Experiments with Clay
Week 2 of the residency was the beginning of my sculptural explorations. I wanted to explore the idea of building functional sculptures inspired by my illustration concepts, so I spent this week experimenting with clay. Growing up, I was always making things with my hands, and clay was something my mother would buy for me to sculpt with. The last time I sculpted anything with clay was about 3 or 4 years ago and I was very excited to use this time to work with it again, and learn more about ceramics.
During the first week, Annalee introduced me to Juliana Innis, a local Artist. Juliana gave me many tips, sharing information about her own work and firing technique, as well as information about mixing glazes.
Over the weekend I bought some local clay. I spent the first day brainstorming, sketching ideas, and doing research. In The Colleen Lewis Reading Room, I found two very interesting books on ceramics. One called Japanese Ceramics Today, which had a lot of interesting information and images; and the second book, Handbuilt Ceramics, included techniques such as pinching and coiling.
When I started sculpting, I had an idea of what I wanted to make based on my sketches. I worked through the initial uncertainty, and enjoyed the process and the exploration. As I continued working, the initial idea evolved.
The first finished piece is a vase.
I’ve started a second piece, and I’m excited to see what the finished product will look like.
On Saturday, I went on a family excursion to Chalky Mount, St. Andrew, where we had the opportunity to meet the potter John Springer. John spoke about our local clay, and demonstrated the use of the potter’s wheel. He also showed us his kiln, and explained how it functioned.
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