Sunday, October 25, 2015

Learning from the Masters - Leaf Imprint Vessel

I was again blessed to be able to go into the studio on a Sunday afternoon, and make some more progress on my pieces.  As for the class assignments, I have opted out of most of the recent ones, since I have so much else on the go.  But I intend to come back to a few of the concepts, such as throwing a sake container, and a Bellarmine (aka Bartmann) jug.

I was really surprised that it took more than 2 hours today to stain and glaze my sculptural piece, which is still unnamed.  Here she is, with just black stain applied (sorry for the out-of-focus photo) :
Sculptural clay pottery bust of a Negro woman, in progress.
... and then with red oxide stain applied :
Sculptural clay pottery bust of a Negro woman, in progress, stained.
I was told that my red oxide application may be too thick, so then used a sponge to thin it out...  Now that I think about it, I used red underglaze on her lips, and forgot to glaze them with clear.  Oh darn.  She may even go into the kiln this weekend.  I wanted her to have shiny lips.

Anyhow, I then used the remainder of the drop in session to trim the bottoms of my other pieces, and add a cord to the floppy sack vase :
Recovering from a failed thrown pot by making it look intentional.
Not a bad recovery to a vessel which collapsed while trying to throw the double walls together, what do you think?

All four of the other vessels were still very soft, so it was a bit tricky to trim the feet.  This one was a combination of trimming and throwing (to get that edge), which I was particularly pleased with :

I have brought that vessel home, since I wanted to try a new technique I discovered from a very talented artist, Michele, whose account is @leavesofclay and Etsy shop is here.  Hmmm, her prices are very reasonable, too.  I encourage you to check it out.

Anyhow, I'll start with the almost-finished piece (I will stain it once bisqued) :
Ceramic pottery vessel with leaf imprints, in progress.
What do you think?  I am really loving it.  I will try this again, hopefully even this Fall before I lose my supply of leaves.

It started with a visit to the garden with a flashlight, gathering leaves in the dark.  I chose a viburnum bush, since it had lots of small and medium sized leaves, and I love their deep grooves.  If I had a larger piece, I would have chosen leaves from my Davidii involucrata (dove) tree, but they don't come in small sizes.
Ceramic pottery vessel with leaf imprints, in progress.
I cut off the stems (the part sticking out from the leaf), and pressed them into the leather soft clay with the side of a ballpoint pen.   I tried to overlap them, and cover most of the vessel :
Ceramic pottery vessel with leaves imprint, in progress. which point I got out my rubber tool, and used the round end to make impressions in the clay between the leaves, very quickly realizing that I had better start at the bottom, so I could hold it in a spot which was not poked, and then set it down to finish it :
Ceramic pottery vessel by Lily with leaf imprints, in progress.
..and then I set it down and finished :
Ceramic pottery vessel with leaf imprints, in progress.
It was very pretty at this point, but I really like the effect when the leaves are removed :
Ceramic pottery vessel with leaf imprints, in progress.
I really am quite excited with the outcome, and will be anxious to see the final product.

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