Friday, October 15, 2010
A Thousand Dots
The other night I was almost out of terra cotta clay I've been using for some architectural and sculptural pieces. It was late so I decided to make a quick vase. I used a texture cloth, made a vase about 11 x 5 inches, and started to clean up.
After I made the vase, though, I thought it wouldn't take me long to add a coil down the joining seam. Then I decided it needed some cross pieces to make it look like it was a coat or cloak opening. Then I added a coil at the top and bottom of the vase. I was finally finished with the vase and I started putting away my tools.
As I was looking at the texture of the vines and flowers on the vase I thought just a little color would be good. So I painted some blue stained slip on the flowers. After I added the blue I thought to myself, those flowers look good, but the blue is rather stark all by itself. I should add another color.
So I added some orange which doesn't look very orange in the photo. Hope it fires a nice color. Dip, dip, dipping my paint brush in the colored slip, over and over again, minutes turned into an hour, and more. Applying dots, dots, and more dots onto the clay.
Then there were a few textures which I thought could use some definition so I added lavender. That was just what it needed, and I was finally done. But then I'm thinking what about the leaves, they're so bare, compared to all the rest of the texture. I had no green mixed up, so I mixed up a small amount of green slip.
Late into the night I was wondering what I had done, I'd made a vase which "told me" what it wanted, a thousand dots of color. I was thinking I know I'll never make one of these again. As I put all my slip colors away I thought about how pieces I make often turn out completely different than I originally intend them.
The simple vase I thought I was going to make evolved into a multicolored, almost Moravian or redware mosaic style vase of a thousand dots. Well, maybe not a thousand dots, but at least hundreds of slip dots applied over and over again. This morning I was thinking, wouldn't the inside of a bowl look good with this same type of slipped dot design. I guess there's really no hope for me, a thousand dots must have mesmerized me.