Ceramics: Week 1

01-08 & 01-10

For our inaugural week in ceramics, day 1 was just a “go over the syllabus” day, but the quick introduction to the projects was enough to help start the brainstorming process.

Project one is meant to be inspired by the short story Apologia that is about noticing things in this world that others might just glance over. I find the questions Brian wanted us to answer after reading the story interesting, as I was immediately thinking how we were all supposed to gather inspiration from the same story without making several versions of the same project. But his questions were more about what we respect, admire, and marvel at. This line of questioning was a bit clearer and it garnered mixed immediate responses from my brain.

When it comes to someone I admire, the first person I immediately thought of was Frida Kahlo. I have always wanted to a make a project in her honor, but I’m still not quite sure how related to the short story we’re actually supposed to be here. When it comes to something I marvel at, I immediately thought of both space and dollhouses. I had ideas to use those in a project from last semester so those are definitely a possibility.

Ultimately I decided to go with my answer to the “What is something that you wish people respected more?” question. My answer: nature. Specifically trees. We constantly destroy our environment, literally cutting down the trees that give us our life-giving oxygen. So I went into Sketchbook and sketched up a few designs based on the tree of life. I decided to go with making small porcelain vessels on the wheel, painting them with black slip, and using the sgraffito method to draw my trees on them. I’m gonna have to do some experimenting to see how small I can really get with these trees since I do want small vessels, but we shall see.

On the 10th, after showing Brian my sketches I surprisingly was allowed to go ahead and start throwing on the wheel. I hadn’t anticipated doing so that day, but I was glad that I got to do so regardless. Luckily, the girl I share shelves with now, Emma, has some left over porcelain clay from last semester that her and I are gonna be sharing at the beginning here. My first impressions throwing with the porcelain was that it was incredibly smooth and satisfying as hell.

When I first sat on the wheel, I quickly realized that my bad habit of accidentally throwing “on the hump” was back. I just might be out of practice due to the break, but the more I looked at those pieces the more I kind of liked the ‘chalice’ look of them. Perhaps that could be a good design for these pieces, who knows? Either way, I could just trim that away if I decide against it. Overall, I’m stoked to be working with porcelain and I’m both excited and nervous to start honing in my sgraffito skills.

P.S. I was really hoping we wouldn’t have to do this blog shit again.

apologia project sketch 1
my preliminary sketches.

-A. Brackens.

Published 01/12/19 5:21:05