dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Pottery, Ceramics or Sculpting?

Pottery, or ceramics, can't half be boring at times. When your hands are sore from rubbing a rolling pin up and down like a pastry chef, and you're stood there in your apron, you might even start to feel like a pastry chef, minus the wage packet and free food. You're constantly dirty, you're constantly washing your hands, your work goes into a hot oven, and there's always a big clean up at the end. But with pottery, or ceramics shall I say, there's the added danger of breathing in dust and dangerous chemicals. If you're lucky, while another old vase is drying, you might have something already fired, just sat there waiting to be painted. Aren't you ever so lucky now? Feel free to spend x amount of hours faffing around with paint brushes, pots of water, mixing pallets, and toilet roll. Don't forget to breathe in those leady fumes from the open ends of half a dozen different poisonous glazes too. And don't forget those three coats.
There's quite a lot to be done in pottery. I mean ceramics. But truthfully, the very best part about all of it, besides maybe positioning the finished article on top of the telly, is sculpting something irregular like the Catacomb Heart, pictured top and bottom. Stick your plant pots, with all the best due respect in the world, understand, and your bronze-cast animal busts. Throw all your teapots in "the biggest bloody dustbin you can find" [Brian Clough, The Damned United (2009), played by Michael Sheen, in reference to what the Leed's players should do with their previous season's trophy haul]. Sorry, have I been saying pottery and ceramics? Actually, I should have been saying sculpting. Sculpting is the best part about pottery and ceramics. Using your hands. Not a cookery implement. The cookery implement parts tend to be much harder.
It's surprising how little sculpting you can do in pottery and ceramics though. Honestly. There are so many tools and trays and boxes and bits and bottles...who the frig needs to handle any sticky wet clay? Why not skip that part, as I did for so long, and jump straight into the bit where you paint a nice pre-made cup, or nice pre-made plate, or nice pre-made xmas tree, or nice already-made just about anything else? Above is a rolled slab with aztec markings repeatedly pressed all over it, with texture, in my booky-wook, being the name of the game. What do you call that? Pressing? Stamping? Dotting? Dabbing? Indenting? Making marks? Don't ask me. I Dunno with a capital D.
Above is a Graveyard Plot. If you see differently, answers on the usual postcards. Who the fluff knows what this thing is? Hands were used, okay, but I'd be hesitant to call it sculpture. I'd call it a Pizza Clock decorated with roly-poly worms from the extruder machine, that's what I'd call it. All good fun, when it's not tedious, monotonous, frustrating and boring, mind. Passes a few hours. But it's nothing like making something unusual with your bare hands, shaping it as you go along. Nothing like making a lump of something like the Catacomb Heart which will end up like nobody knows what. Just grab a lump, make some grooves and stuff, and that's it. Simples.
Here is where I conceived the Alien Planet this morning, on my front lawn, due to a caffeine buzz and a nicotine rush. This portal, when constructed (plinths seen here were borrowed from tutor, although I am halfway through making my own), will allow the passage of myself and two yoga-practising virgin  Mermaids on a hyperbolic trajectory through Mintakas's orbit into the left empty eyeball socket of the Skull of Golgotha, densest black hole in western Andromeda, but only if we each have tickets stamped and approved by Ramsbottom's Presbyterian County Cricket and Hopscotch Association. To create a 3-D representational model of the Alien Planet, I will need only egg boxes, lego, and circuit boards. Next time, padres, next time...
any mistakes are not mine 

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