Monday, September 28, 2015

At It Again - This Time a Sculptural Piece

I couldn't wait until Wednesday to do my trimming and piercing of the piece I started last week.  Tonight I got my hands into some leftover sculptural clay I had in the garage, and started to play.  The fun thing about still being a newbie to pottery, but being fairly confident in my abilities, is that I will attempt anything, not knowing how difficult it could possibly be.  Then I'm pretty determined, so once I realize how difficult it is, I can't stop until I conquer it.

Recently I have been inspired by the sculptural works of John Brien, "jbrien145" on Instagram.  Look at this beauty:
I normally wouldn't know where to start on something like this, but one of his comments indicated that he usually built these from coils.  I'm never even built a coil pot before, but I figured, how hard could this be?  So I started to build a sculpture of my own tonight.

To this point, it was going fairly well.  I found that instead of adding coils, I was adding sections of clay which I had flattened with my fist, and then tried very hard to smooth out the seams from the inside and the outside :
I could start to see the shape emerging, just needed to work my way into the neck and head :
At this point, it became less clear how I was going to be able to add the head...  But I made an attempt anyhow :
But I could see that the weight of the head was going to collapse the neck, no matter what I tried...  How would John Brien do it?  Would he stuff it with paper for support?  Or would he let the base dry a bit before adding more coils?  At this point, I wished I had at least watched  a YouTube demo of someone creating a sculptural bust.  I could tell that the neck was going to be the tricky part, so I cut it back to where it felt self-supporting :
I think I will let that base firm up a bit, and separately I'll create a head from sections or using a pinch-pot technique (again, don't have much experience with that, but at least know the concept), and then once both pieces are a bit more firm, try to attach them.  Problem is that I won't be able to get my hands inside at that point, to properly smooth the clay inside, so I'll use more of a slip-and-score attachment.

For now, I've laid a moist paper towel along the rim of the neck, so it won't dry out too much, and have draped plastic over the whole thing.  It's late, so I'll get back to playing tomorrow night or the following.  Wish me luck!

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