, elles auraient été insipides à côté des autres couleurs, et le tout aurait été déséquilibré. Maintenant, grâce à la légère opacité, les mauves sont renforcés et la composition garde son harmonie.

En ce qui concerne la plaque blanche, l'opacité s'est substituée avec succès à la mystérieuse couleur fantôme. Effectivement, en l'absence de cette couleur, une plaque transparente aurait été assez ennuyeuse. A présent, l'effet laiteux un peu irrégulier, avec les détails de traces sur le fond qui donnent l'impression d'être gravés, apportent une touche très personnelle que j'ai fini par apprécier.      


I'm thinking the slight opacity of the plates has turned out to be a good thing. Some of the glass powder (or frit) I used to colour the plates, especially the mauve, has given a far more subtle result than I expected. On a transparent plate, the mauve sections would have been too delicate compared to the (intentionally) opaque yellow and black, and the strong blues and the brown. The composition would have been out of balance. Now, the opacity strengthens the mauve parts and the harmony of the colours and of the composition is maintained.

On the white plate, a colour was supposed to appear around the cercle in the middle, where the small turquoise bits are situated. There is no colour there at all, so if the plate had remained perfectly transparent it would have been pretty boring. As it is, the irregular opacity as well as the web of traces that look as if they were engraved or etched in the glass give the plate a very personal touch that I rather like.

Alors finalement, se donner le temps (dans mon cas plusieurs jours) de bien regarder et de réfléchir peut donner des résultats tout à fait surprenants. Ce qui a été jugé un véritable défaut - contrairement aux bulles et aux autres imperfections qui ne font que rajouter de la personnalité à la pièce - se transforme en un élément qui sauve les pièces car certains colorants n'ont pas fonctionné comme prévu. Ce n'est pas la première fois - et ne sera certainement pas la dernière - que je me fais rappeler une chose importante. Une œuvre n'est pas nécessairement ratée juste parce qu'elle ne correspond pas à mes attentes. Elle est différente. Et si j'arrive à me débarrasser de ma déception, si je prends le temps d'observer et d'analyser le résultat sans préjudice, il est presque certain que je vais finir par apprécier ce que je vois. Il n'est pas toujours évident d'évacuer le sentiment de ratage. Alors il est bénéfique de cacher les pièces en question de sa vue, de les oublier quelque temps, pour ensuite les regarder avec un œil tout neuf. Ca marche à tous les coups.


   

So in the end it was good I took the time to look and think. Several days. What first seemed to be a real flaw  - contrary to the bubbles and other technical imperfections that I find interesting - is in fact an element that saves the day because some of the colours did not give expected results. This is not the first time - and certainly not the last - that I am reminded of something very important: a piece of work is not necessarily rubbish just because it did not come out as I expected. It is different. If I let go of the black cloud of deception and take the time to really observe the result without prejudice, I may find (almost always do) that in fact I quite like what I see. Freeing one's mind of the idea of failure is not always easy. It helps to put away the work for a while, to forget it, and then take it out to look at with fresh eyes.

Plus de photos ici. / More photos here.

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Fournée/Out of the kiln

Alors voilà, techniquement parlant le résultat n'est pas "comme il faut". Il avait été décidé, pour la cuisson, de prolonger une des phases de la courbe de 2 minutes, en raison de l'épaisseur des plaques rectangulaires. Erreur, apparemment. Les plaques ont commencé à s'arrondir trop aux angles, les côtés ondulent légèrement par endroit, il y a des bulles, et une fine couche de primeur s'est incrustée dans le verre (donc les plaques ne sont pas aussi transparentes qu'elles devraient être). Ceci est donc vrai d'un point de vue technique, et un puriste-perfectionniste jetterait probablement tout à la poubelle. Mais je n'en suis pas une. Je chéris chaque imperfection, les bulles, les ondulations, les trous etc car je trouve que c'est tout cela contribue à rendre une pièce intéressante et unique. La perfection m'ennuie profondément. Moi et mes plaques, en harmonie avec notre Kintsugi.

 

Ok, so this is how they came out. For the firing, it had been decided that one phase of the curb should be prolonged by 2 minutes because the plates were pretty thick and this seems to have been a mistake, from a technical point of view. The rectangular plates have started to round a bit too much at the corners, the sides have become slightly wavy, there are bubbles - and most of all, the primer (anti-adhesive) has stuck to them so that they are not entirely transparent as they should. As I said, this is all from a technical point of view, and a purist-perfectionist would probably throw the whole bunch to the rubbish bin. Well I'm not one of those. I love bubbles and holes and waves and curves. I find the plates far more interesting with all their little, or big, imperfections. Perfection is boring. This is the Kintsugi of me and my plates, in agreement with this lovely article

Voici quelques photos de plaques dans des lumières différentes. D'autres photos seront en ligne bientôt ici.  / Here are some photos of the plates in different lights. More photos coming up soon in this section.

(Ci-dessus) Ce qui semble noir et opaque à gauche est en réalité entièrement bordeaux foncé et transparent, visible au milieu et à droite sur les bords de la plaque. Malheureusement l'appareil photo ne capte pas les nuances à la manière de l'oeil. /

Here (above), what looks black and opaque on the first photo is in fact all transparent and dark burgundy as shown in the middle and on the edges of the plate on the right. Unfortunately the camera does not catch the transparency as the eye does.



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Fournée/Out of the kiln

Voici ce qui est en train de cuir en ce moment ; la découverte du résultat est prévue pour demain après-midi, et comme toujours je suis sur le point d'exploser d'un mélange d'inquiétude, d'espoir et d'excitation. C'est ma première fournée de plaques en Bullseye. Jusqu'ici je n'ai utilisé que du float, verre à vitre. Ce qui se trouve dans les plats ronds est une expérimentation avec des chutes de verre, impossible de savoir ce que ça va donner. Les pièces réussies (comme une sélection de la précédente fournée) vont être associées à de la terre pour devenir des objets lumineux. D'autres montages sont aussi en cours d'étude.


These new babies are in the kiln at this very moment. The moment of truth some time tomorrow afternoon. Nervous, excited, worried, hopeful - waiting is terrible. This is my first batch of Bullseye glass plates; untill now I've been using only "float", which is basically the common window glass. All those round things are experiments with leftover bits and pieces of glass, no idea how they'll come out. The best plates of this batch (and of the previous batch) will become, with ceramics, light sculptures. Other presentations are also in the thinking cap.

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Fournée/Out of the kiln

Nouvelle fournée de verre fusionné avant la cuisson. / This is how the glass plates look before fusing.

Et après. / And after.


Plus de photos ici. / See more photos here.

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