Monday, 9 April 2012

Creating in Clay

Well that's another month gone by and I'm almost at the end of my Easter break!? Time to update this and celebrate what I've been up to!


It's another 4 week project and here's an outline of what we're covering:

Week 1 –    Drawing at Wollaton Hall – to develop 2D surfaces for Ceramics
Plaster Slab and Sprig making
Begin surface sampling with tutor supervision

Week 2 -     Make – cup and saucer by slab building using textured wall paper, etc for surface decoration.
                  Template making for ceramic construction
                  Development of surfaces.

Week 3 -    Themed making – Design and make 3 related pieces of ceramic work using your own ideas and imagery obtained from drawing at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham. This should be supported by 2D design and source information in sketchbook/notebook format.

Week 4 -          Glaze and finish work.

(I wish every project had been laid out like this!)

So, to start with:  Week 1 –   

The trip to Wollaton Hall was a great way to start the project, here are my sketches from the day:

This was followed by a day of plaster slab and sprig making. We were joined by Anna Hunt (who you might remember from the Nottingham Castle Open?) She is an ex-Dec Arts student and used sprigs to make all of those little bugs for Stirring The Swarm!

what we were making today..sprig mould left, plaster slab right
cottling up the plaster slab
moulding the clay for my sprig
pouring the plaster into a pre made cottle!
time to remove the clay...will it work?
just! The eyes proved a bit of an issue - a bit too much of an undercut
I attempted two more, that were flatter, and had more of an angle to them
came out much better! I don't rate the actual aesthetics but the surface over the eye is interesting!
The plaster slab was for drawing into, deeper cuts than I have initially made here - the idea is to roll fresh clay over the top to create a relief. Based on my drawings I opted for this design:

After getting the clay we worked this into our sprigs and slab to create these:

Waiting on the firing shelf for their 1100c bake!
Close up...the deeper incisions made this much more defined!
Once fired it was a case of painting and glazing. I have no idea what these colours will turn out like but that's the exciting part (at this stage..much more frustrating later I am sure!?!)

sprig used on an example plate
lots of painterly effects..lets see how they look once glazed and fired!
rubbish! The beak broke and it looks horrible - tried some more colours on it though, sample, sample!

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