Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I have not only been away from my blog for ages, but I have also been out of the studio for just as long. I haven't made any new work since before the cruise back over a month ago. My last post made it very clear that I was truly frustrated with not only my current work, but also glazes, firing, etc. I started doing something that I hadn't done in a long time--sketching! I started having ideas for new pots again, and it was like starting all over! The break will probably be good for me--it forced me to rethink what I had been doing with my work. Don't laugh at my sketches, but I thought that it might be nice to see where my work is coming from. I'm going to try to make all of the pieces that I have been sketching. As always, they get changed a little through the process, but the cups I made over the past two days have been pretty similar.
I found myself thinking not just about pots, but what I wanted my pots to represent; what style I wanted to represent my work and myself. I think that I had always wanted to do what many other studio potters are doing, imparting a loose quality to my work--a organic feel that really gives pots emotion. I am sad to say that I just don't think thats my style. Haha. I am just so drawn to clean lines and deliberate movements. Don't get me wrong, I don't want my pots to look machine made, but I also don't want them to have the loose quality that is such a staple of modern functional ceramics.
I still haven't solved my glazing crisis. I am working on getting my crap together to build my converted kiln. I finally got a book on burner building. I toyed with the idea of buying one of the conversion burner kits, but I really would like to do the whole thing myself. Kinda like a big experiment. (Hope I don't blow myself up) I'm going tomorrow to my ceramic supplier and I may pick up the kiln shell then. I am just about out of clay again. I think I might pick up some cone 10 stoneware to mess around with.
I made my first relatively successful attempt at faceting a pot tonight. I found that it is really critical to get the clay at just the right consistency. Too soft and it sticks to the cheese slicer, too hard and it just won't cut. It was fun, and I know that I'll do a lot of it in the future.
I also started carving a little bit in a few of these pieces. My wife Lindsay asked me to do it, and I think it worked out nicely. I was just going to get some iron oxide and brush it on in a similar pattern, or make some black slip, but the indentation will be nice. I may do an iron oxide wash in there and then glaze over that.
Anyways, I'm getting a little long winded, so I think I'll leave it at that.