Tag: clay

Face Bookends

Face BookendsClay (2012)

These bookends were created for my third and final project in a sculpture class I attended last spring.

I learned to apply the old adage “draw what you see, not what you know” to three dimensions. We all know that a typical face is composed of a nose, mouth, eyes, and cheekbones, but until I actually looked around at the faces of my classmates for guidance, I hadn’t truly looked at each of those components individually, or in relation to one another in any detail. I found the experience very eye opening (though apparently the bookend face did not)!

“What is art but a way of seeing?” – Saul Bellow

Face Bookends

Face Bookends

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Percy the Lonely Inukshuk

CClay (2012)

This relief sculpture was my second project for last winter’s sculpture class. My favourite part of the process was repeatedly slamming the clay onto the workbench to evict any air pockets that would expand in the kiln and cause mini explosions. I rolled out the resulting compact slab into an organic shape, and begun carving away at the horizon and the distinct cracks and fissures of each rock.

An inukshuk takes form as the sky recedes.

Above the Arctic Circle is a magical place. The sky seems to open up over the tundra and it feels as if you are literally on the top of the world.

My family and I ventured up to the Arctic one summer, living out of a motorhome and stopping to swim in every lake we came to. Many of these beautifully inviting lakes were in fact stocked with icy cold water that had been frozen in glaciers mere hours before swallowing our cannonballs; needless to say we spent much of our lake time shivering and skipping stones on shore. The trip created many special memories that are now securely lodged in my brain, highlighted by lots of family pursuits (such as building our own inukshuks), and a real, live wolf sighting!

My younger sister (top) and I building inukshuks

I love the contrast between the edgy, sharp rocks and the smooth, flowing sky – the sturdy earthbound structure under the expansive, ever transforming heavens.

I am considering glazing this piece…so perhaps it is a work in progress?

Clay Wolf Tile

 

Clay and shoe polish (2012)

I attended a very fun sculpture class at ArtVenture this past spring, and this was the first of the three projects I completed. It involved laying out an image in a tile frame, then slowly filling it in from behind, ensuring no air was trapped in the inch or so of clay. I dramatized the topography by adding layers around the snout and eyebrows and carving rifts around the eyes, before adding a few fine details and a sparse coat of shoe polish.

This class was my first art course outside of middle/junior high school, and it was fantastic to learn new techniques and bounce ideas off of others who were similarly focused. Art is fun with friends!

Animorph

Clay (2011)

I awoke one morning to find these words scrawled in a notebook:

my face morphs into wolf

I remember rousing myself from the murky depths of oncoming sleep just long enough to scribble these words in the dark before plummeting fully into dreamland. A stop motion video ran in my mind: a self portrait forming out of a mound of clay, then morphing into the portrait of a wolf.

With my camera set up above the work surface, the initial plan was to make a change in the clay, then momentarily remove my hands from the frame, and repeat. I would then be able to draw a series of frames from the video that could be strung together to form what looked like self-molding clay. However, I only paused to remove my hands about a dozen times before forgetting the plan altogether when I was swept away into the timeless art abyss (and subsequently becoming late for track practice). So instead of the labour intensive stop motion concept (which I will surely revisit), I just sped up the video to 1000x the original speed.

Seeing a finished piece of art is great, but I am also very interested in the process of its creation. With such accessible video editing and media sharing technology, this traditionally very private process can be easily shared, adding a whole new dimension to art viewing, and art creating.