Visiting the studios is a fascinating opportunity to catch a glimpse of works before they’re gallery-ready, and to see how our artists turn sparks of inspiration into the art you see displayed. Here, we catch up with Sumati to find out what she’s working on this Spring.
Cats and Dogs
We’ve just got back to the studio after two big art shows, and I’m inspired! It’s so wonderful to get out and connect with the people who are buying our art. It’s one of the things that makes Creative Gateways such an incredible place to work – the studios are open for anyone to drop in at any time, and our regular events – like First Fridays and the Artist’s Spotlights allow us to connect with art lovers and talk about our work.
I usually have a big stock of different pieces that I add to throughout the year, but this time around lots of them have been sold, so there’s plenty of work to get underway with. I love it when older pieces find homes, because it makes space for me to play with new ideas.
Man’s best friend…
One of the first things to get started on is making more dog pieces; there are only two dachshunds left at the gallery waiting for adoption! And that’s so exciting to me. Every time I make an animal I’m learning, looking, figuring out how I can make it better, and now I have an opportunity to start a whole bunch of different ones.
The dogs I’m drawn to making are the ones with really expressive faces. All of my animal pieces have a real life behind their eyes and that’s what people are drawn to. I like the chunkier breeds with faces that can really convey an emotion: French Bulldogs, Pugs, Chihuahuas, those kinds of breeds.
English bulldogs are also very popular. The last one I made came out quite dark in color after firing, so I’m looking forward to experimenting and seeing how the next one turns out. I’ve also been gathering lots of photos of Frenchies, getting inspired about what I might make next. It’s so fun to see their individual characters emerge from the clay as I make them.
Cats: more elusive?
I did try making a cat piece, but they’re hard. For some reason, that unusual shape of their face made it a much trickier project than a dog or a pig, with a muzzle that extends outwards. I have a cat at home, and when I was making the piece I spent a lot of time studying him. I could see where the face needed changing – it needed some chiselling off of the lower part to get the shape right – but they definitely don’t come as naturally to my hands as some of my other animals.
Frogs, on the other hand, are always popular. In fact, 2017 has been a huge year for people buying frogs! So I’m planning a couple of those, and looking forward to seeing how they turn out. I’ll keep you posted.
Come meet Sumati’s creations!
The process of making ceramics takes a while, and there are always animals to see at different stages of creation. Sumati’s skill at bringing them to life is amazing, and we’d love to share her latest pieces with you. Look out for our Artist’s spotlight in May featuring her work, or stop by for one of our other events to see the latest and maybe catch the artist herself.