The Ottawa School of Art is having its 30th annual Holiday Fundraising Art Sale. I put 3 decorative bowls this year and one of them, ”Bunny in Love with Owl”, won the Best of Show Prize from Capital Pottery’s owner Sarah Hand. Thanks!!!
For test tiles and other shapes that I will reuse, I make patterns out of transparent and soft plastic folders (found at the Dollar store). It is particularly good when making series (production work) and you want to save some time. Below is an example for a pair of Christmas Sale seahorse wall pieces. I always start with a sketch (although I could, I choose not to trace directly from a picture).
Then I trace the shape on the plastic folder with a permanent marker, cut the piece out, et voilà! Easy to use, easy to clean and it can be used on both sides.
For test tiles, once I cut a piece in clay I then proceed with stamping a piece of coral and a pencil to make shallow and deeper marks. I also bending the tail so I can get as much information as possible about the glaze’s behaviour. You can see pictures of my test tiles in my previous post on Test tiles.
In my living room, I have an Ikea display case where I put some of my favorite pieces, as well as other artists’ work and some of the seashells and rocks I collected over the years. We had to childproof it recently. 🙂
I recently purchased 2 glass-bell jars similar to this one (minus the metallic end on the rope) at Michaels. I fell in love with them and thought they would be a great addition to my seahorse series. They have a marine/seaside quality to them and will be a metaphor for the curio trade. It refers to the many dried seahorses souvenir items tourists buy from in stores (key chains, cast in resin, etc.). It is one of the many reasons why seahorses are endangered.
Below is my latest seahorse sculpture. There is a support piece under its jaw for the bisque firing. This piece is supposed to fit under the bell but I might have made it too tall… We’ll see with the final firing. I intend to glaze it with my glue-glaze, which explains the absence of texture on his body.
Hot from the bisque firing, my first 3 pieces did come out pretty unscathed (there’s always some apprehension when coming to a new studio, not all techs are careful with fragile works). Pretty pleased with the result.
Just in case someone is wondering if I have some ego issue writing my name on all my properties, I will reply that I was once robbed of a palette knife being told “I don’t see your name on it” in a painting class (I was stunned, her name sure wasn’t on it either). Sure enough someone took my sponge off my shelf the other day (can’t write on it or should I try?) and returned it thanks to the message I wrote on the board…
After learning that seahorses are on the brink of extinction within the next 20-30 years, I made this large wall piece. I decided to learn some more about this intriguing species. The more I read, the more I think I found my theme for this artist residency.
To learn more, here are some websites:
Project Seahorse (a marine conservation organisation and UBC initiative committed to the conservation and sustainable use of the world’s coastal marine ecosystems).
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One of the perks of being a member of the Ottawa Guild of Potters is that I have access to an extensive library of magazines and books on ceramics. In one of my favorite magazines, Ceramics Art and Perception (Issue #67, May 2007), I saw this beautiful work by Australian artist John Mawhinney.
The New South Wales artist uses a clay I would love to try my hands on: Southern Ice Porcelain. His sea-inspired pieces seek to illustrate that there are systems within systems in nature as well as chaos and order.
Although our approach to our work differ, I can’t help but thinking that there is great similarities in the esthetics between my most recent work and the pieces below.
The pictures are from the Arts Northern Rivers Visual Arts Network website, where one can find Mr. Mawhinney’s bio.