Monday, 20 October 2008

Ceramics - Class Four

After tonight's class I am exhausted! This is the first time I have really done anything since coming down with my heavy cold last week. Now hubby has it and he's completely wiped out with it too.

Unfortunately I didn't get to use the wheel tonight. The tutor decided to teach glazing instead as many students already had several fired pieces and the cupboard was getting rather overcrowded with pieces!

I got to class nearly an hour early. The tutor said previously that he is there very early to set up and that if we wanted to go in early we could, so I did! I'm glad I did because we only have two hours and by the time we have faffed around getting clay and tools out and then cleaning up at the end of class, there doesn't seem to be much time to actually work with the clay. Getting there an hour early probably meant I had around two full hours of clay time. I didn't do any glazing as only my little head from the first week had been fired - my pot from the second week was only finished last week, and my castle from the third week...

...well, I decided to scrap my castle from the third week and start again. I think I took the tube out too soon and I couldn't apply pressure to the surface to decorate it without it threatening to cave in. This time I kept the tube in until I had nearly finished it. And this is the finished result...

I decided to keep the texture of the hessian that I had rolled the clay out on to. Where the castle had "crumbled away" I also added some cracks. The other lines are supposed to be vines.

I cut some of the windows out and left some of them filled in. The opening that you see at the back is to slip in a tee light so that the whole castle lights up and shines through the cut out windows.

Some of the windows are wonky, but hey, it's a crumbling castle.

Now that I'm home I realise I forgot one very important thing - to put feet underneath it. I know, generally speaking castles don't have feet but if I put a tee light in this the bottom will get too hot for most surfaces. I shall have to email the tutor and ask if he can add some feet for me tomorrow because it will be too dry by the time I go back to class.

And now it is two whole weeks before my next ceramics class. How will I survive?


jafabrit said...

I have had fun looking at the things you have been doing in class. poo about the crack on the face relief as it was really nice. You know I remember going into a castle turret just like the one you made ;) it is neat.

Kathy L said...

I love the castle. What a wonderful piece. I can tell that you are addicted lol. Keep up the good work and get some rest!


Undaunted said...

Thank you Jafabrit, I'm glad you've been enjoying my pieces.

Thank you Kathy. Yes, I am definitely addicted! I can't sleep on Monday nights because my head is just buzzing!

Anonymous said...

This one is much much better than the first one - so great idea to scrap the other. I know it's hard to do, but in the end, you don't want to be like me. I'm now in the position of breaking and throwing old work out.

In the beginning, everything was precious and I was loathe to toss anything.

If you covered your piece tightly, you can still add feet to it. If you can't get in to add the feet now, you can make them at home if you have any of the same clay body to use. Also, use a little paper clay slip if the studio has it, otherwise, make some paper clay slip at home. Saturate toilet paper with boiling water. Allow it to sit overnight. After it is like clouds and easily disintegrates just by touching, add either dry clay scraps and allow the clay particles to slake down. Mix it up till it's thicker than cream. Ready to use next time around.

Undaunted said...

Yes, I agree Cynthia, although the other one wasn't finished I still think this one was better from the start - probably because the first one was a bit of a rush and I was making it up as I went along, whereas this second one was planned out in my mind before I got to class. I didn't mind scrapping it at all. The tutor was trying to encourage me to continue with the old one, but I'd made up my mind that I was going to start again. I obviously failed at trying not to be a perfectionist!

Unfortunately it's already too late to add feet - I didn't wrap the piece at all because I thought it was finished and left it to dry. I emailed the tutor to see if he could add feet the following evening but he said it would already be too dry as it was locked in the cupboard with the kilns and they were on all night! Hubby came up with a great idea though - he suggested I make a little stand for it, so I shall do that. Thanks for your advice though Cynthia :)

Leanne Pizio said...

So much going on. I need to visit more often. Crazy week prevented my bloggin time.

Love the castle. Beautiful work and so detailed. I can see your addiction too. Awesome. We always need more clay people in the world.
Can't wait to see more. I love hearing your excitement. It comes through the computer.

Sorry you have to take a week off. Can you bring clay home with you to work with?

Undaunted said...

Don't worry Leanne, that's how it goes sometimes.

Thank you, I'm glad you like the castle!

I don't think we can take clay home, but I have loads of my own. The problem is finding the space to use it, and an appropriate surface - last time I used my rickety old kitchen table and I thought it was going to collapse!

queencraftygirl said...

I love the castle! Its beautiful!


Undaunted said...

Hey Queeny! Thank you so much!
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I love your blog! You really are the Queen of crafts!

queencraftygirl said...

Thanks Undaunted, I will try to show the costume at different angles soon!

Queeny C.G.

Undaunted said...

Great! I can't wait!