Friday, April 23, 2010

Clay Play

March 2 
Went on our second materials venture to Ceradel.  I am out of "paper clay" a porcelain and paper mixture that allows more flexibility in handling.  The other residents have been great in helping me out with materials that are new to me.  I haven't worked with glazes or color and am learning as i go along about the technical restrictions, firing temperatures, etc.

I have started a series of small masks based on the people in Vallauris.  The masks are 3 to 5 inches, and unglazed.  I am trying out the varieties of clay available in the area.  There is a beautiful black spanish clay that we all like.  It has a wonderful feel, it almost seems to shape itself, it is so easy to work with. There is a mixed population here, very dark Africans and some Tunisians, Algerians people from Cape Verde and a variety of Europeans.  I am working in some cream colored stoneware and some red earthenware with grog as well as a smooth white clay and the very white paper clay,   Making hexagons and some small figurative pieces, a seed pod like thing and a weird vessel i will use as an oil lamp.  Spending time just getting to know the nature of the materials.

I am doing pieces for a clay quilt, hexagon segments (to echo the tiled streets) tied together with raffia, I would like to hang a finished piece from a window the way I have seen women hanging their laundry here.  Also playing with the various colored clays, making small portrait reliefs to reflect the diversity of the population.