Pandaji's Blog

Art, research, education

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Holiday gift and decoration workshop

Paper porcelain clay before color

I had the pleasure of being invited to give a day-long workshop for 7-9 year old boys at the school. This time we planned to make holiday decorations and gifts. The boys were asked to bring pastry cutters. I had ordered paper porcelain for this workshop as it fires light because of the paper content and can also be fired solid. The students were given a demonstration of how to roll the clay very thinly between cloth, then how to inlay a pattern by rolling crocheted fabric or netting directly into the thin clay. After removing the fabric, they smoothed a piece of cling film across the surface and then created shapes using pastry cutters. The clay does not stick to the cutters, and even small letters were easy for them to cut out. I encouraged them to think carefully about how they were to hang, and if they were going to string more than one piece  together, because this meant considering where to place the hole for the string or wire, and how many holes. As they will string them at home and I did not propose any drawn plans for this, I will not get to see the ‘finished’ work. A half an hour before the lunch break, I suggested they gather all the pieces of leftover clay and make pebble candle holders as gifts, as they had concentrated hard on the decorations till then. The work was left to speed dry under a fan during lunch.

The boys spent the afternoon carefully painting the pieces. Some needed hair drying on one side before they could paint the other side. The patterns they had impressed into the clay using fabric were given a light wash of colour for enhancement. Other pieces were given a thicker more solid coat of colour.

The white angel with the yellow halo caused concern as the student had deliberately left it white, but the adults kept asking me if it was finished!! I explained it would take gold or any other colour paint once fired.

I really appreciate the parents and teacher that assist for the whole day, as they were invaluable helping with the drying process, cleaning up, and generally supporting the boys and I, so that the workshop went smoothly.

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Exhibition! Opening March 3

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David Fried and Manda Helal

Private View: Thursday, March 3, 2011, 6-9 pm

On view through March 10, 2011

The George Tavern

373 Commercial Road, London  E1 0LA

Tel: 0207 790 7335

Mixed media artist, David Fried and ceramicist, Manda Helal present paintings and ceramics at a unique London show. Both artists have eclectic backgrounds and currently dedicate time to working with art within the community.

David Fried seeks inspiration from his dreams, nightmares and the London cityscape. “I paint the things I love to hate and the things I hate to love. My love/hate relationship with London, the city that informs me, the city that consumes me. I wish to emulate the dryness of the discarded and dehydrated doner, the succulence of the freshly skewered shish. Forget the halep.”

David studied Fine Art at Middlesex Poly and Royal College of Art. He is a professional Art Therapist in adult mental health, combining personal creative art making with group therapy artmaking. He works in mixed media.

Manda Helal is inspired by both the contemporary and the archaic and combines both in her work. “I am a morbidly curious urban beachcomber. I combine the things I find with the work I make. I am fascinated by the effect of time and circumstance in producing the process of decay.” Manda originally studied medicine at the Royal London Hospital before deciding to become a ceramic artist. She studied Ceramics at Putney School of Art, Sir John Cass, and Goldsmith’s Collegee. Whle a student, she began teaching in the East End community. Her students include  adults, youth, and people with mental and physical disabilities. Manda is currently Ceramic and General Technician at Wimbledon School of Art, University of the Arts, London.

Hope to see you there!