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Claiming A Character in a Plain Clay Cylinder

On: February 14, 2011
In: Artmaking, Creativity, How To's, Studio Journal
Views: 1279
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Each face is unique; it has to be

A new series of face jugs has begun! Similar to the Local Talkers 2009 in that they are based on the faces appearing in the 2011 Local Talk column of the Santa Cruz Good Times, but different because each one is full-sized and meant to be a stand alone work.

I’ve lifted some of the limits I placed on myself in 2009, in that I can choose one or more faces/respondents a week, or none. And I can base my choice on expression and/or on what the person says.

Each jug is stamped with that person’s first name, last initial and one word of their reply to the question of the week. In the top photo are, left to right, Cecil U. Stopped, Kate K. Y and what eventually became Nicole B. Amphitheatre.

Here she is at leatherhard before being cleaned up and getting the base coat of underglazing.

Love the headband and the earrings!

And just for fun, here’s a close up of the source face.

Facing the camera and smiling slightly

For me it’s not about creating a photographic likeness, but an energetic and gestural one. The clay jug form has its own demands that must be served. The cylinder needs to balance in all ways. It can only stretch so far. It can’t get too heavy with add-ons. (Hair!!!!) It needs to function as a vessel, although I’m finding I care less and less about that as I go deeper into sculptural expression. I just might be getting to the same place as sculptural teapots which are generally full of narrative and SO not meant to be used for serving tea!

I am keeping better studio records this time too. Here’s the page so far for Cecil U. Stopped.

SO much better than binder paper!

So, that’s my Studio Report at the outset of one thematic series I will be exploring this year. The face jugs provide a looser more organic foil to the other works I’ve got going and I like that I get to find my way from the plain cylinder to the character waiting to take form.

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One Response to Claiming A Character in a Plain Clay Cylinder

  1. […] a very real person catches me up and I find myself portraying that response in a face jug (a la my Local Talker jugs) or a portrait bust. Usually I work from a photo and only have the one view, but that’s […]