Saturday, April 7, 2012

Daily Mini Sculpture Project: NCECA Edition

I've been out of town at two conferences for part of both of the last two weeks. I made some work during the time I was gone but also missed some days because of the conferences and the work that piles up when one is gone. Click these links if you want to know what my Daily Mini Sculpture project is or how it started.

This is almost the last piece I made before I left for the NCECA (clay) conference in Seattle. It has been so long I can't honestly remember if it was supposed to be a inspiration-hint piece or just one I came up with. I believe it was just one I was playing with. The form is similar to one I've worked with before.

The night before I left for the conference I decided to whip something out in about 15 minutes. It is a flatter piece than I usually do with just one claw and an impression of some plastic thing I had in the studio. I think the inspiration hint was to use a stencil, which I translated into using a stamp.

 At the NCECA conference I planned to steal some time to work between events or in the evening. Traffic, meeting up with folks and pure exhaustion prevented this form happening until the morning of the second full day, but when I arrived early for Yoga for Potters (drive time with traffic was hard to judge ahead of time), I made a couple pieces in the car. The first one I finished before yoga, the second one was partly done. I used a banana peel for the texture. I had forgotten that my inspiration for the previous day was supposed to be "potato prints" but really, I wasn't going to make a piece that used a potato print directly, especially not from the parking garage of the Seattle Convention Center.


This piece with the banana peel print didn't do as well when my daughter sat on the bag with the clay, but with a little repair it seems to have regained its form.


Back at home I managed to make some pieces in some stolen nap moments and in the evening while watching TV. I didn't, however, managed to document my work very well at the time, so I can't recall the inspiration hints.

Surface is an impression from rolling the ball around on a texture mat. I think I was tired when I cranked this one out.

I think Sean was watching a show about airplanes while I did this one. maybe I was craving cheerios, too.


By the time I left for my second conference (a SBCTC Critical Multiculturalism Faculty Learning Community retreat in North Bend--a mouthful), I realize that no clay work would get done after long hours and in a lodge room in which I might have a roommate (I didn't).

I save the work for when I got back. Today I made an "instructions" piece. I can't remember the entire prompt from the book, but the one-word hint I wrote down just said "instructions."  So this piece is illustrated with instructions for making this piece. Meta, huh?


I pulled two hints (to account for the ~three days I missed) and the second was "pens." I have several old pens and pencils as studio tools so I played with them on both of the next pieces. The back end of the dried out red pen makes a nice round indent with a raised center bump. 

Part way through the first piece, my daughter cancelled her nap and came down to the clay studio to ask me to open underglaze jars and to mix the underglaze into a muddy mess. (She has her own underglaze set so that I don't have to be upset when it all turns brown). I insisted on continuing to work and since the heat was already on and Daddy was napping, she tolerated it.

This piece has the same indents from the back of the pen and also marks from the pen tip. They cover one side and fade out on the "back" because there is a limit to four-year-old patience. Interestingly (at least to me) the piece below makes me think about children learning the meaning of the world "mother" as a metaphor for scientists learning the meaning of their scientific definitions and theories. I was listening to "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" (at least I was listening when I wasn't being asked to open jars). Often pieces of audiobooks or songs stick to a work I am making because I was listening when I made the work. This piece of information stuck because it related to two other bits of new information from the last couple weeks.  In Seattle I went to the Gaugin exhibition and learned, among other things that children in Polynesia are/were raised calling more than one woman "mother" because...well, I guess, "it takes a village." The equivalent of godparents were more integral to raising the kids. And, after the Critical Multiculturalism retreat I was talking with my mother about how cultural biases might impact sciences. (Did you know that scientific research on chimpanzees is often done on only male chimps? Even if the research will then be used for drugs or treatments for both males and females.)

We also got up to the Chimposium at the Central Washington University Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute today, so I guess Chimpanzees are on the brain too.

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