Friday, July 27, 2012

Sloooow and Distracted Progress

In keeping with my summer so far, my progress this week has been slow and I have allowed myself to be distracted by various obligations and curiosities. I finished a couple pieces late last week and on the weekend. Unfortunately they aren't pieces that have many bike parts, so maybe I shouldn't have spent so much time with them.

I also played around this week on the wheel. Monday I threw a bunch of pieces, both parts for sculpture (that I hope to start today after I do some unrelated and nagging paperwork) and for some functional pieces I wanted to try. I ordered some new clay at the start of the summer but hadn't yet gotten around to testing for maturity at cone 04. I made a couple plates, a berry bowl and a set of mugs with false bottoms that rattle or open to reveal a separate open section. I saw a similar open-bottomed mug online--or maybe a student shared it with me--that was designed to hold a cookie in the open section below the tea vessel. I'm not sure the result is ergonomic, but I wanted to try it. 

After the first cookie mug, I realized that for a right handed drinker, the handle should probably be to the left of the opening or the cookie (or crumbs) would fall out on the drinker's lap as he or she lifts the mug to drink. Maybe the left-handed cookie mug can be part of a sociological experiment in my kitchen involving tea, cookies and messy laps. We can look for those who subconsciously realize that cookies will fall on their laps and adjust accordingly and those who discover the flaw only when the cookie falls.

I also spent an inordinate amount of time working on a multi-layer vessel which is intended to function as a cosmetics holder in my bathroom. I feel silly for the amount of design that went into the project (which looks like a scented wax burner) but if it works, several hours of studio work will be soon outweighed by the pleasures of eschewing a daily rain of broken powder and projectile mascara when I open the medicine cabinet.

I also under-glazed too much this week. The glazing process can expand or shrink to fit the time allotted. I should really just underglaze 30 minutes a day during the year, so I can stop wasting hours on this mindless task during my summer studio time. I might have to lock up the glazes, though, because the alluring idea of getting some glazing done always tricks me into spending more time than I initially planned; I sit down for 20 minutes between tasks and suddenly its two hours later and all I've done is laundry and under-glazing.

Before it got too hot, I took several nice walks with my daughter to look at flowers (and other detritus). I keep seeing forms that make me want to work in the studio (but I somehow keep lacking the motivation to actually get them done).

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