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Debut Solo Show Diary: Volume 2 - Getting Busy

Welcome to the second instalment of my Debut Solo Show Diary. It's been an exciting and tiring start to what I hope will be a great event that puts some interesting expressions on some faces.

You may or may not know that I work as a Designer by day, a slave to the pixel, delivering complex design systems across websites and applications for organisations of all sizes. So, how is it that I find the time to create for a solo art show? The simple answer is early mornings and late nights. This week has seen me getting cracking in my art studio at the end of my garden around 5-6 am, where I put in a few hours, then again after dinner in the evening. It seems like a gruelling regime, but in truth, it's no hassle getting up and doing something that I enjoy. I'm just grateful I have the opportunity to do so, and if you're reading this, then I'm grateful for you too.

My task at this stage is simple: Create as many nipples from clay as possible. Each nipple will be hand-rolled and styled by me. No shortcuts. This process involves a bit of rolling pin action in combination with a cookie cutter to obtain a consistent diameter and of course, my hands.

I like to batch all the steps in the process and tackle them all in one go, one at a time. This helps me keep the outcomes consistent and also navigate a small studio space. So, I started by making all the bases first. I made as many as my studio could hold and as many as my hands would allow. Which turned out to be a decent amount.

Doing this kind of repetitive, kneading, rolling action destroyed my sensitive little artist's hands. I can't tell you how many times my thoughts turned to all those Nonna's in Italy, rolling pasta dough after pasta dough without a mild whimper - and what they would have said to me for complaining about the pain. Once I had all the bases completed, it was time to create the nubbin of the nipple. I'm sure there's a technical term for that, a medical one for sure - but I like the word nubbin, so that's what I'm calling them. I think it's at this point (pun intended) that the nipples start to show unique character and a little bit of that comical aesthetic I mentioned in my last post. Things are starting to take shape and the scale of what I'm doing is beginning to hit home.

The next step is to bake these bad boys. In hindsight, I could have managed my time a bit better here, as there's only so many nips I can fit in an oven to bake at once. So I had to do loads of batches. This took hours with time wasted in waiting. It's a late lesson to learn, but one learned nonetheless. At least I got a rest, which isn't entirely bad, is it?


I don't actually know how many nips I've made, but I know it's a lot. It's taken me 4 days to get to this point. I'm chuffed with the amount I have achieved in a good chunk under a week - I had planned to spend 6 days on this stage of the project, so I'm a good couple of days ahead. I'm not going to get cocky though, as I know there's a long road ahead with so many opportunities to mess things up - but there's always time for a bit of sleep-deprived fun!

Photo credit goes to my long-suffering girlfriend, who has to put up with this kind of stuff on the regular - and photograph it.

I'm going to wrap up this diary entry here, I think. There's plenty more to come, so if you're liking this or have any questions, then absolutely hit me up on Instagram and let me know, and if you don't follow me on there - give me a follow! Or, if you're interested in seeing what else I do, then check out my store here - there's plenty of art for all.