Early Summer 2017 Sculptural Exploration
The featured image above was thrown as a single piece and then sculptural modifications were added. It is 16 inches in diameter and glazed with multiple layers of Shino glaze. It was fired to cone 10 in reduction.
I just completed a summer class at Coconino Community College exploring adding sculptural modifications to wheel-thrown forms. I have greatly enjoyed working there but I feel that perhaps my projects may be more than is appropriate for a community college. So, this may be my last semester there – time will tell.
I was able to take on an advanced project of using sculptural alterations and marks to create movement and fluidity in my pieces. I had become bored with traditional shapes. I used the work of Chris Gustin to provide direction for this endeavor. This was surprisingly challenging. I had one large sectional collapse because I was rushing it to be able to complete it within the month of the class. A number of pieces cracked due to the added stresses of making sculptural alterations to thrown pieces (all of the pieces started on the wheel). Also, during the learning process of developing this technique, I had a few pieces that were discarded because they were too heavy. Despite these setbacks, I was able to produce a body of work of which I am proud.
A variety of glazing techniques were employed including dipping, pouring, brushing, splattering and spraying. The results that most pleased me were achieved with an initial dip into Shino glaze and then selective spraying using three different additional glazes.
Many of the pieces are medium sized and were done with 5 to 6 pounds of clay. A few larger pieces were done with up to 25 pounds of clay. The mugs, tall vase, and the flared vase with lugs shown in the gallery at the bottom are not altered. I did a number of warm-up pieces without alteration and ended of liking some of them.
This was a very satisfying project for me and I feel that it has opened an area of exploration that is just beginning for me. I intend to work on refining this sculptural style and to bring some new elements to it. I want to use a clay body without grog to emphasize the surface convolutions, and also to explore the use of cone 6 oxidation glazes on these pieces.
I hope to update this at the end of the summer or in early fall.