This week we began working on our new project, which has already undergone some changes. Originally our last project was a multimedia project about memory, but now we are introducing the raku kiln and firing experience. Our class cleared out the outside kilns and finished piecing together our raku kiln so that it is now usable. This firing is unlike anything I have ever done before and it is really exciting.
So for this project we don’t really have any set standards but we need to make at least twenty items to go through this process. Preferably these are objects that we don’t spend too much time on as this is a very quick process and has potential hazards for the survival of the firing.
I have decided to connect this project with one that I am doing for my graphic design class, where I am creating a company that produces pug themed items. This is a project that I am starting myself and will actually be trying to sell these items and create a name for this business. So I thought it would be interesting to try and mass produce a bunch of vases, flower pots, and piggy banks to undergo the raku firing for this project. I am really interested in the effects of the glazing in this firing technique and can’t wait to see how they turn out.
I have began throwing a few items on the wheel, and the images shown are some pieces that I have thrown so far as well as sketches of what I’d like them to become.
This week I have been refining all my sewing tools for my toymaker still life. I am officially done with this technique and am ready to move on to wood carving. I finished putting on the limbs of my teddy bear and purposely left off one of the arms. I plan to have the pieces of fabric cut out as if ready to be sewn together. I would also like to make some templates with the different body parts to be set out as well.
I created three clay blocks that are drying right now so that I can carve them out and make them look as if they really are carved from wood. I plan on making trains that will hook together. I also have an idea to make the wheels actually functional, but we will see if that actually turns out or not. I also created the handle of a hammer to go with the wood carving tools. I plan to create 3-5 wood carving tools.
I also bought a table this week to act as a base for my still life. It is very worn down and old, ideal for an old workspace. It is currently painted crackly lime green, hot pink, and maroon. The colors look awful but the table itself was perfect so I’m going to sand it down and put some white paint on it and hopefully I can wear it back down to look like it’s been through a lot of use.
This week we began working on our Still life projects. In this project we have to select a trade and make the tools associated with that job. I chose toymaker and decided to focus on two techniques within that trade: wooden toys and sewing.
This week I have created 8 sewing needles that I tried to make as life size as possible, scissors, a spool of thread, and a thimble. Along with the tools I would like to make some toys that represent each trade to be placed in this still life to make it more interesting. I have already begun working on a teddy bear that I want to be incomplete, so on the torso it will not be all the way seamed together. This will allow the inside to be visible and I plan on placing stuffing inside once it has been fired and glazed.
I plan on making a wooden-like toy out of clay. What I would like to do is let a block of clay dry out a bit and then carve into it to make it look as closely to a wooden toy as possible. I also have been wanting to try this reduction process in ceramics for a while and found this the perfect opportunity for it.
This week our class finished up our Again Project. I worked all week on finishing up my third and final hedgehog in my nesting doll series. There are a few concerns with the hedgehogs such as the different drying rates. I made the smallest one first and therefore it is much further along in the drying process than the others. As of now it is not too great of a problem as I can fit the inside each other for now but once the others begin to shrink, there will be problems. I have carved out as much as I can in each hedgehog to get the best fit but I’m not sure that will be enough. Also, thinking about glazes for the hedgehogs, I really like the idea of keeping them the white of the clay and just putting a clear coat on it. With that or some pastel colors.
We began thinking about our next project this week as well. This one is a still life project where we have to create a still life of the tools belonging to a specific trade. The trade that I chose was toy making. Off the top of my head I can think of two types of toy makers, those who make wooden toys and those who make stiffed animals. I would like to incorporate both techniques in my piece. Along with the tools I would also like to make toys to go with them. I like the idea of carving into clay and making it look like a wood carved toy. Reduction is a process I’ve been wanting to try in ceramics for a while. I also would like to make a teddy bear that is still in the process of production where he is not yet seamed together all the way so that the viewer can look inside and see the stuffing and even the thread.