This fall I worked mainly in lowfire surface experiments and used terra cotta to make wall tiles. These pieces proved to be very challenging, and also informative. I learned much about different options when it comes to putting an image onto clay, including image transfer, decals, china paint, monoprinting, and stenciling. These are some of the pieces that resulted from my work at KCAI this past semester.
This wall tile was made using low relief, carving, and stenciling. The background is mason stain mixed into terra sigilata, while the water is china painted.
This higher relief tile of a jaguar utilizes both crawl glazes and lichen glazes over different stains.
This tile was made using an image transfer. I painted black slip on a xerox image of the elephant, then when the slip was dry, I wet down the paper and printed the slip onto the tile slab. The water effect was done using mason stains rubbed into a clear glaze before firing. The tile was then mounted to a wooden back that could be hung on the wall.
This piece was done using monoprinting. In this process a plaster slab is used to create the image. I drew the image first on a plaster slab using underglazes. Once it was dry, I poured wet lowfire slip over the image. The slip then re-hydrates the underglaze, and when the slip is dry it is peeled off the plaster like a print would be made. After the glaze firing I used iron oxide decals to create the floral imagry.
This tile was made using a sandblaster. Once the green and blue glaze was fired on, I created a stencil using mastick. I then sandblasted over the stencil which resisted the glazed areas.
The images on these tiles were printed using a thermofax screen. I laid the xerox image onto the screen, and ran it through a thermofax machine, which melted the black areas of the xerox allowing thickened slip to pass through and print the image. This process is very akin to screenprinting, but very compatible with ceramics. These tiles are mounted on Padua wood, which hangs on the wall.
The remaining part of the semester was spent on a more complicated project. For me this was a high relief piece that had to measure at least five inches off of the tile. This assignment allowed me to explore a little more with sculpting, and eventually, with large scale installation.
This piece, ‘Leftovers’, is based on my research of predators. It focuses on the relationship between disappearing predators and the other animals in their environments. This piece also speaks to the place of humans alongside and against predators like the lion. The wreaths around the figures are made up of hand sculpted leaves and flowers, and some slipcast animal bones and antlers. These elaborate wreaths reflect the atmosphere of a hunting lodge or baroque style wood carvings.
Here are all three pieces after the completion of wetwork:
A few Details:
And the finished piece as it was installed at the end of semester show: