Sunday, July 24, 2011

One month's progress

It's been almost four weeks since my return from the first residency.  There never seems to be enough time for work and reading.  I'm teaching 5 days a week including Monday's from noon until 9 pm but my schedule will lighten up towards the end of August.  It is difficult to squeeze more into my already packed day but I am managing to make progress.

I started building a new large piece which although is not a complete departure, I am adding other materials (mirror and crochet) and expect to explore new glaze surfaces as well.  It is composed of a large grandmother's style tea cup which I searched antique and thrift stores for, and inflatable swans.  Originally it was going to have an adult swan floating on a mirror within the cup but I decided to knock the cup over and have the swan upside down with a turned neck, and a cygnet 'swimming' away from the cup.  All but the small swan has been constructed but fine detail work is still needed.  It will be a challenge to get the mirror to fit into the sides of the cup because it is not a perfect shape.  The original cardboard piece I made as a placeholder for the mirror lost it's structure from the moisture of the clay so I bought a piece of plexiglass which I hope won't be too difficult to cut and fit after the cup has shrunk in firing. After seeing the Impressionist shows at the Crocker Art Museum, I'm thinking about lining the inside of the cup with (glazed) clouds or shoreline.  There will be glaze tests ahead and I may try decals or China paint for the cup but expect to use underglaze to mimic the inflatables' plastic surface.  I would like to place the cup and swan on a large crocheted doily (which I will have to learn to make!). It has been extremely hot and dry in Davis which has caused some cracking issues with the clay, reminding me of my time at Anderson Ranch. 

Also during this time I made several small abstract forms that seem to flow from the "water" forms of the 'cups runneth' over work which I would like to build on a large scale.  I realize my building technique will have to change from slabs and coils to hollowed forms to accomplish this.  I'll be posting images of the work in progress including macquettes. 

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