Sunday, September 25, 2016

Dragon Hatchling

The ceramic egg which appeared on my counter a few days ago, hatched yesterday revealing a baby dragon.  She has a very huge head, it is a wonder how she fit in that egg.  :-)  She will be a wonderful companion to my previous dragon hatchlings : this one, and this one.

Dragon Hatchling pottery sculpture by Lily L, in progress.

Dragon Hatchling ceramic / clay sculpture by Lily L, in progress.
So much fun.  I can't wait to finish her.  There are some great raku glazes which would work, but I don't think I'd take a chance carrying her around on tongs.  The soda firing is the next best thing, there is that crackly Cobra glaze (see #10 of this set) which I would love to use on the egg.  But I don't have plans to do another soda firing until March 2017!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Another Egg About to Hatch

I had the pleasure to pass through the Mall today, running errands (renewing my driver's license, etc), and this stone dragon sculpture caught my eye:
It walked around it several times, admiring it from all angles.  In the end, it wasn't the price tag which discouraged me (although $2,500 is a lot to consider), nor the fact that it was so heavy that I couldn't even pick it up, nor even the too-white alabaster horns, which didn't seem to me to fit with the soapstone sculpture.  In the end, I couldn't imagine where I would display such a huge sculpture (22" across).  So I walked away after admiring it, glad that I had at least taken a few photos.

It wasn't until later that I realized that the real reason I should not buy such a thing, is that it would be much more fun to build something like this of my own, out of clay.  I could make it a bit smaller, so I could find a place to display it.  And it would be heavy, but not too heavy to lift.

So I guess that dragon lurked in my subconscious mind, since I suddenly found myself with this large ceramic egg in my hand tonight. 
I suspect it will hatch in the next couple of days, and I suspect it will reveal a dragon inside.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Styrofoam Hump Moulds Weekend Workshop

I am exhausted, but had a wonderful weekend in a workshop with Linda Doherty, building Styrofoam hump moulds, and using them to build ceramic dishes / bowls / platters.

On Saturday, we made a huge pink mess cutting Styrofoam, first with a jigsaw, then using surform tools and sandpaper (and pieces of screen door), to form the moulds.  We were each allowed to make 3 moulds, in 1", 2" and 3" material.  I managed to work quickly and squeeze in a fourth one.

Here they are, at the end of day yesterday :
Hand made styrofoam hump moulds for clay platters / pottery.
You can see that the oval and triangular moulds are 1" thick, the octagonal one is 2" thick (I think that will make some nice serving / dinner plates), and the hexagonal one is 3" thick.  That will be a really deep bowl.

The two smaller moulds, I have covered in pantyhose / nylons, to protect the mould, and make it easier to pull out from inside the clay.  For the bigger ones, I will either need to find bigger pantyhose (or use the body section, not the leg), or just sprinkle with cornstarch when I use them.  Today I just sprinkled with cornstarch.

Today we rolled clay slabs, and tried out our hump moulds.  There would have been enough time for finishing two of them, but most of us started three, and didn't finish them all.  I was very happy to finish this serving platter, with a dragon scale / fish scale pattern to it :
Dragon scale serving dish created from my handmade styrofoam hump mould.
I'm very happy with the handles, which my friend Teena helped me make, as she could see I was panicking with only 10 minutes left in the class.  I hope the top one in the photo is not as off center as it appears in the photo. 

Here is the platter from the bottom :
Bottom of oval serving platter in clay / pottery.
I like the foot, I thick it looks pretty clean.  I didn't have time to cut out a divet on each side, so I may do so next time I'm at Shadbolt, if it's not too dry already.

The other two platters, I still need to add an extruded rim (or at least clean up the edge, if I decide not to add a rim).  Here they are from the back :
Ceramic serving dishes formed over styrofoam hump moulds, in progress.
I am really happy how those extruded feet worked out.  Very sharp looking, in my opinion, and it will make it easier to get one's hands underneath to lift it.

I don't have a photo of the inside/top, since I haven't flipped them over yet.  That will be on next visit.  But both will be textured inside, something like this :
Textured clay slab, many of the stamps my very own creation.
I can't wait until I can finish them.  And I look forward to trying out my very deep hexagonal mould, although I can see that this one may be quite hard to wrap the clay onto, if I start with a flat slab.  We'll see.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Masks on Display - At Home At Least

After cluttering our dining room table for too long, we finally hung the first 3 finished masks this weekend.

The two green men / leaf masks are hanging in our covered deck, where I can see them while eating breakfast, but they are under the protection of the overhang.  So they should rarely encounter any rain.  Wind may be a different story, but they are fairly heavy, so hopefully that should never be a problem.
Bob Kingsmill inspired pottery green man masks by Lily L.
And from a couple other angles :
Bob Kingsmill inspired pottery green man masks by Lily L.

Bob Kingsmill inspired pottery green man masks by Lily L.

The first dragon mask is in our family room, above the fireplace where I have my dragon collection :
Bob Kingsmill inspired pottery dragon mask by Lily L.
It looks surprisingly small on that wall.  We hung it to one side, to allow for the second mask to be hung beside it.  And I think there is lots of room for 2 more above those, in case I ever want to make more.  Just in case.