Integrating bike parts into ceramic sculpture requires parts, planning and conceptualizing the clay building process in pieces. Some of the parts I build are sketched before I begin and then I build them much as I sketched. The design for others needs to be revised partway through the process.
In the assortment of sketches below some are being built much like I planned, others have not been started. The sketch at the bottom right is based on the bike pedal part above. I have started to build this part and it has gone much as I originally planned.
I threw several bulb shapes off the hump on the pottery wheel. Once I shaped the bulb base to be round, I pressed the bike pedal part into the bulb where I wanted it to attach. With the metal pushed into the wet clay, I wiggled the metal back and forth, up and down to create an enlarged impression in the side of the clay. I then cut out a hole to accept the piece of the metal that sticks out. I cut a second, smaller hole to insert a bolt through the metal into the clay. These metal parts and bolts will be attached after firing and glazing.
|bulb with place for attachment|
I also made some ceramic bolts (seen in the background of the picture above). I don't know if I will use ceramic bolts or metal bolts, but making them allows me the option to use either. The ceramic bolts can be shaped exactly how I want them and can be glazed but they are weaker than the metal bolts.
|how the bike part will fit|
I threw the base form for this piece as well. The sketch shows a soft, low bulbous form, but the form I threw is taller, though still soft and curved. While the form was wet I pressed the bike pedal parts into the soft clay to create an impression. I enlarged this impression just like I did with the bulbs. I also cut a hole for a bolt or possibly a rod that will connect both pedal pieces to the clay after firing.
|placing bike parts|
I created impressions of some small metal pieces I have in the studio. These impressions were likewise enlarged and the metal pieces will be attached after glazing and firing. I added ceramic sprigs made from small molds of bike parts. I attached sprigged bolts and drilled holes for real bolts to be added later.
|sprigs and spaces for later additions|
Though the pieces are separate now, and missing much of their character, I hold the vision in my mind of how they will later attach. I have to wait for the pieces to dry and be bisque fired to check that they clay has shrunk without warping or getting too small to fit. I can then hold the parts in place, but I won't attach them until after glaze firing. I can't tell for absolute certain that the pieces fit correctly together and hold each other well until I begin the epoxy process. I don't plan to begin epoxying pieces until late November or December this year.