In a birdcage, or a cardboard box?

So this has entertained me! Taking a body mould and then using it to support drying clay for one of my vessels. At the moment it looks much more human than it will once I get my teeth into whether ‘she’ can survive the process I’m going to put her through! Lastnight I put the clay into the mould with black plastic above and below it. Whilst pushing and pulling it into the mould I realised that the plastic was becoming very smooth and leathery. This was so incredibly pleasing. I found myself changing the way I was forcing the clay into the mould because there were parts that were simply so rewardingly tactile I kept coming back to them; like exposed ribs or joints (even though that’s not what they were). The unveiling of the work today (for it to become leather hard) was mildly disappointing. I had used two different types of clay so that they might dry at different rates and separate. But this had the unsettling effect of looking like cow hide. I’m not entirely comfortable with this, despite being able to see the humour in it. I have moved the clay around to explore the edges and rearrange the pieces to create a more fluid effect. Once dry and fired the work will be painted so I am less worried about the colour of the clay at this stage. It may grow on me though as the grey will become much lighter and post firing will be very different. After the process of seeing the sculpture black plastic wrapped I’m very interested in smoothing and burnishing parts of the surface or perhaps even discussing plastic wrapping some works so that the inside and outside are contrasting. So much to experiment with but am enjoying the processes being material-led. 

Distorted figure ceramic vessel with packing peanuts.

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