One of the things that I have been focusing on the last six weeks is developing my mold making skills. I have created the molds for three sets of cups and saucers as well as making the molds for three very large oval forms. It would probably have been easier to make these forms using handbuilding techniques, but I wanted to at least try my had at making larger molds. The biggest issue so far with these large molds is their weight. After pouring the mold, while the plaster was still quite wet, I'm pretty sure they each weighed at least 50 pounds! They have lightened up as they dry, but they are still rather hefty. I'm guessing I am going to need to enlist someone to help me move them when it comes time to slip cast as I will need to be able to invert the mold to drain out all of the liquid slip.
For my cup and saucer pieces I played around a bit with adding laser printer decals to the pieces after the glaze firing. Decals are hot in the ceramic world right now. Many people will apply underglaze images and then layer post-glaze decals on top, creating a layer of images. I don't know that I want to go to those extremes with my pieces, but I do feel that the simple forms that I create could benefit from some simple, elegant imagery added to the piece. Not something that will detract from the form, but, rather, something that will enhance it.
This line of thought has me thinking about the current popularity of tattoos. It is such a cultural thing. For the Polynesians it was a practice that nearly everyone in the society participated in and was seen as a sign of bravery, because getting poked repeatedly with a sharp stick dipped in ink hurt! In western society it has been a practice that was rather counter culture and not very wide spread. I feel that in the last 10-15 years it has become a practice that has become much more socially acceptable and more and more people are choosing to have a tattoo. So, what drives someone to have this done? I remember a friend of mine saying that if she ever completed a half marathon she would certainly commemorate the event with a tattoo. Personally, I chose to stick a bumper sticker on my car and call it good.
While putting imagery on a piece of ceramic is not quite the same as putting a tattoo on your body, I do believe it merits the same kind of consideration, especially since, if you think about it, that pot will far outlast a body tattoo as it promises to still be around 10,000 years from now.
Just something for me to ponder as I know people will be asking my why if I begin putting images on things...