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Thursday, 28 October 2010

a little bit about.....Amanda MacPhail

Amanda is one of The Christmas 10 exhibitors at The Unitarian Church Hall on 3 December 2010.  Here is a snippet of what she does.

Drawing is at the heart of what I do and although my 'canvas' these days is bone china it is the image that excites me and the shapes I am working with.  I trained in Graphics and Illustration at Bath Academy and Cambridge School of Art which launched my career as a freelance illustrator.  As a freelancer I worked mainly for publishers in London and here in Cambridge; predominantly working for Cambridge University Press.

I also taught Graphics and Illustration on the Foundation Art Course for 18 years, originally at the 'tech' and then when it transferred to Cambridge Regional College.  However, as so often happens these days I was filling out more pointless forms than teaching students!  I loved teaching so on leaving CRC I not only set up Create-a-plate where I am producing my own work and taking commissions, but also started running classes from my home.  This is the most fun for me.  Seeing people who think they cannot draw a line produce the most amazing work.  Everyone seems to be thrilled with their results. It is a wonderful process as it's impossible to make a mistake and however simple or complicated the design - it works.

Create-a-plate  is all about creating your own image on bone china; a mug, plates, bowls or jugs.  I use sheets of ceramic enamel in various colours which are added to the surface of the existing glaze.  We start by drawing out a design which is then traced and transferred to the back of the sheets of enamel glaze. The shapes are then cut out, put in to water and transferred to the surface of the plate.  Once carefully applied getting rid of water and air bubbles I fire them in my kiln.  They are then usable and dishwasher safe.

Every year I take part in Cambridge Open Studios during July and usually have Christmas Open Weekends here at my house.  This year it is 26th, 27th and 28th November. and the 4th and 5th of December.  However on Friday 3 December I am one of the artists showing at the Unitarian Church Hall in Cambridge as part of the Christmas 10 exhibition, which is going to be a lively show of some exciting work and not to be missed!

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