PHOTOGRAPHY & TEXT BY DEREK CLARK
With more patience than I could only dream of, Loraine Robson rubs the clay with fine sandpaper. I feel a little guilt as it starts to look as though she has ruined an already finished piece to help me get the pictures I need. But Loraine knows something I don’t, and slowly a single thin line of brass starts to appear, which then takes a sharp 90o turn. This transforms into a pattern that to someone like me that loves to program synthesizers, looks an awful lot like a square wave.
It’s a dark Scottish winter and I’m inside Ceramic artist Lorraine Robson’s studio at the bottom of her garden. We arranged this shoot a few weeks before, but now that I’m here, the light is poor. Not only that but we’ve been talking for a while and the already dim light is fading and it will be dark soon. I do a custom colour balance on my camera but the ISO is pushed so high that the colours are poor. I wish I could come back another day when the light is better, but I’ve already taken up Lorraine’s time and I’d rather work with what I have than risk no shoot at all.
Lorraine has a series called Empty Vessels. Some of these pieces consist of two parts connected by a chain. The larger one is the empty vessel, a hollowed out container. The smaller is a spoon. Lorraine went on to tell me that the series was inspired when a close relative developed dementia (the empty vessel). The spoon represents her role as the carer.