Taking time to appreciate the subtle effects of layering and wiping away slip decoration….
At the moment, these snail sculptures are at the leather hard stage (my favorite!) and still have to dry for a couple of weeks before going in the kiln.
Once they’ve been fired, the snails are to be exhibited at several garden sculpture exhibitions later this year.
As with a lot of my work, these pieces have an interactive element. Visitors will be able to gently rock the snails back and forth to create rhythmic sounds.
These poor little fellas have been thrown, slipped, cut, stretched and pulled apart on the potter’s wheel!
I’m enjoying seeing how far I can push the material with the aim to capture or preserve the point of disintegration. It’s a tricky balance to strike and I probably loose a third of what I’m making?
Anyway, it’s great fun and very rewarding when you get one that stands up. Each pot is truly individual and I’m considering smoke firing them to add a further layer of randomness!
Something I greatly value about the making process is the emergence of an unexpected outcome.
The potter’s wheel offers lots of potential for a creative ‘surprise’ and I always try to stay alert to the ‘happy accident’. The slightest change in hand position or shift in concentration can lead to a whole new aesthetic or approach. I may not have the time to action the diversion straight away but will photograph, make notes and bank the idea for another day.
More recently, I’ve been getting further and further through the making process before the ‘light bulb’ moment presents itself. The forms above were thrown and assembled bodies of insects designed for a garden sculpture exhibition. There is something very elementary and abstract about the forms at that particular stage in the process that prompted me to take the photo. I then attached legs and wings to achieve the original intention and turned them into something quite different from the legless versions!
This piece below is a slabbed base designed to display a ceramic fish sculpture. A metal rod inserted in the hole to suspend the fish at the other end.
Most of my work starts it’s life on the potter’s wheel so shapes are invariably soft and organic looking. Producing a straight sided, angular object required me to work with another technique. I had so much fun rolling the clay, drying, assembling the slabs and finally smoothing the joins, it got me inspired to do more. Discounting the original function of the piece, I think the leather hard result looks like it could hold it’s own as a stand alone sculptural vessel.