Saturday, July 28, 2012

June and July Studio wrap up

This has quite possibly been the busiest and most progressive summer I've ever had in the studio!  I think I'm still working off the momentum and accomplishments that I've made over the past year.  I've gotten used to just constantly being busy and I think I really enjoy it.  Ive had a few days of down time this week, while I waited for some work to dry for a bisque firing, and I actually got bored! August may not end up being time off from the studio like I planned if I'm going to be bored with nothing else to do.

What have I done? Well, first let me preface this with the fact that it takes me about 3 weeks per piece just to build. So it might not seem like a lot, but it is! Nothing has been surfaced yet, I may not get that done until August.

Below is a sculpture I actually started at the end of April but wasn't able to finish and fire  until June because of the chaos involved in setting up my BFA show and graduating, etc. The baby lamb will be scaling a fence (or something similar), so picture her vertical.  The Momma sheep's head will be mounted on a wall above and to the right of the baby lamb. I think I'm going to attempt to glaze some of the surface of this pair.

In June, I started my biggest piece yet! A full size Momma sheep that has a baby lamb as its pair.

Which obviously had some issues... I went home for the day and the next morning I found this.

After I patched it back together, I stuffed it full of dowels in a grid to help support the clay.  I also rigged up a better support for the back end, made out of bricks. Gravity and I  were at odds for several weeks.  This piece took a little more than 250LBs of clay. I mixed 3 batches for the whole project, which totals 375LBs and I used almost all of it!

Below are the pictures of Momma sheep where she is essentially fully built.  I still hadn't cut her up, hollowed her out, reassembled her and done the finishing details. But you get the basic idea.

Baby bah! She is almost finished being built in the photos below. Missing ears...

The next three photos depict how I cut the piece up.  I had intended to photograph my entire process with this piece but I forgot to get pictures of the rest of the process! I was in a rush. Next time!

The hash marks on the cut ends are so I can line up the pieces correctly when I reassemble.  I also keep each leg on a separate piece of foam and label it; BL stands for Back Left, etc. You get the idea.

Here they are! Reassembled and loaded into the kiln.  

With the help of a friend, Momma sheep made it in safely.  But I attempted to load the Baby lamb in before she was dry enough and the front legs fell off! Thankfully it was an easy repair, since she was so damp.  Lesson learned.

I fired these girls yesterday and is went great from this side of the kiln.  Tomorrow I'll open the kiln and find out if Momma sheep made it.  There are no interior supports in her body cavity and I think that may have been a mistake.  I had A LOT of issues with warping and cracking when I reassembled her.  I did view her as an experiment, since I have never made anything so big.  I've already come up with possible fixes, but lets hope I don't have to use them.

I have one week left in the studio until I've got to be packed and moved out.  I'm hoping to have time to glaze and fire the first set of sheep.  I'm going to have to cold surface the second pair.  If Momma sheep makes it, there's no way I'm risking a second firing! I probably won't get to that until August though.  I've got to convince my father to let me have some space in the basement for finishing work.  My new space at the Craft Center will be about a quarter of what it is now.

More to come!

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