Sunday, May 11, 2008

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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