Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Toltec Transformation

Sometimes I have absolutely no control over what happens in the studio. This was supposed to be a pedestal bowl but became a Toltec Transformation, a sort of Toltec god. The upper portion is two sides sandwiched together, the pedestal is four sides. Please keep reading to see how this happened and to see the other Toltec god.

This morning I made some sketches of various forms a couple for more pedestal bowls. Then I went outside and uncovered a few plants because of the freezing temperatures we had last night. Tonight is supposed to get down to 18 F so they'll be covered again. When I came back in I made a cardboard template for the bowl on the lower right. It seems to have an art deco style to it. Then I noticed the sprigs I sketched look like a face, interesting.

I rolled out a couple of slabs of clay, cut out the pieces for the pedestal and bowl and set them aside to firm up. I made the pedestal base without a lot of effort, attached it's sprigs, and set it aside to firm up while I worked on the bowl. I already had the pieces of the bowl cut out, sprigs attached, and was letting them firm up. I tried for a couple of  hours to get the bowl sections to stay together. You'd think after all these years of hand building I'd be able to accomplish this, but they kept falling apart and going askew. I finally gave up. I hated to waste the bowl pieces and what was I going to do with the base? I decided to put two sides together and attach them to the base, that's the first photo.

Next time I think I'll make a cardboard form to lay the bowl sections against while I attach them together. Oh gee I need to get some of that roofing tar paper to use. I keep forgetting to get some when I go to the lumber yard. Now that I examine the bowl sections, the bowl has sharp angles and the bottom may be too narrow. I can think about that the next time I make (try to make) this pedestal bowl.

Here's the second two bowl sections sandwiched together and made into a, not sure what, but the toothpicks will be replaced with some feathers and the bottom has a hole to set a dowel or pin in. The piece is probably too heavy to be supported by one dowel. Will have to think about it. Perhaps some reading about the Toltec Civilization will give me some ideas.

If you like lava glazes have a look here at the End of History blog to see some great examples.  Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. 18 degrees in Florida?? Mercy. I was feeling abused with our 16 but ours is more seasonal than yours.
    Warm up soon.

  2. Not having that overt control can be freeing. Stream of consciousness molding...

  3. Love the way you went with the flow and found a new pot out of what was not working. You may be heading down a new creative path.

    8 degrees when I got up a 5:30 this morning....certainly not the coldest we've ever had.....supposed to warm up over the next few days. It has been mild this winter.....I don't think we've used more than a quarter of a cord.

    Hope your health is continuing to improve.....stay warm.

  4. 25 degrees in Seagrove this morning... 18 is way to cold for Florida!
    sometime when two pieces won't stay together it is because they both need a little more moisture between them. good for you, turning it into something else, i usually just get mad and throw it in the scrap bucket ;-)

  5. Hi Patti, thanks, yep and cold again this am, tomorrow supposed to warm up again.

    Hi Mary, thanks, it is freeing, but I tried like heck this time to control it, perhaps a little too hard and the clay fought back and won. Ha.

    Hi Suzi, thanks, I think the new paths are too many, hard for me to stay focused, but I am going to try like heck this year to do so.

    Hi Michele, thanks, I normally work with soft slabs and this time I let them firm up and perhaps they were too firm. next time I'll get some of that roofing paper to help me out or a thick cardboard template, this form sloped quite a bit and just didn't want to go together. the harder I tried the worse it got, Gary said I was cussing up a storm, Ha. I almost crumpled it, but then what was I going to do with that pedestal base? Ha.


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