03 August 2014

"Contemporary craft" course - day 5

The final day of the course dealt with ceramics.
Inspiration for ceramics
Given a range of possibilities, we got started, making textures on clay slabs and going on from there.

Rolled out on textured cloth, my slab got dabbed with underglaze colours (did the colours of the cloth have anything to do with this idea?), which will stay like that after firing - but the clay itself will be white -

This became a couple of actual pots - cylinders stuck on a flat base, with the scraps cobbled onto the top -

Both the colour and the shapes are a new departure for me ... thanks for the nudge, Robert, and for suggesting putting copper lustre along the edge. I look forward to seeing these with a shiny glaze and the shinier rim. 

Another possibility was to carry forward the marks we'd made on the first day of the course - using overglaze colours to make them onto tiles or plates. I'd had a plan for the plate but not for the tiles ... and it shows ...

bottom left, "mad cow disease" - scrap transfers (from a big transfer of a cow;
the yellow will burn away)
Looking round the room at what others were doing, I found a few things to be envious of -
effective repetition (of transfers)
slip casting (and pouring)
dipping string into slip - simple, eh?
oh so sculptural!

In review

Thinking about the course overall, I must say it was very enjoyable - firstly to try out new things and make connections, and also to get to know others in group over the course of the week ... and to see how there was "something for everyone" whether beginner or more experienced. One lunchtime conversation touched on taking the "same" course more than once, and how it couldn't be the same course if you had changed in the meantime - you'd be getting new things out of it all the time, if you went with an open mind and yet were prepared to be thoughtful about your own work as you went along.

The week before, I'd been totally wrapped up in the monoprinting and handstitch course and could happily have spent a further week on developing the little books started there. Now I have that project on standby, and several to finish that were started in this course -  
  • use the "holey sheet" from the first day to work back into the Large Sketchbook, 
  • make the monoprint calico into a quilt, 
  • use some of the monoprint papers to make a dozen or so greetings cards (just for the fun of it), 
  • finish the willow basket (this is priority, it has a destination),
  • file the copper and perspex shapes and find cords for them,
  • glaze the pots (on 13 Sept).
Important things to take forward:
  • working quickly is good for getting going!
  • the need to do more drawing, to do frequent drawing, regular drawing...
  • be aware of "fear of the new" - especially when it involves learning to use new machines ... take courage; gostep by step; and keep practising
  • simple can be satisfying ... and it can be complicated too
  • try to leave a free week between courses!
Other posts about this course: introduction, textiles, basketryjewellery.

(This post is linked to Off the Wall Fridays - have a look at what other creative people are up to!)

No comments: