Monday, January 23, 2017

Ceramics and My Muse

I joined the KC Clay Guild a year ago.  After spending time at my friend Amy Meya's house every December for our open studio sale, I always get nostalgic for my clay days back at KU.  Although I got a degree in sculpture, the ceramics department was just next door and I took at least four classes ranging from the basics to mixed media ceramic sculpture.  It had been literally years since I made anything that could be considered truly 3D, so I signed up for a class that Amy was teaching.

And I fell back in love!

I do not wheel throw, I hand build.  They are very different and my perfectionism gene would have been an ugly beast to tame had I decided to hit the wheel.  With handbuilding, it's basically impossible to attain a certain kind of perfection, so the pressure was off and I could just focus on reintroducing myself to mud.

Early on, I decided to play around with making impressions in the clay and forming functional pieces from that.  It's no surprise that my barn and Dumpster picking immediately made its way into my aesthetic.  I was using bits and bobbles from here and there, and then I got an idea!  IBM SELECTRIC TYPEWRITER BALLS!  I have two glorious Selectrics and had some extra balls from the one I grew up with (the other is from my in-laws, who were happy to get rid of a 40 lb. monstrosity).
my muse
I decided to just roll it into the clay and see what happened.  Well, good things happened and I made a lot of tumblers, vases, and dishes with my growing collection of type balls (thanks, eBay!).

glazing stage

I wanted to highlight the texture, so I used a wipe on/wipe off technique for glazing, then dipped the top of the tumblers in glaze to make a nice smooth surface for your sweet lips while sipping.

text tumbler family

Here are some vases, too!  I am having fun dying the clay body with mason stain to add another dimension to the pieces and learn more about this mysteriously simple material called clay.
post-bisque, pre-glaze

blue dyed clay body with black highlights and blue glaze inside

white base vessel with dyed claybody belt with texture highlight and
other glazes
dyed clay body dipped in a white glaze that was improperly made
so I get to keep it!

mutant vase family
heavy vase with text texture and dot button dipped in clear...
this is one of my favorite vases from the text line
I am still working with clay--I'm addicted now--and will be sharing more of my creations that are actually for sale in my Etsy store.  Also, I'm discontinuing my clocks, but I have a pretty large inventory, so they're still available for now.  I'll be discounting them through the year, but if you're interested, please contact me and we can make a deal.

My INSTAGRAM is still going strong, so see announcements there.

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