Friday, March 6, 2009

more red clay...

Brief night in the studio yesterday. Had some glazing and a small bit of throwing to do, but didn't accomplish either as thoroughly as I'd have preferred. Went in to glaze some plates, which did not happen. I started out by waxing the feet - applying wax, that is. Not removing unwanted hair via wax. Water based substances don't like to stick to wax. That includes glazes. So, in areas where glaze is unwanted, wax is quite handy. Apply, dry, then glaze. The glaze will bead up on top of the wax and either run off by itself or be quite easy to wipe off. I don't wax all my feet (especially given that I don't glaze the exterior of many of my pieces), but I thought these plates could use a little wax.

I then turned my attention to a special project. This chalice (seen below) is to be part of a communion setting for a friend of mine working in ministry. This is just one of the two I threw last night for his approval, and this is the one I prefer. I'm not sure if it will come out to the size that he's looking for, but I do like the proportions of this piece. It's a definite departure from what I've been doing a lot of lately, and for that I am glad.

It did of course mean buying more red clay (to get the finish he's looking for), so I'll have some more red pieces coming up. Maybe something large in red clay? I really enjoy the end result of these pieces, it's the staining of my hands that really irks me. I don't mind being covered in clay most of the time, but when my skin is stained orange, I'm not happy. Also stained orange because I did a lot of kneading, wedging, and recycling of said clay. Yuck. What a process.

I also spent some time working on my Artist's Statement last night. I haven't really updated it since I graduated, and so the version I have laying around is more specifically influenced by my senior exhibit than by my work as a whole. Not that they're that different. Here's an album of work from that exhibit. Anyhow, it's definitely time to come to a more concise definition of what I'm doing in my work. Here's an exerpt, or rather, some of the thoughts:

"I find the appeal of pottery in the marriage of beauty and functionality, embellishment and simplicity, form and function, fine art and humble craft. Equally at home on the mantle or in the dining room, my work is created to be well used: I find the most joy in sending a piece of my work into a home where it will be used and loved.

I produce quality stoneware pottery of all sizes and shapes, from small mugs to large vases. Each pot begins as a lump of clay and must be shaped and molded to the perfect form before I will move forward with it into a finished pot. Smaller pieces are often created with function at the foremost thought, but receive the same attention to detail and care in decoration as my larger fine art pieces. I approach larger vessels as challenges – larger surfaces waiting for my mark, works of substance.

Trained in the Bauhaus tradition that values strong shapes and clean lines, I approach each thrown pot as a medium for expression through my use of decorative carving and colored slips. My decorative work is entirely freeform. Through my decoration I try to capture natural movement along the surface of the pot in lines and gestures that compliment the form and nature of the piece. These gestures often reflect bonds that exist between the clay and the natural world – suggestions of flora and fauna, earth and water.

In form and style, I draw from rich ceramic traditions of the American Southwest, East Asia, as well as the heritage of my mentors and teachers in the Upper Midwest. It is my desire to honor these traditions while exploring new territory in my own work."

I've been trying to approach it as free writing - going for a while, letting the thoughts out, before doing any editing. There are still some things that I always want to express about why I love pottery, why I love the form, what my favorite pieces are, when they become my favorites. Some of these things are better saved for personal conversation. And some of them still need to be a part of my professional statement. So we'll see where it goes. I never have any trouble talking about my work, so writing about it should be fine, once I remember what I have to say...
That's all for now.


Anita said...

You should probably know that your small bowl we received for Christmas had been put above the TV for display by dad. I pulled it off one day and washed it so as to use it (functional i believe you call that!) thing I know it's back on display above the TV. What's going on here I say? So I take it off again and have to throw some food in it so as to not have it end up on the entertainment center once more. It's great for broccoli sides, and tonight was carrying leftover stir fry steak and in all situations looks elegant and lovely! Thanks again for a very beautiful & functional gift. I'm trying to love it and use it...if I can keep it in the kitchen area that is!!

With love & affection...

Anonymous said...

I like the red clay. I wonder what a white glaze would look like on it... with your carving.