It might be difficult to understand how I got to where I am now. It might be as far from ceramics as you can get without stepping out of the realm of art. Its my fist experience as an artist commissioned to do a piece, but this piece was something I had done on a smaller scale. I’m talking about the theater. It all started my junior year of high school. I was waiting for classes to start when a friend of mina approached me with a proposal. His theater group needed a mural done and fast, there would be compensation. Of course the thought of money intrigued me so I accepted the offer without thinking about what I had to do. He came up to me the day after with instructions on how to get to his theater. When I got there the troupe was rehearsing their lines on the stage and the band members were going over their music. The director approached me and said “you’re the artist right?” to which I gladly responded “yes”. So he led me into the scenic shop where all the equipment was, and in the back of this warehouse-like place there was a giant 12 foot tall book made of foam with 3 pages in it also made of foam. The director began to explain what had to be done. As he told me the details I began to regret agreeing to this deal but I had already committed so I guess I had to do it. I had to paint 4 murals one for each page spread of the giant book. The play was Seussical the Musical and I had to recreate 4 different scenes from the Dr. Seuss stories and only 2 weeks to do it. Thankfully I had a crew to help me but they were as skilled in art as a blind man running a gauntlet. The book still had wet paint when the play opened for the first night of performances. Soon after my high school drama teacher (who was married to my ceramics teacher) drafted me into her drama program where I built many sets, it’s because of her and her husband that I am here. They taught me how to speak to college reps and fill out paperwork, and it’s because of them that I stuck to art as a focus in my life.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Altering pots is my thing. I throw them, trim them, and then soak it down before i do the altering. I roughly shape my vessel through altering when the clay is wet. When i alter i press and pull in broad motions. When i dart, i make sure the lines are straight, or curve at the same angles when i cut. it is import to dart at a wet stage, and build support underneath after i slip and score them back together. When my clay reaches leather hard, i begin adding on slabs and define the edges; taper in or out, round or sharp edges, thick edge to thin, most of my playing and problem solving takes place in the leather hard stage. My favorite tool is the rasp; i use it to obtain continuous curves, metal ribs to sharpen the edges, and then rubber ribs to clean up the surfaces.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
In studio I have been working with mono-printing in clay. I start out with a blank plaster slab and add various under-glazes and slips. I then use a glaze pencil to add drawing elements. I also add oxides and pieces of clay to add more depth. Finally I pour slip over the plaster slab and wait for it become leather hard. In result all the components are printed on to the dried slip layer. Here is a slide show of the entire process.
This semester I have been working on a series of high relief figurative wall tiles. These are more or less life size (big and heavy) and meant to play with an illusion of space. Figure sculpture is something relatively new to me and so my working process involves a lot of figuring it out along the way with editing and redesigning as I go along. I started out a with a firm concept and vision in mind but then went on to work somewhat intuitively. This takes awhile and what I create remains just as much a mystery to me as everyone else. To me this process is like riding a bicycle up a steep hill. Its hard work and you just keep your head down and peddle hard and its not too enjoyable, but then you reach the top and look down and think wow how the hell did I get way up here. How strange to create such personalities out of a lump of clay! Click here to see my slide show of the wet work phases of this project.