With the last bit I had of my clay for semester, I wanted to create a couple of pieces that I could test what I have been developing over the semester. I created two larger pieces, one which I could test the silks-screen method on and experiment with imagery and glaze application, and one to test two of the The glaze mixtures I have been working with, as well as one smaller piece for silk-screen testing.
I silk-screen printed a repeated bear and cedar tree pattern around one of the larger bowls, and then experimented with slip and glaze drips onto the piece. I felt that it looked too graphic and untouched without the additional drips and scraping. I loosened up on this piece, and though I’m not sure I’d try to attain the same effects again in the majority of my work, I was glad to test.
The curved bowl with the thicker drips on it are the result of the last of my West Coast Sea Foam glaze that I developed in the semester, as well as the attempts to properly use the purple underglaze I had purchased. The purple underglaze was a challenge to apply correctly to attain the desired outcome – it would more often come out as a bluer colour, with purple highlights. Getting the proper consistency was key, but was harder said than done. For this piece, I wanted to attain a bit of a combination of both the purple and the blue that the underglaze could produce. Higher on the piece some of the purple can be seen, and the blue is more prominent where it drips down and interacts with the West Coast Sea Foam.
After firing the test tiles with a clear glaze, I wanted them to still serve a further purpose past the testing of the silks-screen process. I found some scrap pieces of plywood, sanded them, and stained them with a dark finish. I then super-glued the ceramic tiles to the back, testing that it supplied a good adhesion for hanging.
I like to use wood and elements from nature in my spray-paint and printmaking processes and pieces, and I felt that they complimented the tiles well. They add contrast with the dark colour of the stain and horizontal orientation that also compliments the more vertical orientation of the pieces.
As this is a mixed media process of creating imagery, I find it fitting that there is a mixed media combination in the presenting and finishing of the pieces. This process can further be refined with more aesthetically prepared tiles and printing since the process has now been tested and familiarized.
Two glaze mixtures I did for my directed studies. One was called Sea Foam (right tile), and one was Chinese Blue/Green (left tile). I named my developed glazes West Coast Sea Foam and Paul’s Blue/Green.
The WCSF seemed to be a pretty flat glaze, but was able to get some interesting and varied results on the same surface when applied to two of my mugs (top right photo). Where I brushed it on a bit thinner, there is a bit of a greenish stain coming through. I also enjoyed the speckled, grainy look to the glaze. I am also very happy with the PBG, it has very interesting colour variation when used in a runny way, which I enjoy. The two bottom pictures of the PBG.
First time trying out silk-screen image transfers in ceramics. Done on B-Mix greenware slabs/plaques, with black underglaze substituted for ink in the screen-printing process. This is a new and interesting method to me, as I enjoy both printmaking and ceramics very much. To combine them both into the art making process and converse with each other is an exciting experience.
I plan to take this method into more advanced and refined pieces, as for now, these tiles act as rough tests for me. Figuring out the process to get clean images, and basic fine tuning. I am happy with how they turned out, and will continue my experimentation and production with this method in my pottery.
Second round of glazing came out of the kiln earlier last week. Was using some temmoku gold, licorice, and an attempted purple. I bought a purple under-glaze which I coated over with a clear glaze, but it turned out blue. I do like the colour that it did produce, it is a nice blue, and you can see some small hints of purple in the thicker areas.
This has taught me about variation that I can hopefully achieve with the under-glaze if I can also yield purple. Attempting purple again, I will put a thicker coat on to hopefully get a better result. I am still pleased with the shapes I am achieving, and will continue to explore them.
The first round of glaze firing came out of the kiln about a week back, haven’t posted these pieces yet. Pretty happy with the shape I am achieving, although further practice and refinement on them is required. Going to keep working with these bowls and mugs, keep on refining and growing in size.
Smaller flower vase and a nice shaped bowl thrown this week. Working with more variety in shape. Planning to keep experimenting with shape and size with bowls/vases/flower pots. I am achieving a consistent shape with the bowls I have thrown this semester so far. The flower vase I planned to make larger, with more of an extended top, but had to cut it down and smooth out the top for a shorter finish. Improvisation. Still practical for it’s use, but will try again for the extended top which I have achieved with these pieces before.
First set of mugs thrown earlier this past week. I am working on two mug shapes, and trying to get a consistent shape and rough size out of experiments on the throwing wheel. Also I am working to obtain a thin delicacy to the mugs, working to find a fine balance with the throwing and trimming. These mugs will not have handles attached in the end, in aims to produce a comfortable shape that is easy to hold in the hand and feel the mug with.
These mugs have been trimmed (not shown here), and I have created more works such as a set of bowls and more mugs. I plan to take more photos in a dried and eventual final stage of these and others soon. Stay tuned!
Quick artist write up:
Paul White is currently in his third year at VIU in Nanaimo, BC working towards a Visual Arts BA Major. Through high-school and on through university Paul has worked across a variety of mediums, and has years of visual arts experience from his studies and practices. His current favorite mediums to work in are charcoal, spray-paint, water-colour, ink, oil paint, ceramic work, and 2-D digital design and animation. He plans to take his knowledge gained from post-secondary into a realistic career where he can incorporate his creativity and understanding of fine arts and continue to be artistically active.
I spent some time working on the pottery wheel this summer, but haven’t had much of a chance to get on one this passed semester. I am excited to get focused on the medium again and continue my studies and experimentation. Waiting on the response on my spot in the program, hopefully more to come!