Last Making Push Before the Colorado Potters Guild Sale

This weekend marked the very last making push in the greenware stage so that I can finish everything before my next two events.

I’m doing back to back sales in May. My first show is the Colorado Potters Guild Spring Show that runs May 4-6, 2017. I’m also participating in the Horseshoe Market one week later on May 13, 2017. What this means for me right now is that it’s crunch time!

I’ve been making as much work as I possibly can so that I have enough ware for both shows. Inspiration strikes at curious times for me – often when deadlines are looming. So, this weekend really was my last making push with greenware. My goal is to bisque fire my kiln this evening, glaze tomorrow and then we load the soda kiln on Wednesday afternoon at the Colorado Potters Guild.

Ceramicscapes - Last Making Push - Greenware
Ceramicscapes – Last Making Push – Greenware

Did I mention that I’m also the chairwoman of the Colorado Potters Guild show this spring? It’s always a busy time right before the show, but now it feels doubly hectic.

Ceramicscapes - New Form
Ceramicscapes – New Form

New Forms – Creative Exploration

My schedule is busy and also why my creative muse always seem to show up when all pistons are firing…or maybe it’s just procrastination on my part? I’m not sure, but I’m starting to feel the crunch. This past weekend was really the very last opportunity for me to work on any “wet” ware. Of course, I took the opportunity to explore another form that has been lurking in my imagination – again based upon seed pods

This form (see above) doesn’t exactly look like it did in my imagination. I’m going to fire it, but I don’t expect to make it again. It’s just too fussy for my taste. I probably could have used my time a little differently this weekend, but I’ve learned to answer creativity’s call when it happens. 

I’m keeping this post short today, but will return next Monday when I’ll share some of the process of getting work ready to fire in the soda kiln on Thursday at the Colorado Potters Guild.

 

Botanical Inspired Ceramic Seed Pod Wall Art

Ceramicscapes Pinterest Seeds and Pods Board
Ceramicscapes’ Pinterest Seeds and Pods Board

Nature is pretty darn interesting and makes beautiful artifacts. I’ve been collecting images of plant seeds and seed pods for visual reference to use in my ceramic work. This direction is a new one for me, but one near and dear to my heart as a former landscape designer and Colorado Master Gardener. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to translate these to clay, but decided to use the winter months to experiment and the following ceramic seed pod wall art trio is the first incarnation.

Making

Ceramicscapes - Ceramic Seed Pod Wall Art before under construction
Ceramicscapes – Ceramic Seed Pod Wall Art before under construction

Originally, I started this exploration with the intent of making ceramic garden stakes for use outdoors. Each one has a hole in the back in which I planned to attach a 3 foot long rod that could be planted in the dirt of a garden bed.

Being a bit of a pack rat, I had saved a dried lotus flower seed head that came in a flower arrangement I had received last year for future use. I think the form is interesting and provided a jumping off point to begin sculpting.

Making the ceramic seed pods was slow going for me. I’m a novice sculptor and translating the likeness of a seed pod is tricky. 

In fact, I asked myself why I would even want to try? It’s not to improve upon an already interesting form, but I want to translate the essence of nature’s artifacts at a larger scale for permanence and decoration.

Decorating and Glazing

Ceramicscapes - Ceramic Seed Pod Wall Art before being bisque fired
Ceramicscapes – Ceramic Seed Pod Wall Art before being bisque fired

When I was sculpting these, I learned some (new to me) techniques that abstracted the forms in clay.

Throughout the process, I continually reminded myself that these were destined for the soda kiln at the Colorado Potters Guild. I thought about how to glaze the forms and how the soda ash would affect the surface of the ceramic seed pods. 

Final Finished Ceramic Seed Pods

Ceramicscapes - Ceramic Seed Pod Wall Art Trio Glazed
Ceramicscapes – Ceramic Seed Pod Wall Art Trio Glazed

When we unloaded the kiln about a week and a half ago, my firing partners remarked that these would be really interesting as wall art. While I originally designed these as garden stakes, I have to agree. I make a lot of ceramic wall installations and would like to expand this direction and think that this is a good start.

On a technical note, the two enclosed forms on the right hand side of the photo above are rather heavy. I have some technical issues to resolve and think that working with paper clay would help lighten the sculptures.

Paperclay: Art and Practice by Rosette Gault
Paperclay: Art and Practice by Rosette Gault

With that in mind, I picked up a new book on paper clay by Rosette Gault to learn a bit more about the medium. I haven’t been able to dive in, but am really excited about the possibilities!