It’s the end of semester again and everything is piling up! I set up my solo show at Gadabout gallery and our classroom group show at the Mary Anderson Center. Above are some of the photos forth show set up. Sorry for the screen shots but my phone phone broke so I had to have these sent to me.
So I know I’ve missed a few blogs and have a lot to catch you all up on so I’ll do my best without overloading you and making you read a wall of text. Upon returning from NCECA I began pushing my work and making for my recent show at the Gadabout gallery which had a great turnout and I am very pleased with the results and work I made for the show. I really started to push my carving and inlay and think about the glaze interactions more. One great suggestion was to look at more art deco designs which gave me a ton of inspiration and helped me to push my patterns to the next level I think.
Here are some of the works unloaded from the cone 10 reduction firing.
As you can see the glazes are very consistent and the drips are controlled fairly well. I finally settled my glaze issues and have been riding smoothly in that department allowing me to put my attention elsewhere for awhile. Some of this includes different forms, more consistent forms, how the glazes interact, and including more raw clay sections which I think is turning out to be very successful along with many other parts of my work.
Here is a layout of the work I created in this 2 week timeframe after being sanded and cleaned up.
There is a good variety of work in both function and design but I think what I am most proud of is the amount of new things I explored and pushed myself into working towards in such a short time period as well. I worked with things such as larger bowls, vases, whiskey bups, cup sets, a little bigger lidded jar with a new lid, a flask, and a lot of new patterns and designs. I am really excited to see where this work takes me and plan to take a short break to deload and take everything in.
Luckily every has been properly documented so I will have some great photos to look over the work with and decide what is really working for me.
In addition to the normal photos I also had photos of the show (before and during) and many experimental shots of my work such as silhouettes, overheads, stacking, and groupings. Hopefully these different compositions inspire some new forms and ideas along the way.
Last but not least is the show itself! Sadly I don;t have a ton of photos but here is the one I do have for now.
The setup was varied well and had a little bit of everything which was awesome. I really feel like it was a strong show and the design of the work and space worked well together without overcrowding each other or the space which was tricky since it wasn’t a massive area.
This week I focused heavily on finishing up work to load the big bailey for NCECA but had a little extra time to play with some handle ideas. I made a simple change and added a small tab at the bottom connection. It added a lot and made the handle much fuller and matches the vessels as well since they tend to be very round. I thing I am going to try a similar idea at the top as well and make it 2 sections instead of 1 so overall it will be a three part handle, 2 tabs and one handle section.
This week I took a good look at my work to figure out what was working and what wasn’t. To me the answers were simple and I decided that these 2 cups composition wise, form, glaze planning, and function were exactly what I was looking for. They both cover a broad spectrum with infinite possibilities as well as a broad scope of technical difficulty and beauty.
The mug on the left presents a simple form with more carving and a simple inlay pattern towards the bottom. This allows for a beautiful mug that can still be made efficiently and consistently while maintaining every I desire. On the right we have a more technically skillful mug in the making the cures in the shape make it much more difficult to produce the same shape consistently and efficiently but it balances out with a less intricate (at least in appearance) surface consisting of a few shapes with a simple in lay design. This mug will be much harder to replicate several times making it much more ideal for a more intricate set or something I produce less of. With all this said I am now ready to push forward into other forms both in size and intricacy. I started throwing some bowls and 2 part vases as well as a few other experimental forms.
I am excited to see where this takes me as I will be pushing my work very hard in the next month to come to prepare for my solo show!
This week I got my new carving tools in and got a chance to sit down and test them out. Sadly they were not everything I had hoped but they did serve a purpose and are still very useful. They make it possible to trace images and carve with consistent lines witch paired with the v-gouge tool gives me a good range of options. I spent some time testing the same patterns in various inlay, carving and water etching techniques and had some great results.
There is still a lot left out without seeing the work glazed which will make a massive difference but I can already see my options. Another thing to consider is the time of making my work and what elements are really worth it and what aren’t. Specifically I mean the water etching and altering of the foot and rim. O feel like the unaltered rims on the cups above are still very successful and maybe there is room for both. Here are some simple mugs I made just to see some forms without alterations.
This week has really been about pushing my forms and work further and trying to bring everything together into a cohesive work while correcting the past mistakes. I feel like I was fairly successful with this and made a big jump in my work. I took into consideration my forms, glazes, chipping of the feet and handles within these pieces. Here are some of the progress shots of the mugs I worked on.
The etched sections will be left raw similar to the test tiles in the bottom left picture. In addition to this push in my work my test tiles from last week came out and I had some great results. My celadon came out beautiful, although slightly different in color than I expected but hey, no complaints here. I also tested a new glaze that was recently acquired and it resembles my celadon in color but is matt with some slight brown/grey speckling. I think that the two will work very well and add to my glaze spectrum.
Sadly as you can see there is no bleeding in my inlay just yet. I did notice a slight bleeding of line in one tile with 4% cobalt mixed with my black slip so I think I am going to try 6-10% cobalt and see what happens.
This week I spent a little time mixing up some new slips to test for my inlay/mishima trying to add some variety to my inlay and give myself a few more options and control. I would like to achieve a bleeding effect as well as some other colors and shades so that I can achieve some depth in my work with the inlay as well. Here are the slips and test tiles.
In addition to these tests I also spent some more time thinking about my forms and practicing. Now that I am beginning to really push my work I really want not only my surfaces, but my forms to be consistent and well thought out as well. I have really been focusing on repetition within the forms and practicing various forms on the wheel to prepare for whatever I may decide. Here are some of the pots I threw and a sketch to demonstrate what I mean.
Notice the deliberate spacing of line within the sketch and how the connectiosn are made between horizontal and vertical form. This will be a challenging process to make but it is where I need to be heading.
This week I have been playing with some different tools, specifically the v gouge,Traditionally a wood carving or tool used in printmaking. This tool allows for the precise removal of clay from the desired section and allows for a more controlled line weight and can become almost painterly like a brush stroke as the line varies. Although the tool was not as easy to use as I had hoped I believe with enough practice and the right timing of clay it can be done. Eve nso there is a place for the more organic line quality in my work I believe and look forward to seeing where it takes me. Here are some examples.
With this more organic line I thought I might try to play with some more organic forms and slip to emphasize these elements.
Although I am not sold or sure exactly how I p[an to bring all of these elements together I believe it may be useful. In addition I am pursuing some other forms I found to work well in the past only a little bigger to see where I can take them now.
I am searching for a good base form that will be versatile in it’s purpose and move smoothly from vessel to vessel. Although I do not wish for my work to be al lthe same I belive this will allow for more consistency and for me to focus on the altering aspects further. I have found that there are still som e potential structural issues with my forms or throwing and this is the reason I am pursuing this. below is a picture of a vessel who’s foot may have caved in causing me to drop the piece when taking off the plastic. I am not certain this was the case as I amy have tipped it and it fell over but it is worth looking into as I have had some slumping in the foot before.
School is back in and I decided to hit the ground running. I have vowed to begin pushing my work and really working towards more cohesive and thought out work. This includes more sets, complex multi component vessels, and more thought out design elements between the vessel and the glaze surface. Here is a step by step of the process a vase I just made.
there was a lot of altering and figuring out to do with these initial 2 components following a brief period of testing and research for the flower pocket/spout sections. This then lead to the full assemblage of the vessel and components followed by the etching and slip inlay.
This was a great start for me and really got me back into the thought process of making work that pushes me further as a maker. There are a lot exciting plans that I have been working on so following this will be more good news hopefully!
With the end of the semester wrapping up there has been a lot to get done. After having my final crit with Brian and looking at my work overall I really sat down and finalized my goals and plans for the next year. This lead me to one conclusion, that even though my work was nice it wasn’t good enough. There is still a lot of pushing for me to do and this has been neglected in favor of perfecting my skills and recipes however I have decided to cut myself off soon after the month of December. I will still continue testing but I will no longer allow it to hinder my progression and push my work further. I want to start thinking in sets and multiple pieces as a whole. My work needs to ascend to a higher level rather than being considered from object to object and really become a cohesive body of work working together.
I have my tools, skills and style. Now I just need to apply them and really push things. Below are some pictures of the end of the semester including my final crit and some other various work I have been exploring such as the porcelain ice cubes.