Monday, December 4, 2017

Week 15

It's the final week of ceramics, but with that comes the opportunity to see the mass of flowers hanging in the Space Lab. I was unsure of how the flowers would look when working on them at home, but once they were hanging in the Space Lab the entire experience changed entirely. Suddenly the flowers were just enough to create a nice surrounding atmosphere. The sound of the flowers clinging together is what excites me most about the piece. It's as if you're surrounded by not only flowers but by wind chimes as well. The sound brings my mind to my favorite film in which wind chimes are very prevalent and used in dreamlike states of the main characters life.

This allows me as the artist experiencing my own work to travel to a dreamlike world surrounded by a few of my favorite things. Luckily for Felicia and I the tangles in the flowers were simple to get out. The only thing left to fix is the crookedness. This either happened from the weight distribution or simply because I latched the hook in the wrong spoke section. This project is the most exciting one I have ever done and I am glad that I am bringing the surrounding element into painting because it seems to me that the most successful and most interesting works are ones that envelope and surround the viewer in more than one direction.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Week 14

Only two more weeks left in the semester. With that being said there are many things left to finish up. I finished hanging the flowers from the bicycle wheel as you can see below and all that is left is to find a chain strong enough to hang it from. The flowers are very heavy and I haven't been able to find any chains at least not at Walmart or Menard's. Lowe's may be my next destination. I still have to find a place to hang the flowers within Knobview.

These three flowers are the best out of the flowers. I also happen to love that they are primary colors! 
This is the bicycle tire that the flowers are hanging from from a top down view. The flowers are now in a tub waiting to go to Knobview. 
The crochet still life is nearly finished as well. All of the pieces have under-glaze on them and the only thing left is a clear coat. The crochet hooks are very fragile even after they are glaze fired. I don't know how many will be left by the end of these two weeks.
 Side note: Somehow I ended up with 518 flowers, but this is okay because there were some rejects after glaze firing.

The Raku firings are going well. I think my favorite glaze is the copper penny because of how shiny it is. It is literally exactly like a brand new penny. It would be really cool to fire one of my ornaments in this glaze and have so many copper colored ornaments. That is something I am definitely going to do.

The apple that has been sitting in the hallway since the beginning of the semester is so disgusting. I am pretty certain the apple is black on the inside and there are definitely gnats in it. The apple didn't turn out how I thought it would, maybe it just needs more time, but I thought the apple would collapse on itself and cause the snake to fall as well. I'm sure it may fall one of these days if it stays in the glass case, but it's so disgusting that it probably needs to be thrown away soon.

That is the status of all of my projects for this semester. As you can see there's not much left to do besides glazing.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Week 13

Glazing is almost complete. All that is left is some clear coats over underglazes and then my work is nearly done. The flowers are nearly complete. I just need to find a chain strong enough to hold the flowers up. I tried to lift the structure by myself today after I finished placing the flowers and it is very very heavy. I could barely lift it past my waist. Even with two people lifting it I couldn't get it past my shoulders.
This is something that I will have to figure out once I find a chain. It looked pretty good for the few seconds I was able to hold it up.

My pieces came out of the Raku fire and there are some glazes I like more than others. I wasn't too impressed with the luster as much as I imagined I would be. The copper penny is really nice because it's very metallic. I am thinking about glazing a whole piece in copper penny if I haven't done so already.

There are still a few pieces that need to be bisque for the Raku, but other than that the work is coming to a close.  Now it is time for Thanksgiving break which also means it's time to start on my own crafty projects now that school projects are winding down.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Week 12

The semester is coming to a close and wet ware cut off is here. This happens to be a very sad fact, unless you're enrolled in ceramics next semester! However, with the pause in creating more works this allows time for completing the projects with glazes and different types of firing.

This semester I have branched out quite a bit. I did two soda fires and some Raku firings are coming up. Aside from firing, I have really branched out on the potter's wheel. As you can see below, today I threw an ornament and a weird chocolate fountain looking thing. These forms took a while to figure out how to do and many YouTube videos later I think I finally understand how to create more complex forms.

To go back further into the semester I am on the verge of finishing my surrounding project with the flowers. I found something very interesting to hang my flowers from and I hope it turns out like I'm imagining.

I plan on making more ornaments and a lot more wheel thrown vessels. I also want to experiment with painting slips onto the form while the wheel is still spinning to create some geometric patterns on the forms and to create more pattern when carving into the clay.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Week 11

Raku glazes are in the process of being made for the upcoming Raku firing. My flowers came out of the soda kiln and based on their metallic look I think I will put some crochet hooks in the soda kiln. The flowers look great as a whole and the colors work well together. I think that if I had made any less than 501 I wouldn't have enough to achieve my dream. When I laid the flowers out on the table I figured out the dome shape and it seemed I would have enough to complete the dome and come down around the viewer like a waterfall because on the table there were only 291 flowers and I still have 210 left to glaze and fire.

The Raku project is going well so far. Some things were put into the bisque firing yesterday and I have about 13 objects made so far. They're all in the drying process now after I carved into them last class. For the carving I am mainly just doing whatever I feel like on that day. There are a lot of different lines and textures. It is more like experimentation than having a running theme throughout the pots.

Also as you can see below I found some flowers just sitting on the glaze shelf yesterday. I have been seeing these flowers for quite a while. It makes me wonder how many they will make and how they got them to be so colorful. Hopefully they don't beat my total or I might have to reach for 1,000. As Lorelai from Gilmore Girls would say, "Oy, with the poodles already." I think I've seen enough flowers for one semester.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Week 10

All of my projects are coming to the final stages. I glazed I don't know how many flowers today and they are sitting in the soda kiln as of right now. I feel as though I fit half of the 501 into the kiln. I think it is safe to say that my hands did not fall off from making the flowers but instead they fell off when loading the flowers into the kiln. I believe that winter is already upon us even though fall technically just started a month or so ago. As I write this now my toes are still frozen solid.

The first project for ceramics, the snake, is most certainly rotted. However, apples are a very strong thing, although completely rotted on the inside the apple is still standing. This point takes a very interesting meaning for the context of the piece. The third project, the still life, is now in the bisque and greenware stage. The last project is the main one that I am focused on now. As you can see below I have made a few animals and a few thrown vessels. I will go back and forth between hand building and throwing to make things for the Raku firing.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Week 9

Still life project is finally complete, aside from the glazing and bisque firing. I should say the building and sculpting stage is finished. For glazing I will probably use under glaze for the small things like the stitch markers, crochet hooks, and buttons. For the basket I may do some sort of natural colored stain to go along with the look of how the baskets would look in real life.

The next project will be pretty awesome because you can make really anything as long as it fits into a nice size range. I was thinking about just a lot of thrown vessels like flower vases and other things that could be useful objects. However, when I thought back to vessels I kept thinking of face jugs, so I might do something with faces on the vessels or some other sculptural element along with other normal wheel thrown forms.

For the sculptural elements I keep picturing organic shapes and wavy lines and patterns. I may also create most of my designs just by the firing process as well by having exposed clay while other areas are covered by glaze. There are so many different things to try with Raku which makes it so interesting. I was really interested in the horse hair Raku, but I only have one idea of where I can get horse hair.

I'll also be experimenting with more polymer clay on the side, maybe even see what it does in different kilns?? Maybe even try to Raku fire some?