Play Time Toys:
Here are a few more pieces from my daily project. My daughter helped with this first piece because the inspiration hint said "Play Time Toys." The hint came from the Noah Scalin book, "365." The original suggestion in the book was the play with toys, borrow them from your kid or someone else's kid and for extra credit, you could have the kid help make the project, too.
So we looked for a toy to use as our inspiration. We worked in the kitchen at my daughter's playdoh and paint table because it was chilly in my clay studio. I guess we were either being very inspired or sort of lazy because when I discovered that my preferred paddle (wooden spoon) was at school, I used her plastic hammer to compress the hollow body form from two pinch pots.
We based the clay form of of a pair of My Little Pony toys from McDonalds. I made the body and head while my daughter formed the legs. They were a little skinny and our prehistoric pony seemed to be suffering some sort of muscular dystrophy so I thickened up his legs after she made them so our My Little Eohippus could stand.
We were making something inspired by My Little Pony so he OBVIOUSLY needs to have hair. I included plenty of holes to fill with hair follicles after firing. I am thinking he will need to be painted with some sort of wax or encaustic to really capture the plastic essence of the original. I assume we will need to find neon pink hair as well.
No Particular Place To Go:
Everyday I am alternating an outside inspiration with a free project. With the bunny and the horse (above) I made a multipart form rather than a simple hollow ball, so I thought I would play with that relationship in a more abstract subject. My daughter had two and a half nails left over from her Build & Grow project at Lowe's and I was again working at her table, so I decided to use the nails as both texture and an added material. I haven't tried firing nails in the kiln. A quick moment of research on nails and the melting point of steel suggests that the nails might be made of a steel allow and it is unlikely to melt at my firing temperature (~1800°F) or even high fire (~2350°F), but it may soften. That shouldn't cause any structural or messy kiln issues since I've left room around the nail for the clay to shrink.
Bridges (& very small rocks):
Thursday's inspiration hint was "bridges." I didn't remember much else from the book, so I thought I'd build a bridge linking two of my pieces. Pretty straight-forward, really, though I was thinking of Stephen Robison's talk about bridges in his work this past weekend (sorry, no picture, you had to be there).
My daughter chose to help me again. Her is my hollow form construction with her surface decoration (inside a greenware bowl to minimize messes).
Before beginning to work in the studio, we collected debris from the front porch with which to decorate our hollow forms. She forgot once she discovered a jar of slip; I pressed tree helicopters into the wet clay of my own piece. They'll show up better after glazing.
She wanted to continue working, so I made her another ball and one for myself. Moments after I finished making the forms, she decided she was done but I asked to finish. She allowed it while she investigated the studio. The studio is also the entry/exit from/to the back yard, so amongst the clay projects, tools and assorted detritus of the winter were the remnants at our vegetable-growing attempts last summer (gardening tip: gardens expect to be watered regularly). So while my daughter pretended to dig up my clay studio carpet and plant peas, I built another bridge linking my piece and hers. then we pressed peas into the wet clay surface because dry peas look interesting.
|peas after "harvest" from the carpet|