Sunday, December 11, 2011
Here's a bird's eye view of what it looks like when I start to make a piece. Yesterday morning my cat, Betty, was my studio mate. I've put the blue towel in the window sill because it's a place my cats like to sun themselves in winter, since the window faces South. Betty kept me company until I started rolling out the clay. Then she decided I was making too much noise and getting a little too close for comfort with the rolling pin. I think she may be part Maine Coon cat because she has those tufts of fur between the pads on the undersides of her feet. Betty's about twelve years old now. As I sit here typing she's sitting on the top back of my computer chair, eventually she'll move to the towel I have beside the keyboard. I tried rolling the clay slab on an old sheet, but finally discarded the sheet in favor of the fiberboard. I started using fiberboard when I made work while living and traveling across the country in an RV and it's become a habit now.
Here's the next shrine, niche, or alcove (whatever they may be named) in process. This one's about 13 inches tall by 6 inches wide, taller than the last one but same depth. I can't make these fast enough for the ideas coming out of my head. The colors may seem somewhat dull here, but it took hours to blend the subtle colors of slip on the background. I started brushing with light gray, then overlapped swirls of dark gray, then some lavender, some turquoise, some red, and some dark purple. I did a little blending with my finger tips too. I was envisioning a winter sky. You know how the sky gets a low hanging gray color as an indication of impending snow.
Not sure how these overlapped colors will turn out, we shall see. The outside top and sides are faded black and brown blended together like a rough and worn wooden surface. I see the bottom is a little askew, I'll have to fix that. I want these to sit on a shelf or hang on the wall so I need the bottom to be flat. I'm having a terrible time with the humidity. I used to work in the dry air of California; here, even inside it's humid. Of course the wet clay drying in the closets adds to that.
Here's the second tree shrine. I've done more refining since this photo. The overall look is moody which is the feeling I wanted to capture this time. This tree has more branches and yes my 'signature' roots are on the bottom. What a hoot, as if I have a signature or trademark, but who knows maybe these will be it. The grass growing on the ground has turned brown due to the cold winter air. Still thinking about the moon Teresa suggested. I'll make the next piece wider, not as tall, and perhaps a different style roof. Thanks for reading and for all your comments and encouragement.