Monday, October 30, 2017

Asleep in the Deep: many ways to use clay!

Asleep in the Deep is my first experiment in combining clay monoprints with clay sculpture.  Here I have covered the wooden box with a clay monoprint.  The mermaid, who represents a deep dream state, is made from paper clay with oxides, stains, and underglazes. The little bubbles in the monoprint seems to be coming out of her mouth, as if she is breathing while under water. The ceramic natural forms inside the box are paper clay with glazes.  If is fun to combine three different ways to use clay, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional.  

The design of the clay monoprint is watery, and the colors go well with the mermaid, although this wasn't planned in advance.   

The glazed ceramic pieces inside the box were natural things such as seed pods and  branches which were dipped in paper clay slip.  When fired, the organic material burns out, leaving the ceramic shell, which can then be glazed. 

The box itself was a gift from my friend Melvin Chappell, who knew I would find an interesting use for it.  I never imagined it would be this!

This cabinet has been lined with another clay monoprint:

The sculpture I have in mind to go inside of it will be coming out of the kiln by Thursday.  I have other ceramic nature pieces I will add as well, and a small birds nest with some broken blue egg shells in it.  It will be an interesting cabinet of curiosities! The clay monoprint will function more like a stage setting than a backdrop. I'll post it when it is finished.  

I have been on a kick now with using pieces of clay monoprints, ever since Main Line Art Center asked artists to contribute 8" x 8" work for a fundraiser.  I cropped several clay monoprints into 8" x 8" sections, and then had wonderful leftover scraps.  My first project was a collage on the door in our kitchen to our basement steps:

It feels like the protector of a stairway that is steep and narrow, offering both safety and a reminder to be careful.  It is also the stairway that leads to my studio!

I decided that the first door collage is finished, so started a new one on the inside of the door to my studio, seen when it is closed.  I'm not sure how finished or unfinished this one may be.  So far it feels like a self-portrait.

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