Monday, August 5, 2013

Flossers, Bulbs and Safety Wiring

Over the last week or two, I worked on more forms than the bulbs I mentioned in my previous post. Since my sabbatical work is supposed to deal with incorporating non-ceramic mechanical parts into my ceramic forms, I thought I should get started as soon as possible.

flossers in the neck of a ceramic form
A few weeks ago I stopped by Revolution Cycles in Yakima to beg for bike parts for my project. They kindly agreed to collect parts for me and call me when they have collected some. While waiting for the parts to accrue, I played around with some other non-ceramic objects I have around the house, including some kids flossers. I'm not sure about the neon colors, but I like the shape of this particular batch of flossers.
I cut the holes wider and taller than the part of the flosser I will insert because the clay will shrink during firing.
As I plan next year's show, I want to have several levels of mechanical, man-made support with some pieces more supported or embellished, and others more focused on the clay itself and the organic forms without added "support." With this in mind, I have been making sprigged surfaces that use both mechanical and organic molds and which leave room for non-ceramic pieces to "cameo".

Sprigged decoration made from bike parts and bolts. One real bolt is in place during forming and there is space visible for another to be attached later. 
I am envisioning some forms that will be mostly clay and mostly organic, but even in the mostly clay sections or pieces, I want to camouflage a small quantity of non-ceramic materials. My vision of the work is that the non ceramic elements, particularly the mechanical pieces are prostheses for the organic forms and that the forms are gradually evolving to be more mechanical.

The non-ceramic elements will be attached after firing and glazing.
This idea of a gradation between mechanical and organic is also influencing my planning of the bulb pieces for the wall installation. These pieces will relate to the standing forms in the exhibition. Most of the bulbs are entirely clay, but a few will have non-ceramic elements added in. Several have sprigged additions that are made from mechanical molds.

bulbs dyring
My husband came home the other day while I was working on a bulb with sprigged attachments made from a mold of an airplane bolt. He suggested that he could safety wire the bolt sprig after firing. My husband builds hydraulic actuators for airplanes and safety wiring the bolts is something he does at work. I like the idea of wiring the bolt to make the bulb more reminiscent of a functional mechanical part.
form with "organic" and mechanical visual elements

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