Monday, February 19, 2018

Week 6

Progress is certainly being made in the still life world. I'm ready to get a few of these project completed so I can use them for my paintings. I started out making mugs and bowls but now I have moved on to plates and platters. I was pretty pleased with how my plate turned out today after I curved the edges more. The plate is rather thick which is something that I will fix in later plates, but I like the design I did on this plate. I think that since this plate is so thick I will take advantage of that and carve the designs in more after it dries more.

I definitely want to work on more platters and get the design issues resolved with those. I like the design of what I did today, but I feel like the shape isn't quite right so I'll be looking into basic platters and how they are shaped to come up with more ideas for the shape of the platters that seem more natural. I also think I might try to weave more bowls like I did the still life last semester, but this time I will use coils instead of slabs and I think it will turn out a lot better this time around.


Monday, February 12, 2018

Week 5

I have conquered one fear of throwing cups on the wheel, making handles. I was always afraid to make handles because of what I had heard about them around the classroom and how much of a pain they are. However, I knew that I wanted to make mugs for the soda fire, so I realized I had to do it and if it doesn't work on this set then I'll try it again on the next one.

However, the handles worked out in my favor. I created seven handles for six different pieces I made last night. There was one vessel that had two handles. I was happy that I was able to create these vessels last night and then get them and the handles to the point where I could finish up the vessels through trimming and attaching handles. I was also really surprised with how my trimming turned out. I'm definitely getting used to it again after being away from the trimming aspect for so long. Hopefully, as I continue to make more vessels the forms and finishing touches will keep getting better. 

I am even more excited to be able to create these forms that I can use within the still life that I will create for my paintings. It will allow the work to be 100% my own in every shape and form. Which would be a really unique aspect to the still life. 

Side Note: The apple is so rotten and disgusting that I'm finally glad to be able to put it to use in the pit fire and have it become a part of another piece of work.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Week 4

This past week I started on the soda fire project. I made a few forms on the wheel. Two are very random and essentially fails, but there are three that were normal. However, when trimming today I messed up one of the three normal ones. I spent class time today applying terrasig to the animated forms I created out of terracotta the week before. Terrasig is the weirdest thing I have ever seen. It's very interesting to apply, make, and feel. It's mind blowing how smooth and shiny it is. You can see in the pictures below that the burnished terrasig looks like it's still wet, but it is soft and dry to the touch. 

I am interested to see what will happen once it is fired in the pit. I've seen the terrasig on other fired objects, but not from a pit fire. I will apply terrasig to my relief panels, but it was not bone dry yet. I am hoping that it will be bone dry by next class, but I highly doubt it. The clay was very thick and I cannot imagine it drying out that fast after I totally unwrapped it today. Taking the pieces out of the wood panel was absolutely disgusting. There was the brightest green mold I've ever seen between the tiles of clay and all over the bottom of the board. When I flipped over the board there was an orange and white substance on that side of the wood that the clay wasn't even touching. I brought it home thinking I would throw it under my bed and save it for another day, but paranoia and my germophobe tendencies got the better of me and the wood panel now sits in the dumpster. Not to worry because if I ever need another panel to pound a slab out in I can just grab one of the painting panels I made last summer. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Week 3

I suppose one could say that the creations coming out of my ceramics work was weird. It was a very weird day for ceramic creations. The 24"x36" relief I created is in the final stages. I am now waiting for the piece to become bone dry so that I can experiment with terrasig. I like the way the relief turned out before cutting it into pieces. I do wonder if cutting it into squares would be better because it would be less distracting. The hardest part about cutting this landscape was the bridge that seemed to be right in the middle of everything so I had to cut a square around it in order for the bridge to stay intact and to keep the piece from becoming too long.

While I waiting for the relief to dry I sculpted with some terra cotta. This is where it gets weird. The first thing that came of my creations was the head of an owl.  This is one of those things you have no idea what you're sculpting until your finished with it. It's a very interesting process really. The owl head reminded Felicia and I of the sketches we used to do in high school. For these sketches we would each pick an animal and sometimes we would tell each other the animal and sometimes we wouldn't. From there we would each draw a body part and see what kind of unusual creation we would come up with. So as you can see below we have what Felicia and I would call a 'Growl' a combination of a gorilla and an owl. I created the head and wings and Felicia created the body and legs.

That is most likely the weirdest part of ceramics today. The rest of the time I spent making little heads that could be animated to the extreme and they really gave me a good laugh. It's always enjoyable when you create something that can elicit an immediate reaction from the viewer. Mine reaction happened to be pure enjoyment because I would look at these heads and think 'What the heck did I just make?' However, these heads were rather interesting and I really admired the animated qualities. This is definitely something I should consider for a future project. Possibly on a larger scale. I would also really like to make more weird animal combos with Felicia again. It's always so funny to see what fails and what comes out as a cute bundle of success like the drawing of mine and Felicia's 'Pail' the combination of pug and snail.
Weird thing #1
Weird thing #2

Monday, January 22, 2018

Week 2

A lot of progress has been made this week. I think this relief is coming together nicely. I am concerned about the bridge and cracking so I will have to keep a close eye on it. I'm still trying to decide where to cut the relief to create the tiles. I think I definitely want to cut the sky out from the trees and possibly the bottom area below the bridge.

The color definitely helped the texture settle more so that the eye could adjust. I plan on making more layers with slip. I also want to make things pop out more so that it feels more 3-dimensional.

For the soda firing I think I want to go back to making functional objects so that I can build up my skills with the wheel. I really want to make something large on the wheel. I would like to make something that reaches 12 inches. I would also really love to make a teapot.

I still really like the idea of tiles and I may come back to that later in the semester but in a different way than the first project.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Week 1

Back into the groove of ceramics! Over the weekend I made a panel that I can pound out a slab in to create my reliefs. If I enjoy this process I can imagine this being a project that I continue throughout the semester as a series. I've always loved reliefs used as part of architecture and especially reliefs that are pretty much 3-dimensional paintings!

Texture is something that I've always been drawn to in painting and everywhere really. Texture brings an element of touch to the work and without the process of touching it is difficult to feel connected to a work of art as a viewer and creator.

This is something I've always struggled with in painting. Painting doesn't allow for touch naturally. That being said it can be very easy to be disconnected from a painting. I am looking forward to creating these reliefs so that I can bring the element of touch back into my artwork and to create 3-dimensional paintings of the traditional subject matter that I've always liked to paint but never do because of the direction of my work for painting.

Oh, and that apple from last semester is looking more disgusting than it ever has. I think it's finally about to collapse.

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.