The Final Outcome

This is how my pots came out in the end. I’m gladly pleased with these results. I just used red iron oxide and a white vitreous slip to create this surface appearance in the after being as the cobalt oxide was far too dark and the tan stain did not come out so well. Though they still have that organic semblance I was hoping for.

They are under fired though I have done this purposefully. Due to the test tiles coming out and looking awful and the fact that my pieces are purely for decoration I decided to just let them fire to bisque temperature. I love the subtle pink that the clay body has which would turn to a rough grey colour at full temperature. Also the oxide wash had slightly burnt away leaving the fully fired tiles with less colour.

If I did have more time I would have looked into maybe using an earthen ware clay and slip. I also wish that I had tested out several more oxides colours to get a larger array of undertone colours as well as experimenting even further with how I could play with slip application.

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Making Test Tiles

I decided not to use black clay but crank instead. They both have very similar properties and are both stoneware but because I want to get a natural earthy colour palette I wanted to use something with a pale body colour. So I chose to work with the crank instead.

First thing I did, thinking about the surface colour, was make up a batch of white slip. I’m going to use the slip with oxides to try and mimic natural tones.

I want to find the oxides that would work best to reflect the undertones of skin colour. I’m looking for tones such as tans reds greens blues and yellows. I don’t want each colour to be extremely bright so I’m going to mix them with the slip or paint over them with slip.

Here are the test tiles I made for that:

I used red iron oxide, cobalt oxide with a white porcelain slip. I first applied them to smooth surfaced test tiles and then moved onto dome shaped test tiles with a little texture. I mixed the oxides with slip as well as scraped bits off sponged some off, drew indent lines into them and overlayed the oxide colours.

Making the body

I started to look back at the time I spent in life modelling. I wanted to base my pots on the loose drawings of the model I had done.

With this piece I was looking the form of the chest and ribs. These pots are still coil built with the rough textured surface.

In this drawing I liked the way the hip bones jutted out. The vessel I made did not come out quite the same way I wanted it to but I did like the outcome.

I focussed on the shoulders with this vessel. I wasted to make a pot that had a strong physical appearance and I think using the shoulders to carry that out worked really well for me.

I couldn’t quite get the perfect body reference to create a large bellied pot as our life model isn’t so large so I decided to work off the idea I had that created this black pot. Each pot I made for this project has quite a lose open rim as I felt that a prominent neck and rim gave the pots the wrong structure I wanted to carry out  an organic form.

Practice pots

These are the first pots I made during this project. They were my first coil built vessels so I was just making them as maquettes. I was trying out the black clay just as an experiment. I wanted to get quite an eye grabbing effect with my pots. Something that was bold and stands out. To create the surface texture I used a grogged clay. With the ribbed metal kidney I scraped across the surface then instead of using a sponge or flat metal kidney to smooth it out I waited for the pot to dry slightly then used the edge of a wooden tool to drag the grog across the surface creating scratch marks.

Hand building

I’ve decided to coil build the vessels I make for this brief. I like the form it gives my pots and I also feel that it hands itself nicely to the organic form that I am looking for. I also believe that with coil building there is a sense of control with how the shape of the body will finish. I also like the unevenness coil building gives, your never 100% going to finish with the pot you planned to make, it brings out a body of its own.

Life drawing

As I’m looking at figurative sculpting I decided to study the human form. I visited the life drawing room on a Wednesday and made a few rough sketches. These will be the base ideas for my ceramic work.

One minute:

Two minutes:

5 mins:

Continual line drawing: (urban sketching)

Using these sketches I decided to plan some shapes for my pots: