Ceramic sculptor Arthur Gonzalez was trained as a photorealist painter, but grew to dislike the control and predictability of that genre. So it is no surprise that when he discovered ceramics (not exactly known for its predictability!) he became hooked. He explains, “I can instantly materialize a thought and then destroy it if it does not deliver what I need.” This immediacy satisfies a love of exploration. In today’s post, Arthur explains how he approaches his coil-built figurative clay sculpture.
Paper clay improves joining capabilities and decreases warping and shrinkage, all the while reducing the heft of the work. This makes it ideal for building complex or delicate ceramic sculpture. Ceramic artist Lisa Merida-Paytes extols the virtues of paper clay in the upcoming issue of Pottery Making Illustrated and today we’re giving you a preview of that article.
We have one of Lars Westby’s platters hanging here in our office (acquired as a Ceramic Monthly Purchase Award from the Strictly Functional Pottery National a few years back), and I love it. I keep lobbying to have it moved closer to my office (to no avail). Anyway, when we got it, I added ceramic wall pieces to my list of things I want to experiment with in the studio. Like many things, making ceramic wall pieces got pushed to the back burner, but now that I have seen Lars’ article in the December 2012 issue of Ceramics Monthly, I have a renewed interest. In today’s post, Lars explains how he makes his sculptural platters.
Last summer, Lisa Naples came to town for a marathon week of filming two DVDs. The first one, Flat to Functional, was launched in March, and I am happy to say her much-anticipated Narrative Animal Sculpture, makes its debut today! As both an animal lover and a clay lover (not to mention a big fan of the lovely Lisa Naples), I really enjoyed this video.
For today’s video, I’m sharing a (much condensed) clip in which Lisa demonstrates sculpting a rabbit’s head – but as she points out, the process can be applied to all mammals with special attention paid to the unique features of each one. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Support Systems: What it Takes to Make Lightweight Wheel Thrown, Altered, and Assembled Ceramic Sculptures
Making thin, curved walls out of clay requires support throughout the process. In today’s post, Wouter Dam explains how he uses foam swimming pool floats for support during construction, and customized clay supports to get the pieces through the firing.
The Tower of London’s dry moat was recently flooded again, but not with water. This time it was with 888,246 ceramic poppies. Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, with the help of countless volunteers, created the epic installation commemorating those who served and perished in World War One.
For more about this fascinating and moving project, have a look at this excerpt from the February 2015 issue of Ceramics Monthly by Holly Goring. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
In this installment of the Ceramic Arts Daily Presents Video Series, Lisa Naples shares her insights and techniques on sculpting animals in clay to tell stories. She begins with a mixed media project, explaining not only the ins and outs of sculpting convincing mammal forms in clay, but also the technical issues of building clay pieces to successfully mesh with non clay materials. She also explores the process of pairing animal parts with pottery forms, creating a sculptural bird vase. In addition, Lisa shows how to make the figures come alive through her fabulous brush work and dry-brush slip application.
People have been using clay to tell stories since the dawn of history. Lisa Naples tells stories in both her functional pots and ceramic sculpture. In her new video, Narrative Animal Sculpture, she concentrates mainly on the latter, sharing all of the secrets to sculpting convincing animal forms in clay. In this clip, Lisa shows a great technique for an expressive mouth on a goat. So fun! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.