Friday, January 15, 2010
Sketches and Plans
Everything I took to Clay Mix to be bisque fired last week came out just fine including the one sculpture which was a test piece. I wasn't sure the sculpture could survive the trip to the studio and the firing. All of the seams held. Now I feel confident to make more of this particular piece refining the design. I didn't put it through the final firing since it was a rough test example. I'll have to wait till we move to the next place in our travels because the piece is too fragile to travel in it's green state. I also took the other sculpture where I am attempting to reproduce the moon craters to Potter's Studio to be fired along with the other cone 4 work. I've got my fingers crossed hoping I get more moon craters.
While I was at Clay Mix I saw the contemporary ceramics exhibit of Tiffany Schmierer. I learned that Tiffany uses a cone 10 sculpture clay which she fires to cone 1. I was amazed to learn she fires her sculptures as one piece. Over the last several years my work has been leaning more towards sculpture and I feel I need to push myself to take more risks when working along those lines. I also ran into Una Mjurka whose sculpture work I also admire.
Two weeks ago I ran out of clay. Gary kept trying to convince me to wait to get more clay till we move to a new location. I really tried waiting. I read books about ceramics and I made lots and lots of sketches. But I realized I wasn't satisfied to just read and sketch, I need to keep working with clay. So I picked up three 25 pound bags of cone 5/6 clay yesterday. Since we are in our RV I can only work with a few bags at a time due to weight constraints. I got more Texas White stoneware, a rich red clay called Navajo Wheel, and a warm yellow/tan clay called Sculpture 50. I'd like to try sgraffito with a few of my sketches especially the cat sketch above.
Yesterday and today I was back at Clay Mix glazing my work and I ran into Craig Easter who teaches classes there. We had a nice discussion about high fire ceramics. As I was driving back I realized I miss having someone to talk with about ceramics. I look forward to finding a new place too set up my studio. I hope I can find a place where I can be close to a community studio and I can join a ceramics group or club. I am lucky to have a blog where I have connected with so many potters around the world, but I would also like to talk with folks in person too.
Since I'm in an RV I thought I'd make pieces with a low center of gravity so they won't tip over easily. I wonder if there's such a thing as a rack where tiles can be stacked to be fired? I know I've seen plate stackers but I'm not sure where. If you know where I can find such a rack, please let me know.
Today is Gary's last day at work and next week we're finally heading out on our travels. The weather predicts four inches of rain on the valley floor and more than two feet of snow in the mountains next week, so we may be delayed a bit. Needless to say we will be taking the Southern route in our travels. Come back again to see where our travels take us next. Comments and suggestions are welcome.