Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Daily Mini Sculpture Project: GI Joe Edition

Here are the most recent small sculptures. 

This piece was made with a water lily sprig (an inverse stamp made from a dried water lily) and a broken GI Joe figurine. My daughter found the GI Joe on the ground one time while we were visiting the park. I used the hands to add the repetitive impressed texture visible on the low areas of the piece.

GI Joe strikes again. This time he was walking. The inspiration hint today was "path." So Joe walked from the tallest part of the sculpture around the piece and into the hole. The figurine, as I mentioned above, was broken (missing a let), so he hopped on one foot the whole way. The other impressions are pistachio shells.

I found a small thing that fell off a tree. I thought it was interesting, but I'm not sure what it was called. It has now disintegrated so I can't really share it. This is my interpretation (which, honestly, is pretty disproportionate and doesn't really look like the original).

The hint for today was to "use only one tool." This was harder than I expected. I often use whatever is available, but I guess I usually use at least three tools even on a simple object. I pinch two forms into shape then score the edges before attaching them. I can skip the brush to apply the slip and I can skip the scoring tool to rough the edges, but only if the clay is wet enough. Then I paddle the seam into shape. For this work I kept the paddle, in part because I had automatically picked it up and started paddling before I thought about it being a tool. I usually use at least one more tool t poke an air hole in the piece. I skipped that step by making the cracked mouth opening, but I couldn't score the piece into the mouth very well, I couldn't clean up the interior edge and I had to use the back of the paddle for adding texture to he piece. And as I write this it occurs to me that the small ball coming out of the mouth probably has no air hole (meaning it will explode in the kiln if I don't add one--using another tool).

Orange sprigs and scoring tools

Inspiration hint: Eunsil Kim. Her thrown work often has geometric glazed or underglazed patterns and figurative imagery. I didn't have a square stamp so I used the end of a Japanese Sumi-e ink stick. It became more rounded during use, so I made a few other rectangle/square stamps for future use.
 Some other sprigs too.

Sprig and a paring knife.

Inspiration hint: Mike Hiler. This one was fun. I watch Mike work all the time. He works with thin textured slabs and, essentially, coil-builds with them. But the most idiosyncratic part of his method is his habit of adding little rolled balls of clay to patch any cracks or holes. He leaves the holes visible and they have become a visual signature. I haven't seen anyone else work this way unless they were mimicking Mike. I pinched my slabs on my palm. As I was working I realized that I had some little cracks that I wanted to fill. Then laughed at myself for thinking this, since the technique I was copying had a built-in solution. After I built the piece, I paddled the walls to help keep the dots secure.

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