I forgot how I found out about Woodthorpe Tropical House, but I can remember how excited I got! The park is about 15 minutes drive away. So last weekend, despite the rain there was a window of few hours’ sunshine and I grabbed the opportunity to head over and give it a good exploring…
hat & socks c/o RMBLR
Walking is becoming one of my favourite things. Especially in parks and nature reserves where I can enjoy the wonder of nature. I have always liked walking – when I lived in Queens Road Peckham I would often visit Peckham Rye Park for a good few hours. But my love of walking has definitely grown since I moved to Nottingham, with Wollaton Deer Park almost down the road. And since I got a car last year, I have been able to visit the Peak District and any other nature reserves as much as I want.
Walking for me is fun and calming in equal measure. It is mostly where inspiration strikes, given that nature is the biggest subject of my art. It also gives me an opportunity to really stand back from my business and life in general, as well as doing some self reflection. I resort to walking if I am stifled with a creative rut or extreme stress, especially to new places for a change of scenery. The fact that I also get some exercise is a bonus!
There are parks and nature reserves in mind I want to visit this year and I am excited to check them out, collecting ideas and having a happy time!
In January, I decided to make at least one clay piece per month, and here they are! I don’t love all of them, I’m particularly unsure about the mushroom ones but as always I had a lot of fun making them start to end.
Last year I tried a few different air dry clays – FIMO Professional, DAS, and Claydium – and this time I used Scola clay, which is definitely the best of all so far. It is a clay that can be both air dried and fired – although it is not designed as a firing clay. The clay feels like a really good quality clay, with the right amount of moisture and great pliability. My only complaint is that they don’t have natural white or cream toned clay – I would really love those! They only have terracotta and buff clays, and the latter comes out quite dull in colour. The terracotta one is really lovely though especially when being varnished with a gloss sealer. I am pleased with my terracotta pots and dishes – I love their simple patterns and they look lovely together!
Because this clay has a better consistency than others I’ve tried, I finally mastered the coiling method and while it was time draining, it was enjoyable and a good way to make flat bottomed pots.
This mushroom pendant is made with FIMO Air, which after a lot of experimenting I really love. I also used it for my clay jewellery that I sell on the shop.
I am ready for my next batch, and I will try to post work-in-progress pictures over on Instagram before I finish them! This is more of a personal project than business, so I keep forgetting to share.
I hope you like them, and if you have used an air dry clay before I would love to know what you made!