Saturday, April 24, 2010

Of Porcelain and Perfection

March 20
Last night we loaded the kiln for a high firing.  Dawn did some calculations and we are behind scheduling for kiln firings in order to have all our work done by the show.  Both Dawn and Nancy directed the placement and loading.  Jason's two large pieces went in last. He was a bit bummed because his penguin had a fine hairline crack at the wing and showed ridges at the back where he had joined the slab.   The penguin was from porcelain, a notoriously difficult clay to start with. All clays are unique to their source: one can get to know and master the porcelain of one area yet have to learn all over again the idiosyncrasies of a porcelain from another geographic region.   He trashed the penguin, breaking it up in pieces.  He had put a lot of work into a drawing on the surface of the penguin, with the face like the nose of the Concord and airplane wings.  He had drawn with underglaze pencils  a portrait of Strobe, Dawn's friend who is staying in Vallauris. Jason had drawn him with a slightly manic expression brandishing a gun shooting CO2 molecules out of the air.     

One of the first things I did was a portrait head of Dale and after it was fired I shaped wire glasses for it.  I did it just to get the feel of the clay and to jump start my process. It didn't make it into the show.

Jason's Penguin that never made it out of the studio.
The master at work on a blue self portrait