Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sculpture 1: seaform item preliminary sketch pages

I realize that I love having pictures of my art on my blog so I can show people it, and look at the progression, but I have not posted any pictures at all lately. I am still doing art, but ceramics take a *long* time to complete because even after you are done sculpting you must wait a few days for it to get bone dry, then a few days for there to be a kiln firing that it fits in, and then you have to glaze it and fire it again. I have no finished pieces so far, although my apple and house (first two projects) should be ready for glazing this week. I took pictures of my little house and in progress shots of my bas relief tile, but now they are not on my camera. I do not know why. So, I am going to post some pictures of the research (kind of) that i am doing for our current project.

So far I have a sad, asymmetrical stack of nearly-spheres.

It looks a bit like this (I unconsciously capitalize the word base because i did for years going to BASE) Basically the weight of it is deforming the spheres, and it is just bad. It is lumpy and heavy and I have abandoned my first several ideas to salvage it. It is about 10 inches tall, and technically hollow except that it has little internal supports and stuff.

So, what I decided to do is give it texture and appendages in the manner of sea creatures.

These are some interesting features of sea creatures. I don't know how they should go on the spheres, but it would be neat to do the small ball in seahorse texture, the next in fish scale texture, the next in sea slug nubs, and then the bottom sort of covered in tentacles and suckers. Then it can have little features on it, such as a ring of claws and I don't know what all.

As I looked for photographs of actual sea creatures I found a number of awesome examples of other artists' sea and aquatic creatures. There was a wonderful sculpture of just the top of a hippo, by diane gilbert, so that it looks like it is submerged when placed on a surface. There was also a steampunk tentacle, and some of that speculative biology art or whatever it is called, that looks like science illustrations but is impossible. I also sketched some chihuly pieces (I am really impressed by his glass floats, how playful and serene!) but idk, the limitations of clay mean that I will not be able to really pull off anything like his shapes.

So. I am making an Item. Maybe it will look like a tribute to the sea. Maybe it will look like an alien. I think I will paint it black (there are only a few colors of school glazes, and bc we have to fire at cone 10 apparently not that many glazes for that firing temperature are very rich or bright even if i went to get my own.) and submerge it in water. If only I had a little water feature in the yard.

Speaking of glazes, glaze is often where a student sculpture falls apart (not literally, the joins and removing it from the armature are where they literally do). I think it is because you can't see the true color while you work, only after firing, so coordinating colors and choosing the appropriate one is very hard. A lot of work looks dusty or murky, or overly bright and neon. I don't know how to overcome this especially with only the 10 colors of school glaze available, so I plan to make my pieces black or white, or raku fire them. Oooh I bet this sea creature will look awesome if i can raku fire it.

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