Its funny how you can spend all week feeling like you're not getting anything done and then look back at the week and actually see some progress. My two big ceramics accomplishments this week are making my first silk screen for screen printing and making the first pour of my three large oval molds.
For the molds, I am trying a new casting slip recipe. I've been having a hard time with the old one not releasing easily from the mold, plus I wanted something without grolleg for the sculptures. They really don't need it and, with something that large, you're just asking for trouble. I am also trying adding a small amount of bentonite to my casting slip. This will increase the overall shrinkage of the slip, allowing the form to release more easily from the mold. I had been concerned about getting the slip drained from these large molds because they are so heavy. Thankfully, they did lighten considerably once the plaster had dried completely, and, with the help of my big, strong man, we were able to get them flipped over and drained.
The image that I used for this screen is an abstract flower form, almost a chrysanthemum, that is on a piece of Japanese rice paper that I picked up at the art store a few years ago on a whim. I think it is simple enough that it will not distract from the form that I want to put it on, while lending visual interest. While I was searching the internet for a digital version of this image, along with some others, I became aware that I should really be mindful about the images that I chose to put on my pieces and make sure that they are including symbols that confirm what I want to say with my pieces, not just something that is “pretty.” I also downloaded some geometry drawing like one would see in a math textbook. I think these could be really nice to use on these forms because they discuss the “making” of the forms. I am always surprised at how much geometry I use to figure out the volumes of plaster that I need to make my molds. Plus, anyone who knows me, knows that I am a real geek at heart :)
Well, thanks again for reading my musings. I know there are several of you out there who read this blog regularly and I really do appreciate it.
And feel free to leave a comment or question if you have one!