Further work in Ceramics Workshop

The Ceramics Workshop has been great – I’ve made some coil pots, a slab pot, pinch pots…they are just not very refined! The students have, as usual, out-shone me. Its been interesting to see what they have made – the idea of the workshop was that we would all make basic pots and then diversify into individual projects. My students are working on the title Small Worlds or their exam title, so one has been making fruit (apples and strawberries, except his strawberries remind me of baby owls), another has been making a bird skeleton, one has just made a series of ice-cream dishes. We had a go at glazing the other day, very difficult to envisage how the end result will look as all of the glazes are varying shades of grey before they are fired. We just have to hope the label on the tub was right and the colour is how we imagined it! Frosted Jade could be…well…hopefully a dusty green! Will try and get pics of them out of the kiln, with any luck they won’t be too embarrassing…

I have also been working on my stone man ideas, made this rather dashing looking gentleman – yes, before anyone else says it, he does look like a slightly gormless, toothless BFG. Made using the same processes (which I remembered to document this time) as my previous figure, I might try casting his face once he has been fired. I don’t think I am going to have a chance to glaze him, but he’s still rather a funny little thing. I find him quite endearing.

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Making bound figure in Ceramics…

I wanted to use the clay to make some figures for my project – I thought that the process of making it and then firing it was quite reflective of the Canto, setting the figure in stone as it were. Here is my first attempt:  First Ceramic Sculpture
I started by sketching roughly what I wanted to achieve and then the tutor suggested the best way to create it was to make a base out of screwed up newspaper and build the clay up around it. The clay has to be hollow to allow for it to fire properly. This created a few difficulties as making a model out of newspaper and masking tape is pretty basic and difficult to get the features accurate. Working the clay around it made my initial design change – it fits into my hand quite neatly and I wanted to utilise the idea that it was created by hand (thinking back to the ideas of judgement in Inferno). As a result of this idea, I didn’t use any carving tools, just my finger nails and hands.
This photo is taken at the green stage, before firing. It should come out in a pale terracotta. The newspaper will completely turn to ashes and leave the figure hollow (there is a little hole in the bottom to shake the ash out).