Monday, June 27, 2016

Bob Kingsmill Workshop

I had the joy of attending a workshop this past weekend (Sat & Sun) taught by Bob Kingsmill, a delightful BC potter known for his masks and murals.  He opened the workshop by banging together this wonderful whimsical mask before our eyes:

Then it was our turn.  I managed to make an attractive tree person:
I am very pleased with the result.  The piece will be stained and fired, and will end up in beautiful brown tones.

Bob went on to bang together a beautiful and very large bowl :

It will turn out something like this one when stained, glazed and fired :

I was excited to make one of these large bowls on Sunday, and collected a number of inspirational quotes on Saturday night, but then Sunday morning, Bob demonstrated what he calls a "Norwegian chicken wing delivery system" (a sort of Viking ship shaped bowl with decorative ends).  Bob's bowl featured chicken heads on each end :

I decided that I'm more of a dragon person, so made a dragon bowl, with dragon head on one end :
...and a dragon tail (albeit a short one) at the other end :

Here is the whole bowl.  You may be able to see the scaly texture inside :

I really wanted to make a big bowl, but felt short on time, so pulled together another mask, not too different than the first one, but not quite as tree-like :

Here are both masks, outside drying :
I'm really pleased with the results, and I loved the yellowish clay, called "Little John".  I ended up with a second bag which I didn't open, so I feel another mask or sculpture coming on, some day when I have time...

Here are a few masks of my fellow students, in progress.  I hope we can get better "group photos" when they're all done.

At the end of the class, Bob asked us all to contribute a small sculptural piece, which he combined together into another mural piece, which became a gift for my Shadbolt instructor, Jay (photos credit to my friend Mariana) :
On this side, I contributed the nautilus / seashell on the left (the horse-like creature on top middle was from Mariana).
On this side, I contributed the climbing frog on the left, and the funny hedgehog on the right (I tried to contribute as many as I could, since a few other people were too busy finishing up to contribute a piece, and I wanted it to look like we had full class participation).

What a weekend!  I can't wait to get back into the studio, to tidy up the pieces (cutting clay from some of the thicker areas, from the back of the mask, to lighten it up), and get them into the bisque firing.  I hope my dragon piece will not lose a head or tail.  I tried to reinforce them well, but it still seems a bit open to chance, for the outcome.

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