This week I mixed three types of clay, namely black and porcelain. I also began brainstorming my response to the first project, Apologia. There are many things I marvel at, but the first thing that came to my mind was either the vastness of the human mind (or lack of), which is more of an abstract concept. I also really enjoy animals and their habitat, with the most intriguing one being marine life. This week I also threw a few pieces, to get a feel for the new clay bodies.
This most recent week is interesting to see how the classes’ projects have come out. I’ve enjoyed seeing everyone’s final product, and I draw inspiration and learn about clay building techniques. As much as I enjoy working with clay I know I have a lot to learn. There’s always something you don’t know that you can learn, so I will forever be a student of clay. In the future I’d like to focus on bettering my human sculpting, as well as finding a glaze that I personally find aesthetically pleasing on human forms (compared to colorful ceramic vessels).
The octopus has been Wood fired; by a stroke of luck it survived the shelves above it falling. One of the tip of a tentacle has fallen off, and unfortunately a key middle attachment piece has been lost, making epoxying this half is impossible. A small lip in the octopus opening also prevents it from sitting flatly, I am in debate if I should grind it down or not. I am pleased with the coloring and texture on it though, and working with this stoneware has been my favorite. In the future, I would like to refine these small details I could have fixed before firing. At the point of firing, this piece was just simply too large to flip over and inspect, which means checking as I go is important.
The second project has been fired- Here are pictures of failed and unused body pieces that were either too large or too small for the final piece. As planned, I chose not to glaze these forms in order to not cover the texture details. Furthermore, I appreciate the raw look of the clay that gives the form a more serious look, compared to something with glossy color. I believe this looked better with porcelain, and in the future of sculpting without glaze, I will only use black or white stoneware. When building this I’ve learned a lot about pushing my clay, and how timing can be key in sculpting. This clay was a bit more difficult to work with, and some small details such as the nose, lips, and finer nails were hard to achieve from the large grog pieces that would surface through.
This week I worked on sculpting the human figure with the new clay body. The clay mixture is from the IUS Class Stoneware recipe that was modified to have extra grog. Up until this point many of my projects have been on a medium to large scale, but it proves I need more refinement in smaller scale sculptures. Personally, details are easier to create when they are larger. I also have a tendency to make disproportional appendages, especially regarding hands, face, and legs of the human body. I modeled my build technique of the body after Amaco tutorials, performing the hollow-build techniques of attaching and building a stable figure.
For the final project of choosing your own adventure, I chose something I knew would challenge myself instead of working in my comfort zone of sculpting. I decided to sculpt small scale male body, inspired by crumbling Greek statues. I chose to do a male body because I felt I needed to practice the anatomy of the male torso, versus the female torso. I have a long way to go, but everyone always starts somewhere. I would like to continue working on human forms so that I can learn to make my other figures more personable, with expressions and movements that people can recognize and connect with.
The octopus has been fired, this stoneware is a light brown when bisque. The higher is it fired, the darker it becomes. I’ve made a few bowls and cups. For the base of the rock I used a molded shape of a bowl, instead of throwing and altering one. This way the clay is also not worn and wet from being on the wheel, and can handle attachments to it. For the two bowls, I’ve pinched them together; I attempted to throw these one-inch bowls, however they were too delicate and fell apart after working to attach them. Large grog pieces also tore through the thin walls, so it was best to make them by hand. I also decided to hand sculpt the slits and texture in the rock piece, instead of using a rock itself and pressing it into the surface. This change in techniques gives this rock more texture and movement.