Friday, October 31, 2008

Nude # 2

This is the piece that I accidently knocked over last week.
It broke right at the knees and it also knocked the head off. The piece was pretty much bone dry but I decided to try to salvage it since the breaks were so clean. I slipped and scored the hell out of the knee break hoping that if it worked I'd fix the head as well. It appeared to have worked quite well and I decided that I liked the form better without the head and I decided to leave the break mark "as is." Anyway, I really like the lines and I'm going to try a few more of these abstracted forms but make them larger.

I can't remember if I mentioned that I am also writing for another blog at work called "Coulee Region Art." Here is the link if anyone is interested.
I really enjoy what little writing I do for that blog because each week it forces me to search out what is happening in art in the area in which I live. I didn't know there was so much happening in this little part of the Mid-West.

I still haven't gotten my potter's wheel built yet and I'm still waiting to get my electric kiln wired up. I'm waiting for a friend to run some 240 to the area where I have set the kiln up. But, that hasn't stopped me from getting muddy. This weekend the weather is supposed to be absolutely beautiful so I think I'll sit in my studio and start on a few more projects like the one above.

For the people that are visiting my blog, I'd like to say thanks. When I started this blog it was really for the sole purpose of creating a diary of what I'm doing and documenting things for future reference. It was also nice to be able to share what I'm doing with friends and family whom I see too little of. But thanks again to the readers. I really appreciate the emails you send.

Might as well post a couple more Raku Glaze Recipes. I still have some more Soldner glazes so here they are.

Soldner's Runny Iron Yellow Raku Glaze.
Gerstley Borate 50%
Borax 50%
Add: Red Iron Oxide 10%
Add: Rutile 3%

Soldner's White Raku Glaze.
Gerstley Borate 80%
Zircopax 20%

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bad Week In Clay

I have been working on an abstract sculpted nude for the past three weeks. It was looking good and I was only about five minutes away from sanding the last imperfection out of it. I get the Dumb Butt award for accidently knocking it over. In its leather hard stage the head broke off and the body was broken at the knees. Arrrg! Both were clean breaks. I actually tried to mend the lower half by slipping and scoring, but I'm not sure if the surgery will be a success. The head broke right at the neck and actually looks pretty good with no head and the clean break. I'll check it out tomorrow and see if it can be salvaged. If not I'll start it all over again.

Just getting back to Linda's comment about my nude torso--I started making the piece by rolling out a coil of clay that was slightly larger than the size of the torso I wanted to sculpt. I let that dry to a point where it was inflexible but still soft enough to use some carving/trimming tools to start sculpting out the form. It is a solid piece of clay but I did use a 3/4 inch drill bit to hollow out some from the bottom of the base. I drilled upward into the middle of the form approximately 3 inches. I did this because I was going to display it utilizing the dowel and a small marble base.

For those of you following my raku posts, I received a good article about Diana Pittis' raku fish sculptures. She describes her methods and also gives out a couple of the raku glazes she uses. The link is below.

Better get going.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Torso Sculpture

My first attempt at the female form. This torso is about 8 or 9 inches tall. The end result is that the form is much more abstract than originally intended, but I'm pretty happy with it. I think it would be easier to work larger. I'll have to try it again and see what I come up with. This piece isn't even bone dry yet and will be bisqued as soon as I get 240 wired to my kiln.

I haven't posted any raku glaze recipes for a while so here are a couple more.

Blue Copper Luster Raku Glaze
Gerstley Borate 82
Cornwall Stone 18
Cobalt Oxide 0.03
Copper Oxide 2.1

Buck's Revised Red Luster Raku Glaze
Borax 50
Gerstley Borate 50
Silica 17
Nepheline Syenite 15
Red Copper Oxide 10
Red Iron Oxide 10

I actually haven't done anything at the studio for the past few days because I had a couple friends visiting from Chicago. Always fun to see them but I left another sculpture project unfinished. I'll have to get back at it today.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

First Plaster Cast

This is my first attempt at plaster casting. I bought a couple rolls of plaster bandages at the local hobby store, smeared vasaline all over my face, stuck some straws in my nose and applied the bandages to my face. I think it only took about 20 minutes. I can say that it would have been a lot easier if I had had some help.

I actually made the the plaster cast quite a few months ago but just got around to using it this past weekend.

I rolled out some porcelain with a rolling pin and then pressed the flat sheets into the mold. The porcelain dried overnight and then I carefully removed the mask from the plaster form. It looked pretty rough. The porcelain picked up every little detail from the goss banages so I just used some fine sandpaper to remove the unwanted texture.

I haven't bisque-fired this yet but will try to raku fire it with a clear crackle glaze when I have. One thing I forgot to think about was how I was going to display the mask once it is fired. My immediate thought was that I'd just hang it on the wall, but I hadn't planned ahead and did not put any fastening device on the back side of the mask. Oh well, next time. Can't wait to start casting some other forms.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Soldner's Copper Luster Correction

Thanks Anna from Aussie for pointing out my mistake. The corrected recipe for Soldner's Copper Luster Raku Glaze is:
Gerstley Borate 80%
Nepheline Syenite 20%
Add: Copper Oxide 2%
Add: Cobalt Oxide 1%
Add: Yellow Ochre 8%

I haven't done any firing lately but I have been trying my hand at sculpting. I decided to try taking on the human form, the torso to be more precise. I've actually made 3 small torsos this past week. Two were absolutely terrible and thrown into the slop bucket, but the third one isn't too bad. I'll have to post a photo of the one I kept tomorrow.

I don't have much raku clay left so I wedged up a bunch of porcelain. I haven't had too much luck throwing porcelain on the wheel but I'm anxious to try sculpting with it. We'll see what happens.

Thanks again to Anna for pointing out my glaze mistake.