My work colleagues arranged an evening of ceramic pottery lessons as a team building event, and I took the opportunity to reacquaint myself with clay. (The last time I touched clay was over 26 years ago) I settled on a mug design where a mermaid would serve as the handle. I only had 1.5 hours for my first attempt (Mermaid A), so I went back to the shop the following weekend and took my time with a second draft (Mermaid B). I left the final glazing to the ceramics instructor who is also the shop owner. I also had no idea how much detail would be lost... The color of the glaze is appropriately named "Deep Sea" which I really like for its aged bronze patina look. (Special thanks to the Ceramic Art Studio & Shop)

 

mermaid sketches mug design

Concept sketches

 

 

Mermaid A - about 1.5 hours of sculpting (Wet clay)

 

mermaid clay sculpture

Mermaid B - about 4 hours of sculpting (Wet clay)

mermaid clay sculpture

Mermaid B (Dried clay)

 

mermaid clay sculpture

Mermaid B 360 degree view.

 

mermaid clay sculpture

Mermaid B Close Up

 

mermaid clay sculpture

Mermaid B Close Up 2

 

mermaid ceramic pottery

Mermaid B with ceramic glaze

 

mermaid ceramic pottery

Mermaid B with ceramic glaze (Side view)

 

mermaid ceramic pottery

Mermaid B with ceramic glaze (Side view)

 

Mermaid A with ceramic glaze.

A friend suggested I continue my chimeric female sculpture series with an angel. As usual I started with a concept sketch and adapted it along the way. This piece took much longer than I had anticipated, and I actually ran out of time. Based on my experience with the mermaid mug and the water bearer, I didn't bother adding a whole lot of detail to the face since most of it gets obscured by the glaze.

Somehow a crack line formed along the base of the neck after the first bisque. Fortunately however, the ceramics shop owner was able to apply the glaze in such a way that the crack is virtually unnoticeable. The name of the glaze is "Sky Barley."

I also noticed that the fluted shape of the vase makes the plant stems slant considerably to either side. To correct this I sculpted an ornate stem holder that would rest within the vase. This wasn't part of the original design, but I think it makes the piece more functional and interesting. (Note: The first three pics below are without the stem holder.)

 

 

 

 

Ornate stem holder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a departure from making something functional, I wanted to create a pure sculpture as a wedding gift for a friend. The bride and groom were Aquarius and Leo respectively, which made for a nice theme from an artistic standpoint as well as something practical to shape in clay. I even made a custom base for the piece. The name of the ceramic glaze is "Peacock."

 

Pre-glaze bisque.

 

Post glaze (Peacock) with wood base. Digital photography just cannot capture the iridescent and color shifting qualities of this beautiful ceramic glaze. 

 

Concept sketches

 

Did a little paper folding based on designs of some of the world's best origami artists. John Montroll is my favorite, and I've even memorized a few of his models. This time however I decided to try some others for a change of pace. From left to right: Nicolas Gajardo (Horse - Pink), Robert Lang (Blue Shark), Komatsu Hideo (Horse - Yellow), and Noboru Miyajima (Dog).

A while ago I got into model ship building and in the process sculpted two figureheads (note the difference in the sword and facial features) and some ornaments (a cathead, a stern relief, and a miniature cello and violin which were carved out of African mahogany). I ended up converting the first figurehead into a desk piece. For more photos and information about my first model ship build, check out my HMS Surprise Build Blog.