Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The seasons

This task was to make four tiles for the wall with engobe decoration (and to work through the colourt theory). I was interested to play with the form of each season as well. I applyed the colors with a brush and then manipulated it with my fingers so that the clay body is seen under partly. I wasn't so happy with the final look; when I desided to put clear glaze to make the colors brighter. The clay base looks wet and too shiny according to my taste. Anyway, I am happy from the different textures and want to try them in bigger scale.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Natural form

In this assignment we needed to go out and find some interesting natural form, a stick, leaf or a berry for example. I picked a tiny flower that I haven't seen in Finland before. Then we drew some scetches, done a realistic version from clay, done an exaggerated version from clay and the final mission was to develope the shape to a useful object. I got a bit tired with this task and just finished it quikly -I needed to stop myself using too much time on each of our first assigments just to get them done. As final piece I done a small single flower vase shape and I still would like to continue on this to develop it to further. The dramatic low sunlight  in the picture makes these lumps of clay look much better as they really are.

Small to large

This task was about pinching and trying to keep the same shape from small to large. The glaze was a suprise for it wasn't exactly like the example (milder greenish) but my eyes have got used to the brighter turquise by now. That teaches me to always do the test pieces first. It was hard to keep the shape as it got bigger. I have done some of the bigger ones several times as my understanding of this technique grew. Still the bigger sizes didn't grow enough upwards. I enjoy this technique for it's rudimental and meditative. I've done these bowls in September and just now I was taking pics in the challenging winter's light. First of all I needed to wait for a sunny day and then for the low sunlight to reach our window and the yard. And as always it was very hard to keep the curious assistant out of the pictures.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Smoke firing

The very first assignment at school was to look under the surface, what we have in our underwater world. We sculpted small figures in freestyle from local red earthenware, bisque fired and smoke fired them in the end.

The pieces were dipped into low fat milk to make the smoke absorb better to the clay. I also left "unmilked" areas and tried burnishing on some of the pieces. The results were very good and even leatherlike (that might not show so well in the pics). This primitive technique produses unique and mystical pieces. Smoke fired pots will not hold water because the clay stays porous, so it's best for decorative uses.