Le Perdix – France

Le Perdix
Saturday 17/05/14
when we landed and reached Le Perdix house where we were staying at was quite late so we all had very nice diner and tried to get to know each other better. i didn’t feel much included in a group but i think that was because my insecurities and perhaps i wasn’t trying hard enough to get involved. Either way i had fun and i was looking forward a day ahead.
Sunday 18/05/14
Lovely light breakfast with a large cup of coffee 🙂 flowed by 10 am morning meeting which was about our project for this week. As a group we discussed ideas and decided we going to look at recycled and creative instruments. which we will be making out of recycled materials found around the house of Le perdix. The idea is to make instruments, play a tune ad create a band at the end of the week. Some of us were better than the other in the matter of music. So the people who were able to play an instrument or two were set to try and make and instrument individually that makes sound. Others that were not so musically talented were set to make a music machine that makes few sounds which could be as a background music. I joined a group which were making a music machine, as i haven’t played an instrument for years and would not know where to start. Also as much as i liked the idea and the project i did not have any ideas at that time so i guess that scared me a bit so i thought it would be better if i join the girls. I still felt a bit in my shell at that point and worried for not coming with any good ideas.
Later on in the day we went down the lake which looked beautiful and had most clearest amazing sand, the sand reminded me of home a little. The sun was shining and the heat as wicked. Absolutely loved the weather.
I have got a bit emotional that day and at one point i was ready to go home. But all passed and i realized i need to relax a bit embrace the experience and the atmosphere. As it was great, peaceful and loved the sound of birds, felt a bit lonely there as i didn’t have anyone close to me there.
Also that day before we all went down the lake we made reliquaries (secret clay box) which i cannot remember the name of but the principal was to make a hollow shape and make something to go inside and seal it. When it gets fired only way to see the porcelain piece inside is to break the rakoo clay build piece. I am still not very clear on the theory behind it but i do like the idea of it. reminds me of a ”kinder egg” 🙂
I have made couple ceramic roses to go inside.
ceramic rose

However the outside ‘box’ bit frustrated me as i am not the best at it and i don’t have a lot of patience. either way that what i have got 🙂
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I am definitely looking forward to getting experience in how to throw on a wheel, learning the basics is certainly my personal challenge this week for sure.

Monday 19/05/14
Early sunny morning followed by light breakfast and a meeting about the project for this week. We decided what is doing what and began to collect items that would be suitable to start building our instruments.
With the group of girls who were doing the music machine, we decided to collect as much of items that we could and see what we could do with them.
our findings

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We collected a lot of pipes which we thought would work really well as drums. So we stretched a balloon on each pipe (one end only) and it made brilliant noise. Each pipe and object with the balloon stretched over it had a different sound. Of course any song/tune needs a bit of drums to spice it up 🙂 so that was our first part of our music machine.
drums

once we have made the drums we had very attractive long hose pipe left 😀 would of a shame not to use it. so we come up with the idea to tangle the pipe going down and put marbles down it which would after hit the bongo drum and make a sound. I think that would really well. well at least it definitely looked impressive 🙂
marble machine

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once that was dome we found some old fashioned scales which we decided to use to make that bit extra special. on one end we used metal ”siv” look a like which would the marbles go after it bounded of a drum. once enough marbles were in there to over weight it, on the other end we had a metal ball which would be attached with the string so a metal plate and would fall down and make a ‘bang’ noise. We thought that would make a perfect ending of our performance on Friday.
Was a long day so we finished that off with a home made dinner and a film.

Tuesday 20/05/14
Finally the day had come and after the breakfast we had an in-dept tutorial in how to throw on a wheel. I got to say looked a lot easier than what it is. Definitely nothing like in a film Ghost, only if that was that easy 🙂
After tutorial we had turns and i had a go as well. we all decided to make our-self a cup for next year to take to a new building.
Thanks to Ingrid’s guidance i have managed to make myself a cup/mug. Making of a handle however took me a lot longer than the actual cup 🙂 at one point even lost the patience and doped it, but of course i came back to it as every cup needs a handle.
mug

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I have tried to have a go on a foot wheel too but it took to long for my liking to archive anything so i sort of lost interest in the middle of it, definitely rather the electric wheel.
after all this exciting morning we carried on with our project and the instruments. We still had few unused bits to get creative with.

Few of the girls had a go at pin hole photography which amazed me because i never heard anything about it. So for that moment i was like a tale on them as i wanted to find out how it works. What i gathered is basically a sealed box (could be anything metal sweet box or cookie box etc)
pinhole photography box
Paint it all black inside and stick a photo paper on a side of a box. Make a hole in the middle of a box and seal it with some black tape. Seal the box all around it too, to make sure no light gets in there apart from the moment you want to take a picture. The whole preparation of sticking the photo paper and sealing it is has to be done in dark. Possible to have slight red light to make better to see what you are doing. Red light effects the photo the least in compartment to other color light, so only red light is appropriate.
pie-tin-pinhole-photographic-paper-camera-open
Once is all prepared and ready to go, take the box and place it somewhere stable outside. un-peal the tape from the dot and let the light go in, that is how it takes a photo 🙂 for the best results is the best to do it on a sunny day and leave it to stand for about 5 mins, the timing depends on a day and the weather. Once the time is up seal the hole back up with tape and take it to the dark room to get developed. The photograph has to be taken out of the box and soaked in three different chemicals. Developer – stop – fixer. it takes about 2 mins in each, depending on the quality of the chemicals. For a stopper clean water with 1/3 of vinegar can be used or acetic acid.
I did not have a go to take a picture as the weather was quite rubbish, but i will definitely will have an experiment in creating that myself on my spare time.
A very proactive day followed with a Emily film and a cheeky episode on Game of thrones.

Wednesday 21/05/14
That morning was quite sunny so we had an induction in how to turn on a wheel and had a chance to have a go and make the mugs we made
more appealing to the eye. I actually really enjoyed this considering i am not the biggest fan of clay. I will definitely have to look into it more. As i know ‘you don’t have to be a brilliant thrower to to a brilliant turner’.
clay

turning

turning
Also we decided to make a flyer to invite some guest with for our Friday performance.
band flyer

After the morning sunshine disappeared, the rest of the day was pretty miserable. We had a storm and a bit of lightening with thunder. As we could not do anything outside or even reach the studio at one point we stayed in and sort our costumes out for Friday performance. I was set to be Janis Japlin 🙂 which is pretty cool i am always up for being a hippy for a day. We have also watched a film Moulen Rouge to see if we could get any inspiration for the performance 🙂 the most we got out of that is buckets of tears though.

Thursday 22/05/14
Thursday was one busy day. We went out for a bit to see one ceramicist and his ceramic pot shop, he was very kind to show us around his studio and his massive kiln. Also we walked around a bit and visited a museum. Was definitely a lot to see that day.
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Friday 23/05/14
That morning i was rather excited about the show and about going home tomorrow. In the morning we went to see the market and pick things up for family or friends. The best items i picked up was soap, it smelled lovely.
french market
I specially loved the fish bit. They had everything on offer and it looked very colorful.
snails :)
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Also that day we all picked out ceramic mugs out of a kiln and the little secret ”box” we made. That is what i have got at the end. unfortunately the finger print bit at the top of a mug fell off during the firing, perhaps i did not secured it very well. Next time will make sure it is completely secure. Fingers crossed it will hold liquid 🙂 Hoping to glaze it at some point too.
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Finally we got in after our adventure down the market and start finalizing everything for this evenings show. After few practice runs we managed to nail the puppet show song with the instruments we have made. Here are some of the rehearsal behind the scene photos 🙂
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At the end of our show which i believe was as successful as it could possibly be, we had a artist/musician perform as well with his home made instrument. which was absolutely amazing, i have ever seen anything like it before or heard about it. It was very nicely made with very crafty and detailed work. Still don’t know what that instrument is called but it sound a bit like a flute. The person who made it and preform with it for us was working on his instrument for 9 month and the instrument now is 22 years old. Very beautiful piece of work.
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Conclusion about the experience.
Personally at first i found it challenging and the whole thing was a bit of a emotional roller coaster. Right at the end everything worked out well and i am happy with the experience and that i decided to go overall. It helped me become more confidant within my group and encouraged me to open up a bit. Perhaps i even made a friend or two.
The performance for me it was hard to take the whole thing seriously but i definitely got to say i had fun doing the project. It was good to feel part of a team, push the boundaries and think a bit more out of a box.
As far as clay goes i do not think it is for me even though i am still determinate to learn how to throw. Would love to have a skill like that, i wouldn’t have to buy a plate or a bowl ever again 🙂 Either way as far as turning goes it really garbed my attention and i will look into it next year.
Pinhole photography was one of the best things that happened on that trip for me. Even if i didn’t have a go, i found out what it is and that is not that difficulties to make one. Will experiment that by myself over summer for sure.

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