This week I began working on my plates and I even started a bowl. My first platter was a flop… The clay dried too quickly on the slump mold and when I pulled it out it had warped upward on the mold. So I had to trash that and start over.
I made a bowl on a slump mold and that worked out successfully as I was able to remove it from its mold by the end of class. I’m still brainstorming how to get the plates to keep their shape and dry.
I currently have two more plates that I have created and I’m hoping to figure out the drying process. Once the vessels are ready to be glazed and decorated, I plan to print off my digital botanical illustrations onto transfer paper with an ink jet printer to easily transfer the illustrations to the surface of the vessels.
This week was the beginning of my last semester here at IUS.
We were introduced to our new classmates on the first day of class and then given our first assignment. We were given a reading called Apologia and required to create a project derived for our thoughts if the reading.
Apologia talks about a man who had a great appreciation for things that were normally passed by on a normal day. He stopped when I came across roadkill and would remove them from the asphalt, to lay in the grass or give them a proper burial. It made him angry when he noticed people passing my the dead creatures without any remorse.
I thought about things that I have reverence for and decided to create a project illustrating the beauty of nature. I want to make vessels that would be used during gatherings, such as platters and large bowls, that have simple illustrations of plants and their scientific name. Specifically I would like to illustrate weeds that bloom flowers. This way I am illustrating a plant that normally is looked at in a negative aspect, but giving it a chance to be viewed as beautiful. By creating platters and bowls with these illustrations, it would serve as a reminder during gatherings the beauty of nature and how we as humans must be mindful of our actions to keep this world alive and beautiful.
This week we finished up the semester with a final crit. I displayed three of my projects from this semester including Distilling the Complex Form, Response Project, and Choose Your Own Project from Claybucket. My Distilling the Complex Form project is a bowl that features a succulent plant on the bottom. The balls of clay work together to create a more complex form which is the Burro’s Tail succulent that drapes around the bowl form. The idea of this piece is that it has a dual function. When the bowl is upright it serves as a functional bowl but when places upside down it functions as a decorative sculpture piece.
The second project, the Response project, I chose an article on Breed Specific Legislation which deals with the discrimination of certain dog breeds, such as pit bulls, that are mislabeled as “aggressive.” My response to this article is to make the pit bull that is viewed as scary and intimidating, due to their fighting past, and representing them in a way that is more accurate to their loving personalities, as a cuddly doll.
Finally, I chose the project that Charlyn created that deals with creating a multi media piece that deals with a childhood memory. So going along with this new process of doll making that I have discovered, I decided to take the dogs even farther by bringing a more personal touch to it. So I created two dolls modeled after two dogs that I have owned and have passed away, Izzy a pug and Clementine a beagle. The faces and legs are made from ceramic and the body is fabric that I have sewn together to create the body forms. The color is created by using diluted acrylic paints.
This week I finished up on the ceramic part of this project. I completed two pit bull dog dolls that will eventually be painted, have eyes, and have a fabric body. Again, the idea of this project is to take a dog breed that is feared as aggressive and depict it in a way that is more friendly and true to their real personalities.
For this next project, I really love the idea of making dolls and I wanted to continue this process and see how I can grow. I want to choose a mixed media project that combines with memories and I decided to make dolls of dogs that I have had in the past. I recently went through the loss of one of my dogs and it was a really hard time for me. That is the second dog I lost in the past two years. So I want to sort of commemorate them with dolls of their own.
This week I began working on a second pit bull doll. This time I took the style of the breed that is often viewed as aggressive and tried to create a less intimidating face by creating it into a doll. This look includes the pointed ears. I still need to make the accompanying arms and legs for this mask as well as add the fur texture.
I also included a sketch to help visualize what I have in mind as far as the structure of these dolls.
This week we began our next project where we had to find an article and respond to it. I chose an article by the Huffington Post about pit bulls and why Breed Specific Legislation doesn’t work. Pit bulls are misjudged on their personality based on stereotypes that they are all aggressive.
As a response, I will be making multimedia pit bull dolls. By representing them as a children’s toy they show their true loving personality. The face and arms will be made of ceramics while the body will be fabric. Also, I will be using doll eyes to give them some life.
This week I think I have made enough succulent strands to drape over my largest bowl. I now need to throw the bowl on the wheel along with two other smaller bowls to make a set. Then I need to make 6 more succulent strands to place on the smaller bowls, but they will be on a smaller scale than the others to appear that they are just sprouting.
As far as color, I would like to cover the bowls in a black slip to create a contrast with the plants. I would like to leave the outer bowl surface a rough matte black surface to contrast a slick green glaze on the plants. Upon looking at the glazes at IUS, I think I will go with the Rutile Green glaze.
This week I continued to work on my succulents bowl. These strands of the plant are taking me a lot longer to make than I originally thought. I planned on making many bowls but I think now I will set my goal at a set of three, with one big one and two small ones.
I also wanted to create the bowls from a drape mold but realized I wasn’t as big of a fan of that process as I though I would be… So instead I will be throwing the bowls on the wheel.
Right now my biggest struggle is making sure everything stays wet so that the attaching process will go smoothly. I currently have 6 strands made and plan on making a few more to make the plant look whole. Then I will throw the bowl they will be attached to. For the two smaller bowls in the set, I plan on making them look like succulents that are still young and haven’t quite draped over yet. I will make three strands to be placed on these two bowls.
This week we have begun a project called distilling the come for. For this project we are challenged to create a form using the repetition of a shape. I really enjoyed the results of my previous project where I created succulents and a cactus out of found objects, and want to carry the same theme into this project.
I decided to create bowls that have dual purposes. On the bottom side of the bowls I will create a succulents arrangement that is created by repetitive shapes. When flipped with the bowl on top the succulents will act as a stand for the bowl. When flipped upside down, the bowl will act as a surface on which the succulents drape over. This gives the piece a dual purpose of both functional and decorative.
We are currently working on a project where we have to find our materials from a public place and put them together without using any electricity. Originally I liked the idea of creating dolls out of random items that I find but…it became difficult finding the different parts that I would need as well as figuring out how to put them all together.
So I decided to change my route. After observing all the junk that I have collected over the past couple weeks, I am now working on creating different potted succulents and cacti. I am satisfied with where my cactus has come and am still trying to work out the links on the succulents. I am hoping to create something that is convincing and requires a double take. Something that is believable so when you see them sitting in a windowsill it makes sense until closer inspection.