Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Understanding my work

It is on ongoing process, which I am sure many of you understand and relate to. Last night I wrote a post, and blogger shut down. So here I am trying again.

What I said: I have been spending a lot of time with my Grieving Vessels. Just being with them. Looking at them. What I started to realize is I did not know why I was making circles on them. See where the oxide, crocus martis ends, and glaze begins...or whoever ends and begins....that is where the clear glaze is on the vessel. But why a circle? Because it was easy to dip?? I know that I wanted the contrast. I am intrigued by the idea of revealing words and masking them at the same time. Anywone who has been following this blog knows that has layers of meaning for me.

As I looked at these vessels and let them seep in, I realized a lot things. One - take time with my pieces before letting them go, they probably have things to say to me. (Greg Scott has said this to me before, and I believe another potter said it either to him or said it)

So I noticed that the stain underneath the glaze leaves a trace (of course I like to interpret this as memory) of its path leaving the brush. So you can see the brush strokes. I was not even acknowledging this when applying the glaze. I did not know it mattered. Until closer observation. And not only brush strokes are still seen underneath the clear, but thickness of the stain.

SO having noticed that, this next batch of grieving vessels are completely different. They go in to the glaze kiln (loaded by Julie without me being there!! Trust and gratefulness abound) this Saturday at 3pmish.

What I did was play around with were the brush strokes as I applied the stain, and then mirrored that reality with the clear glaze. So on some vessels, I have the hilly landscape strokes I enjoy. And the clear glaze repeats that pattern. On other pieces, I have vertical lines...and quickly drawn strokes...all mirrored, repeated by the clear glaze. We will see what happens.

I also was curious about other ways to allow the words to show through, or not show through depending on how you are looking at it. And at first I thought I was trying to dip the entire piece in clear glaze and then write as I do, through the glaze. Not too successful. But I did find out that I love dipping the piece in the glaze while holding it firmly in my grip allowing my fingertips and fingers to leave their mark on the vessel and thus allow the stain and writing underneath to show through....love it!!! a photo would show this better than these words...although the one below is not an example of what I mean. Another day.

So for example the above photo. I tried a different way to apply the clear glaze. But I was not too fond of this application. I do not know why yet. BUT I just love the marks that the fingers leave on the new pieces I did over the weekend. One --love that the vessel was pinched by my fingers. And two, enjoy that the fingers guide the process of revealing/masking. I liked the organic shapes, and the somewhat more randomness of it.

Now to find out if I like it after they come out of the kiln.

Also working on painting many Dia de los Muertos skulls. New colors, patterns and sizes. Mr. I am a big Skull is waiting for final painting, and all his little ones are helping to inspire his final coloring. Maybe some photos to follow in the next day or so.

1 comment:

John "little like sand" said...

Lovely post Elaine. Great insight into your work. The pieces have a lot to say and your sensitive enough to listen. Isn`t it great.