Monday, April 14, 2014

Specificity.

I have worked hard the last week creating three pieces that were each specific to it's own process. In the end there were four, but only three I was happy with. I am having a hard time coming to terms that in this coming week will most likely have to be one of the last weeks I can make new wet work. The drying and firing time takes so long that I have to be forward thinking at this point. It's hard because I feel like I am finally getting into my groove and have so many ideas I want to expand upon...but some of those will just have to wait until next semester. 

Now I have no choice but to work on color and display! 










Sunday, April 6, 2014

And there was Glaze.

Here are the first two glazed pieces of the semester...




The first one I'm not really diggin'. So I'm not going to go into much detail about it. Yuck.

The second piece I am okay with. There is a lot going on but there are several moments that I enjoy. Glazing is such a gamble. No matter how many times you test the glaze and firing conditions you can never be sure exactly how it will turn out. The last piece also incorporates rubbed on pigment (the places that look terra cotta and dry-ish). I like the juxtaposition between glossy and matte.

I have also started working on a few new pieces that are more specific (I think) to process and have been rather physically difficult to move. Pictures soon!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Already.

I can't believe it's April already. I feel like I have been making progress and bustin' my butt, however after meeting with my mentor last Saturday there is more to be done.

Focus for April
- fewer pieces with more specificity and suggestion...and bigger
- coloring the darn things
- presentation

Color is the bane of my existence. It is a weak spot for sure and one that I dread confronting, yet I know it must be done. Here are some color inspirations I have been looking at lately.

Hillary Harnischfeger

Landfill No. 1 by Jonathan Mess


Keith Renner

Saturday, March 22, 2014

No Pictures, Just Thoughts.

I spent a lot of time this week reading, writing and thinking and less time making. It was the first time since the residency ended that I stepped back from the making part to evaluate what I was making and looked at the bigger picture. I realized that I was focusing a lot on the wedged pieces and not so much on exploring other materials/ideas. I've thought a lot about that this past week. In my first meeting with my mentor she encouraged me to work on several projects at once and be ok with moving from one to the other fluidly. With that in mind my goal for the coming week is to start working on another project within a similar vein: memory, history, fragmentation.

Here's where my head is at:

1. Wedged sculptures: keep at it, explore relationship to size and my body. Conceptually I like the "memory" the clay has of the process and my hands. I think the fact that the clay is reclaimed adds to the idea of history, all of it was manipulated and discarded by someone else before I created a piece with it. The idea of adding the discarded pieces back into the original piece either as a support or as something that needs to be cradled is completely self imposed and I am not sure how it conceptually jives yet. I admit that it's a little random.

2. Untitled Project 1: I have been thinking a lot this past week how we all in some form try to solidify our memories, histories ect. We take pictures, save trinkets and keep sakes, make home movies all in an attempt to have concrete evidence of something that otherwise lives in our mind, unable to be touched. We tie together fragments of these ideas in order to preserve them for ourselves. So, how am I going to make sculpture out of this...I have a few ideas but haven't tried them out yet so stay tuned.

3. Fragmented progression or monumental miniatures: I have no conceptual backbone for these mini sculptures just yet. But I have been enjoying making them. So we'll see where it goes. I feel like the are accessible artifacts that represent larger ideas and could be "collected". I have been thinking about displaying them as a group on a plate rail or something of the like. We shall see where this goes.

Here's what I am currently reading:

Sculpture in The Age of Doubt
Artists, Critics, Context
Exploring Contemporary Craft
Re-Thinking Art Hierarchy: Assessing Critical Positions in Contemporary Ceramics
Thinking Through Craft.... and loving it!
Sculpture 1900-1945

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fragments of a Different Variety.




In a needed break from wedging these were created. They still embody the idea that whatever component I remove from the original form I must include somehow in the final piece. I know the first one is hard to see...I did my best. I am really enjoying the texture of these two and the different colors that come forward in the clay body. Instead of working with a cohesive clay body I have been experimenting with re-claim clay; aka discarded clay from pieces other people didn't keep for whatever reason. I think that is somewhat relevant to this work as well. It will be interesting to see what they look like when dried and fired though.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

More Explorations Into Wedging.

I have been trying to balance both process and thought process simultaneously. I head into the studio with a bag of clay and the ideas of history, memory and fragmentation swirling around in my head. I am not sure if they are all balancing yet or not...

These pieces are from a week or so ago. I have some more recent pieces, the result of feeling the need to step away from the wedging process which I will share later this week so stay tuned. Other things on my mind: writing my second paper, color (as always), and display.






Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Is Bigger Better?





So I've gone bigger...relatively speaking. Though there is not a clear indication of size in these images they are roughly as tall as my klean kateen. Working with larger amounts of clay has been more physically challenging than I anticipated. The process has completely surpassed my hands and I am working more with my upper body than ever before. I'm not sure how I feel about that yet.

Other thoughts:
I am more and more interested in the relationship the discarded parts have to the whole solid form. Are they being held and supported by the larger object or vice verse?
Are these vessels? I am currently reading Sculpture in the Age of Doubt and Sculptural Vessels Across the Great Divide: Tony Cragg's Laibe and the Metaphors of Clay. This may or may not have given rise to the question.
How in the world I am going to finish/display these? That is always the question though.