Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Finished pieces: Misc

I have a few pieces that would be each separate categories, so they all go in "misc."

This is a kind of bowl I made in a mold.  I wanted to make a real bowl but when it dried and I took it out of the mold, it balanced strangely on its side.  I decided I liked it anyway and kept that balance/shape in mind when I glazed it.  I really like this piece, but unfortunately something bad happened in the firing and there's a piece of something stuck to the side (I didn't take a picture of this).  So while I think this is one of my best pieces, I wish it didn't have that weird thing stuck to it.  Oh well.  The glaze looks neat :)

The long-awaited Shabbat lamp. :)  I don't know if I'll actually use it as a lamp, but it's neat.

These are the hanging jars.  I once again used the glaze that I thought would show of texture and instead of showing off texture it just glossed over everything.  Bah!  Never using Temoku again!  I think this came out all right but I don't think I would use them, who knows.

This was what I made to fulfill the project: "The Figure."  I like it :)  I made it out of scraps left over from another project, I was just playing around and thought, well this kind of looks like a lady!

I have no idea what this is, I just kind of made it from scraps and kept it.  A lot of the weird things that kind of looked phallic I threw away, but this one I kept.  I don't know how I feel about it.

And that's pretty much all I made this semester!

Finished pieces: Dishes

This next category is called "dishes" but it stands for bowls, plates, things to serve food in, etc.

This is a sort of set of dishes that I made.  They weren't made as a set until I glazed them this way, but I think they came out nicely.  The plate is kind of a stupid plate, it would have been nice but it fell down so now it's more like a hummus plate or a vegetable serving plate.

This was going to be a vase but then the top crumpled.  Instead of folding up the clay and using it again another time, I decided to keep it, and this is what came out.  This was the second instance where I used a Shino glaze and then put another glaze over it (the blue on the crumply section), hoping for weird bubbly reactions, and getting nothing.  It still looks cool, I think.

This is a set of pitchers I made, trying out different glazes to show off the texture.  Obviously the one on the right doesn't show any texture, which sucks because I had made this cool fan design on it.  Oh well.  I love the way the blue one looks.

I made the scratches in this bowl with a weird wire tool pressed against it while I spun it on the wheel.  I don't remember what I did to make the white stripes inside the bowl, I think it was a different Shino glaze (like two different Shino glazes on the bowl).

I'm not overly happy with any of these things, but most of it was made on the wheel and since I am just learning the wheel I guess they are somewhat successful. :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

JewishGal Travel

I will be in Israel soon and mostly without internet so I've created a blog where I will be posting from my phone!

Yes, I know you wanted to add another JewishGal blog to your feed, and I'm happy to fill that void for you!

Story from my Childhood

When I was in 4th grade we did this project where everyone had to do a section of a city.  All 4th graders were going to do the same size section and then we would put it all together and have a massive city.  We were told the dimensions of the base and that we could make whatever we wanted on it out of whatever materials, it just had to be our block of the city.

Conceptually, this is a cool project.

I decided I was going to do my block with no help from my parents.  I also decided I was going to make it only using toothpicks, construction paper, tape and my only tools would be scissors.  Nothing else.  These were all materials I really liked when I was little (especially toothpicks and tape).  I made up new ways of combining toothpicks so that they would be flexible, one way was by stripping down the tape into small strips and individually connecting the toothpicks into a flexible horizontal surface.  I made houses, roads, fences, etc, on my little base that I was allotted.  I was pretty happy with it in the end.

However, when I took it to school I was dismayed.  It was pretty obvious that everyone else had a lot of "help" from their parents.  They made tall skyscrapers out of milk cartons and paper towel rolls, huge apartment buildings with shoeboxes, etc.  And here I had my little neighborhood made out of toothpicks and construction paper.

Not only was mine inferior to the others, but I received a pretty low grade on it.  I can't remember what the grade was or why, but I think I got a C like I didn't put in enough effort.  Except that I had spent hours working on it, coming up with building techniques - and I did it all by myself.

This is kind of how it always was with me in art classes in the lower grades.  One year I had to do a diorama, I think it was 5th grade, and I did mine on The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton.  (I was really into Michael Crichton in 5th and 6th grade)  I made mine out of a wooden cigar box that I had gotten from some carnival, which opened from the top and latched closed.  And inside I made a small town with no people, just a car and some trees and houses with dark windows, and maybe there was one dead person (ha!).  I thought I was being innovative for using something other than a shoebox to house the diorama, that played a part in telling the story (you could latch it closed like the quarantine area) as well as using a book that was by far above the 5th grade level.  I think I might have gotten a B.

I think it wasn't until high school that people understood what I was doing and started to get good grades in art classes.

Class updates!

Two things:

#1: I registered for my summer Intro to Art Therapy class, finally!

#2: I got into my top choice class, Painting/Drawing: Art & Spirituality!

I am ridiculously, stupidly excited for class next year.  Look at my schedule and tell me how awesome it is...

9am - noon: History and Theory of Art Therapy
This course introduces the art therapy student to the field's historical and theoretical aspects. The semester begins with investigations of historical events (e.g., 'outsider art', art education, the history of mental health care) that laid the groundwork for what would develop into the field of art therapy. Topics presented include early pioneers of the field and contemporary theorists who use art in psychotherapy and counseling.
1pm - 4pm: Counseling Techniques
This course addresses the integration of verbal and nonverbal counseling methods within the practice of art therapy. Empathic listening, assessment skills, and treatment planning are emphasized, along with ethical standards and cultural competence.

9am - 4pm: Painting/Drawing: Art & Spirituality
This is a studio course with accompanying lectures working from a basis in the sacred, spiritual, and visionary traditions of art making. Its purpose is to assist and facilitate the students' encounters and explorations of these forms, whether representational or abstract, and to discuss the work created. This course consists of studio work, lectures, visiting artists, students' readings, visual research, journal work, and a final presentation.

9am - noon: Psychopathology
This course presents the central concepts of contemporary mental health diagnosis (DSM-IV). Emphasis is placed on etiology, terminology, and symptom profiles. This material provides art therapy students with a conceptual foundation shared by a variety of medical and mental health practitioners.
1pm - 4pm: Materials & Media in Art Therapy
This course is an examination of the qualities and properties of art materials, media, and processes, and their applications in the context of art therapy. Socially constructed understandings of the significance of materials and media, as well as the relevance of contemporary art practices to art therapy, are investigated through lecture, discussion, and experiential formats.

Every single class sounds interesting to me. :)

I remember looking at some grad programs before I decided on art therapy and there was always at least once class every semester that I didn't want to take.  JUST another confirmation that this is the right place for me.

The only problem I see here is that the Friday class ends kind of late, as there might be conflicts with Shabbat later on in the year.  When it starts getting dark at around 5pm I'm going to want to be home by 4!  I don't think this will be a big problem, though, I'm sure I could leave early if I had to.

Finished pieces: Vases

It's all over, class is done, final critique over, all done done done. I've taken some pictures of my finished pieces, so I'll post them all over the next few days.

Today's theme: Vases.

This vase was made using the coil method, where I made a bunch of little ropes of clay and kept wrapping it around.  After it was finished being constructed I smoothed it out into this.  When I glazed it, I used a white underglaze, did the rim in green and painted on some iron oxide for the brush strokes.

This vase was the first thing I made in this class besides the pinch pots.  I thought I'd lost it for a long time - I thought someone had broken it and didn't leave a note.  But then all of a sudden it showed up again, just in time to be glazed for the final firing.  This was made with one slab of clay rolled out and then pinched together in the middle.

This vase was the last thing I made in the class and I think it might be the best vase.  I like the design of it, how it is balanced with the wing.  It was glazed with all one glaze except for a stripe of iron oxide on the wing (which you can't really see in this light) but came out different colors, which is interesting, too.

This vase is my self portrait piece.  I think it came out reasonably well.  I didn't have a way of illustrating the nose ring so at the last minute I grabbed a shower curtain ring from the bathroom and brought it with me to class for the final critique.  I used two different Shino glazes but you can't really see it (one glaze was dripped on the rim, you can kind of see drip marks).

This vase had a lot of subtle texture on it that was lost when I glazed it with a glaze I was told would show off texture (I am pretty annoyed with it, without the texture it looks blah, like a boring pencil holder).  I'm displaying it with a random piece I made out of a scrap of clay, glazed with the same glaze.  I actually really like how that turned out haha.

This vase broke right before I glazed it but I was like, whatever, I am going to fire it anyway.  I used the same glaze as the wing vase above - you can see how this glaze kind of just does whatever it wants.

I think my work was obviously a huge step below most of the rest of the class.  Most people only produced 5-7 objects the whole semester but I kept on making new pieces instead of spending a lot of time on a few due to my impatient nature and my lack of confidence in three-dimensional construction abilities.  I say this without any hint of sadness, because I can admit that I'm not a sculpture person.  I take pride in my drawing, printmaking and painting skizills, so when I say my ceramics projects were not up to par with the class, I'm just stating my opinion and not complaining (just wanted to make that clear haha).

My strategy of just constantly producing did help me get some experience with the clay that others didn't, I think, because they were so focused on making the few pieces they had look good and I was focused on figuring out how to make things with clay.  I have done the same thing in every art class, pretty much, just moving quickly from piece to piece and not care too much how anything looks until I get good at the technique.  In my printmaking class my last year of school, I set a goal for myself of doing one completely new print every week on top of my goals of larger prints.  It was good because I learned some new techniques and got some new ideas by forcing myself to just keep producing.

More thoughts in my next post with more finished pieces :)

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