Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More Elf Sculpture photos

She's done and drying now. Can't see her ears as much, but I'm pretty happy with her. So busty!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Elf Sculpture

Ok, so here's the sculpture that took two tries to get the body right. I've added coils for her clothing. Last night, I worked on her head. She was just going to have hair, but I decided to make her an elf of some kind. Not sure about the arms or the other accessories yet. And, I'm pretty sure that she will not be ready for the next wood soda firing. Sigh... next time

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Sculpture begun!

My goal for this year is to sculpt at least one piece each month. I'm slightly ahead of the game in that I have finished a swan/bird boat and have a dragon boat in the process of being made. I also have a new figure sculpture in the works.

I apologize but I don't have pictures of it yet, but I do have a story.

Tuesday night is my pottery night. This past Tuesday, I went early because I knew I wanted to start a new sculpture and I wanted it to be fairly big ( 2- 3 feet tall) by the time I was done. In order to get the height I wanted, I would have to stack cylinders on top of one another. So, from 6 - 8:30, that's what I did. I threw 4 cylinders. The first 3 were around 5 -5.5 lbs each. The last one was about 2 lbs. Threw the base, heated it up, put it off to the side. Threw the second cylinder, matched the top width of the first cylinder, heated #2 up, put it off to the side. Put #1 back on the wheel head, scored the top and added slip. Inverted #2, placed it on top of #1, sealed the seam, separated it from the wheel, smoothed the seam and pulled up the thick bottom (now top of the combined cylinder). Repeat steps with lumps of clay 3 and 4.

I had a decent looking cylinder. Pretty nicely gradated and formed so that my sculpture had hips and a waist and the beginnings of a chest.


Then my foot slightly touched the pedal of my wheel. It depressed really quickly to maximum speed, my cylinder spun and wobbled. I slammed my foot on the pedal to stop it which made the wheel spin faster for a few seconds. My cylinder decided to imitated a helicopter and took off. The bat rose up off of the pins, hit the spill pans and finally came to a rest as my cylinder of clay flopped over.

Sigh... It happens. And when it does, you just start again and don't let it stop you.

I made a new body with the remains of the first. However, by this time, the clay was a bit drier and my arms were much more tired. The second body isn't as tall as the first, but it's got a lot of potential.

Tonight, I went back to the studio and realized that the body isn't as heavy as I thought it was. Thank goodness. The thrown part stopped right under the breastbone, so tonight, I added the rest of the chest and closed it up at the top to indicated the shoulder line.

Pictures next week of the sculpture.

Will try to take pictures of the dragon boat when it is done.

AND I started throwing 200 sake cups for my cousin's wedding. 12 of 200 are thrown. Will be throwing a bunch more this weekend. (Oh, wedding is in May. I've got a little bit of time hehe).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Unloading the Wood Kiln

Some celebratory flame to mark the opening of the kiln.

First section unloaded, here's the stack for the second section

Third section stack
The back.

Yes, this is a very long kiln...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wood firing

Isa, lit by the glow of the kiln as she loads the front with wood.

Inside the kiln itself. So fiery and gorgeous.
The hill behind the kiln, lit by the fire shooting out of the chimney. 30 second exposure, can't remember how wide the aperature was open.

My one angel sculpture in the wood soda kiln. If you click on the image, you can increase the size and see how one wing was stuck to the wall of the kiln. I would have had to have been very careful in removing the sculpture from the wall when unloading her but...

While helping to get an empty shelf and post out of the kiln so I could get to more pieces, I dropped the post on her. Darn my relatively short arm length! At any rate, she broke off from the side of the kiln very easily. The front wing was fully broken off and some shards of her hair. The longest wing came off as well, not sure if it came off because of the dropped post or the difference in clay body. (I used 3 different clays in this sculpture).

The angel was already broken and chipped when I put her in, so I wasn't too worried about it. Although I do care about this piece, this is the nature of the medium. Things break. Can't worry too much about it, just move on and make something else.

Phil wouldn't let me toss it, so we collected the pieces and he says he will glue it back together. Will take photos of that when it's done.