A few of the local deer! I got back from working at the art center today and these guys were bedded down between the barn and my driveway. I spooked them but they just trotted off to the side yard, where they let me grab the camera and tripod to take these. I was about 10 feet away for most of these, and these guys were obviously really concerned.
Well, I've posted a few quick updates on Facebook over the past few weeks, but its past time for one here! I've been working on some internal stuff, thinning, fusing, and reinforcing, but that doesn't show in photos. Here's a slideshow of stuff that DOES!
I'm embarrassed to admit I really underestimated how much time this was going to take, between being able to use the art center fewer hours than planned, the day job taking more hours than planned, and the clay being soupy-wet out of the bag so it takes more working. So far though I think its going pretty well. She's about 10 inches tall at the moment in the front, the back will catch up soon!
Wow, can't believe I haven't managed to update this sooner, oops! Anyway, now taxes are done, some catch up on OTHER stuff is done, and I managed to get the camera out of the art center and home so I could download pictures... Ack!
The biggest changes on this batch are a bit more on the abdomen, a re-adjustment of the hip and a bunch on the back side!
Oh, and I've shifted into the back room, at least for a while, as I've picked up a few more students so I can't work in the class room with the group without major distractions. Its a lot easier if I don't have to clear the table after every session working on her! So you can see the progress, as well as a step by step on the adjustment I made on one hip.
A slight structural adjustment!
I mentioned the forgotten tape measure last installment, and here you can see how that turns out! I spent a couple hours today redoing so the curves are in the right place and the pelvic tilt is more in line with what I planned, but that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. Its a lot trickier 'adjusting' this coiled style of sculpture than it would be on a regular clay sculpture because you can't just add or remove clay. I'm finding the only real way to do it is either cut along a coil line and add or remove a coil (or motif!) between the sections, OR thin it down from the inside to the point where almost all that's left is the front coil texture. Once its thinned down, I can push the individual coils around a bit, either working them out or in as needed, then carefully add material back in behind to support the coils.
Its a bit of a pain to do, but it can be done! Depending on what needs to be done, one way will work better than the other. This clay is very 'short' when it sits for a bit, but its very forgiving in firing which means I can get away with thicker areas and a bit of laxity in the construction methods. A BIT of laxity, but I still have to be careful! The clay is still wet at this point, but it gets STIFF when it sits so I can't manipulate it very well without it cracking. Then if its NOT stiff, its squishy which means I have to watch it so I don't mash all the details!
Here's the latest load out of the kiln, my part of it anyway! The big brown oval in the background has been hanging since mid-November, it was a trial for a custom order. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! The actual custom order was an inch or so wider (front to back in this view) and had a terra sigillata and oxides finish that came out a nice muted orangy brown. I'm going to be listing it on Etsy soon, its about 14 inches long, nice footed pot with a matching tray. We'll see, I might be hanging onto it for a while though! I'll be pushing it as an herb pot or a succulent pot, but it'd work for bonsai if someone needed a DEEP LONG pot!
There are two smaller oval pots in there, a couple stacks of small plates, a bunch of prep/dipping bowls made the same way as my kusamono planters but without the hole, and a set of little plate/trays that can be used lots of different ways!
Moving along! She's starting to get some height now, hip on one side! Somehow I managed to forget my tape so I'll have to figure out exactly where the directional change goes on the hip later, but the mass of clay is building. I'm much happier with it now that I've redone some! Best of all I've figured out a relatively easy way to handle it if I need to re position again. Turns out the 'easy' way I was thinking before... isn't! I had to totally rework one leg, but it went back together easier than I was dreading.
Ok, I'm a bit behind (groan) on posting these! Butt she's starting to come together! I'm happy with the front view, but not totally sure about the back side... I might have to rework a bit. Something about not being able to see it in the mirror clearly and getting funny looks every time I walk around staring at butts... LOL Oh well, I'll get it!
THIS one is finally DONE, it came out nice! This is a custom order from the end of December, 16 inches across and 6.5 inches deep. White clay, satin white glaze. I've decided I hate this glaze, its really more of a cloudy white that really lets things show through. And it shows brush marks, and if you get it too thick it sort of crawls in the firing. Or maybe I just had the pot too smooth.
Anyhow, this was coiled, so it went together pretty easy, then I spent a lot of time smoothing. No warps, its round! Learned a lot doing it, I've not worked this big before! Almost 20 lbs of clay in this thing~I'll have to throw it on the scale and see what finished weight is. But tonight I box it up and off it goes!
Finally, its starting to look like something other than a pile of bits of clay! Here you can see I've done the upper front thighs and the coiling is starting to get interesting. This is about 4 sessions, working for 3 or 4 hours then letting things dry some so it'll be firm enough to support the next session.
Next time the first big challenge of the project... BUTTOCKS! I've got to figure a support out and start working on the roundy-out bits. I'm planning to lay out my coils on the inside of a bowl so they'll have the right shape, and making the change in direction is going to be the challenge. Butt it should work out fine! :)
Wild plum blossom! The trees are in full bloom here, at least until the next round of rain comes in....
Clay has always fascinated me, its many colors and textures, the shapes you can create using it, even the feel of it squishing in my hand. Even after years of playing in the mud I find myself exploring new ideas and I hope my work shows this.