Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Geometry and Clay

sketch of ringed petal vase and floral wall hanging
I have set a goal for myself of making one new form a day. I have lots of ideas in my head and think, "Oh, I'll make that some day in the future". Then, sometimes those ideas are long forgotten. So I am sketching my ideas and trying to construct as many as I can.

The ringed petal vase is one such idea. My idea was to hand build a vase with sides gathered up by a ring of contrasting clay - what I would call a ringed petal vase. There would be slits in the sides where light would flow through. The top view drawing of the vase gave me another idea of making a wall hanging of a flower. I'll save that idea for another day.

red stoneware petal bowl
While I was rolling out the red stoneware clay I was wondering how to hold up the sides till I could get the ring around the top. I gathered together some soft material and extra pieces of clay to use as props. As I was constructing the vase I could see after I cut the clay, that the sides of the vase wouldn't be long enough to gather and be held with the ring I had envisioned. So the ringed petal vase became a petal bowl.

As I've been drawing my ideas and then trying to construct them, I see I need to brush up on my geometry. I can visualize the ideas and draw them, but transferring my idea to clay is proving to be a challenge for me. And I love a challenge. Some geometry tools might come in useful, such as a compass. Perhaps some geometric templates would be helpful as well - circles, triangles, squares, rectangles and maybe even a trapezoid. Some of the patterns I have been cutting out of paper remind me of when I used to make quilts and used templates to cut my material. I might have to dig out some of my quilting templates and use them with clay.

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I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment