Thursday, April 26, 2012

Slippery Slope

Here is the finished piece, "Slippery Slope" which is composed of hand built ceramic and wood, 17"h x 10.5"w x 13"d.  It is based on the slant step, that mysterious object discovered in the '60s by William Wiley and Bruce Nauman which was passed amongst Bay Area artists and across the country.  I've made it into double step "rapids" as a statement about the precariousness of life.

Friday, April 13, 2012

tall pots squashed

4 hand built pots, tallest 24" h

another view

mangled pots

another view

3rd view
In hand building this series of pots in large format, I wanted to make a comparison with the smaller wheel thrown groupings.  Is bigger necessarily better? Is the metaphor of the body stronger?  My previous series of Wedgwood vessels were also hand built large, but they were individualized and thematically presented, as well as run over with tire tread.  These have been hand altered, mashed together with finger and hand prints evident.  There is something that reminds me of Gustin in the arrangement and folds.  It takes several days and quite a bit of effort to build them and only minutes to mash. There is no going back!  It is heavy altogether.  Once the clay is a little harder, I'll try to reduce the weight by removing clay where not visible from underneath.  Although I could eventually build taller and longer, this grouping is about as wide as my largest kiln. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

first round of color – "slippery slope"

clay swan with inflated model on right
The surface of the slant step is to appear like linoleum and the side panels will have wood veneer. The swan will dangle over the top, held by a metal pin.

Monday, April 9, 2012

high fire re-fire results

high fire, cone 8

detail high fire

detail high fire

full overhead view high fire

before image, cone 04-05

I am very excited about the results of this re-fire.  Jim Melchert suggested I intentionally try to get my work to slump in the kiln by over firing the clay body above its maturation temperature.  This is one of the works from my first squashed pot series.  It had already been sent back through a few more times because I wasn't comfortable with the original pink glaze.  I had put several layers of pink underglaze and re-fired it as I had done with the dusty blue squashed pot piece.  Where as that result was an interesting mat finish, the pink had turned elephant-like in texture and extremely ugly.  Ugly isn't necessarily bad, but it was in this case.  So, I decided to fire the pink piece at cone 8, expecting it to alter the glaze and slump.  Although it doesn't seem to have significantly changed the shape besides developing some cracks, I really like how the glaze looks like skin ready to shed.  The interior glaze also changed from metallic black to green/brown which is fine; actually more body like.  I generally prefer to keep to low fire with my work because I am trying to be more ecologically minded (why fire higher if it uses more energy, time, and resources) but this is definitely worth exploring further! 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

April work in progress

"Slippery Slope" - slant step piece

another view

5 pieces in progress

another view

larger work in progress

another view

still building this one

another view of work in progress
The swan on "slippery slope" is my take on the slant step, a nonsensical object that was passed around by artists in the 60's (including Wiley, Nauman, and Allan) which lead to many interpretations of its meaning.  The other forms are pieces for my installation that represent abstracted tongues of fire or waves.