Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ogopogo / Dragon for the Garden

We played with extruding again.  I finished off some of last week's pieces.   Two of them will become garden sculptures.  I'm looking forward to those ones (although I forgot to take a photo, again).  I may not have much room in my house and cupboards for more ceramics, but I still have a LOT of space in my garden.  :-)

A lot of people were extruding cylinders.  Our instructor, Linda, suggested we could make a pitcher.  I've just finished a course on handles, and another on pots that pour, so I have enough mugs and pitchers and teapots for a while.  I can't remember what my classmate, Debbie, said, that triggered the idea, but suddenly I had to make some bent cylinders, and create a sort of ogopogo or sea monster for the garden.

By the end of class and the open workshop, I had a body and tail I was very happy with, with a reasonably well done scale texture (it was hard to press the bent shapes to texturize them, but I managed okay), and a row of spines along the back :

Then the hardest part: creating a head.  I have a neck formed, in much the same way as the back parts.  But the head proved elusive today.  First I started with one of the larger cylinders I had extruded, and tried darting (one of the techniques Linda was teaching us today) to shape it.  It didn't seem to be getting the result I wanted, so I have wrapped that attempt in plastic, and shelved it.  Parts of it (maybe the lower jaw) may still be useful :

Next I attempted to just create the top of the head, which I will figure out how to add to the neck later.  This attempt seems to be promising, but I ran out of time before I could make much progress :

I am visualizing a dragon head something like this one, although I am not copying anything in particular, just making it up as I go along (image from the internet) :

I was pleased that Sharon Reay (a wonderful ceramic artist, and I believe she is currently the ceramics arts programmer at Shadbolt Center - if she ever teaches a course, I hope I will be able to take it!) came by as I was working on the creature.  I consider her a dragon ceramics expert.  This is the type of sweet dragons she creates (photo from the internet) :
I will miss next week's class, which is starting some hand building.  Then only 3 more classes and we're done.  Wow, it goes fast, but I have also created a lot in the 4 classes we have had so far.  I have some 30 pieces in various stages of completion.

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