It is distressing to hear of this plight that drew him to develop this body of work, but what a wonderful way to express it and inform us of the skills that have otherwise been lost to us from the youth that felt helpless enough to have ended their lives. Let us never under value the people around us, no matter what their situation. Everyone has a story to tell/to share.
Again, thank-you Stephen for making us think, and for sharing your wonderful skills.
"I don't think inspired is the word to use, but when I was at university 18+youths under the age of 17 committed suicide within a 3 month period. This was in the area where I grew up and is no greater than 1mile square in size. I wanted to make work that would make people think that youths from disadvantaged backgrounds are people and not wee bastards who deserve what they get.
All the work was made very quickly, coiled to about a height of 35". Each figure took maybe 2 hours at most to make, and depending on the finish I used decoration took 30 to 60min. The firing was varied some figures fired to 1120 and others to 1300 reduction. The figure that you have on your blog for instance was fired 3 times. A think coat of porcelain slip then fired to 1200 then engobe was used to fill the cracks/crazing in the porcelain fired again to 1100 then underglazes used to discolour the surface then fired to 1220 (i think)
For my degree show I believe I have about 35 figures. (15 were destroyed in a nasty dominoes style massacre.) Over the year and a half of making I think more than 150 were made, the failure rate was high at the start because I couldn't find a clay body that suited my making style."Stephen Dillon.