Sunday, September 28, 2014

More Fall Ceramics in Progress

I was disappointed to have my Wed morning ceramics course cancelled just one week before it was to begin.  However, I have been very fortunate that my family has allowed me to sneak away on Sunday afternoons to attend the open workshop, in addition to Wed afternoons.

Today I decided to try some throwing, since I haven't thrown anything since Spring, and I don't want to lose my confidence.  I still find throwing quite challenging.  In particular, I have never really learned how to center the clay.  So today I think I was spending 20 or 30 minutes centering, then 5 or 10 minutes actually throwing the piece.  At least that's what it felt like.

The first piece I threw was this little jug / vase.  I painted it with green slip, and will decorate it with sgraffito.
Ceramic stoneware jug / vase in progress, decorated in slip in preparation for sgraffito

The second one I struggled with, trying to create a two-walled vase.  I have been inspired by some young ceramic artists on Instagram who throw two-walled vessels, and carve the outer part.  It didn't turn out anything like I had imagined, since the outside part went out of balance, and I had to cut it down a couple of times, and then I didn't have enough clay to get any height out of it.  But I should be able to make a few cuts into the outer part.  We'll see.
Double-walled vase in progress, prior to carving

The final one was prompted by one of the other potters today, saying that she was making a jewelry container.  I remembered that I wanted to make a container as a structure to hold some beads / pendants while firing.  I plan to poke some holes in it, and buy some high temperature wire to hang them on.  You'll see.  I guess I didn't take time to snap a photo of the leaf beads/pendants I just sent to the bisque.
Plain cylindrical thrown ceramic container

After 2 hours, I was exhausted from throwing, and spent the remaining 2 hours cleaning up bottoms and edges of some of the platters and bowls I started the past 2 sessions.  I painted the Davidii leaves in one of my bowls, using Green slip.  I think the effect could be pretty good.  It almost looks like just painted the leaves onto the bowl, but the texture of the leaves still shows through.
Handmade ceramic bowl in progress with davidii leaves painted in slip

I should have paused to take a photo of the two rectangular platters I sent to the bisque, decorated by rollers and stamps.  They look really good.  I hope they don't go missing like one of the previous rolled/stamped rectangular platters I sent to the bisque.

The ceramics sessions are great therapy for me.  On one hand, I am continually challenged, and making mistakes, and learning lots.  On the other hand, the creativity and decorating and bringing pieces to life feels so natural for me.  I wish I could spend more and more of my time creating the ceramics.  I guess at some point it would depend on whether I am creating anything which other people would truly enjoy.  So far, I have been quite encouraged by the feedback I have received, so that tells me that it's at least not a waste of my time.

I am still reveling in the sight of my sea dragon on display in the student exhibit.  I have visited her a number of times, including with the family (they were at Shadbolt for music lessons).  She looks so good there :
My ceramic sea dragon / ogopogo on student display at Shadbolt Centre for the Arts
My ceramic sea dragon / ogopogo on display at Shadbolt Center for the Arts

1 comment:

  1. I was wondering whether it was your dragon! It is a really great piece - congratulations!
    My second favorite is your blue lidded box, it is very cute.
    It is interesting to read about your work process, especially when you post pictures. I can relate to what you're describing, and learn something.
    Hope you'll keep writing!