Tuesday, 16 October 2012

First batch of maquettes- glazed

You have not known panic until 5 minutes before a tutorial you've stuck your hand in a still hot kiln, dragged maquettes out, hastily arranged them on a wooden board, and carried them 300m down a corridor obstacle course inhabited by 100 people who are completely pre-occupied and have no idea of personal space or the delicateness of ceramics.

And that's what I had to do today, lest I turn up to a tutorial with nothing but a sketchbook with a quick scribble of a zombie shopper in it, and a slightly larger sketchbook with a handful of newspaper clippings and photos from the Ikea catalogue slapped in.

So here we go, 3 weeks into the year and I have glazed maquettes. As usual, apologies for poor photography quality.

"Día de los mermaid" just got a coat of good gloss, but I think I have the consistency a bit off, which is what happens if you're rushed and lazy and mix powdered glaze by eye with a whisk.

"Pig Headed" is painted with underglaze. I am having a hard time getting that stuff right- it streaks, it clumps, it smudges as soon as it dries, the colours you mix in the print room can turn out completely different- but I feel that Pig Headed came out truest to what I was trying to achieve.

Unfortunately some of the colours on other pieces did not come out as well.

"Red Headed Hussy" ended up with a skin-tone reminiscent of an old over mud mask...
...but I am totally in love with the fiery colour of her hair! 

The seal kept all of its detailing through painting and glazing, but I feel something about the expression just got lost.

I'm really happy with the background detail though. Just need to find a good black lustre that I can oil slick the water with!

"Sunday Morning" is probably the maquette I'm most happy with- I love how the bedspread came out and it seems to have got the best application of glaze. Not too big on Jacques' skin tone though, I feel he ended up way too dark. Obviously the black underglaze is way more potent than I thought.

Again, I think some of the expression got lost in the firings, but Percy and Jacques still have plenty of character so they're a good jumping off point for future pieces.

Lastly, "Mindless Consumer #1", a.k.a zombie on a sofa. He's in bisque and is only here because I was naughty and snuck him into a glaze firing at the bottom.


Yes, that's a little remote control next to him. It's hard to tell from the photo, but it even has little buttons.
And here's how he's supposed to be set up- opposite his zombie box!

The opiate of the masses, of course.

So where do I go from here? I think the plan, for now, is to make some moulds- not of the people, but of the backgrounds. I'm going to start with a bed and a sofa, and go from there, using them as bases to stage scenes on.

Second priority, sorting out those damn colours.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

First batch of maquettes of the new year

I have been back at school for nearly 2 weeks now and already managed to produce a handful of maquettes, which is very good for lazy old me. Don't start thinking I actually care about my education though, I'm already behind on dissertation research. I think the problem there is that I don't like writing essays, all they do is stress me out and mess up my wrists. The maquettes are procrastination from the academic drag.

Anyway, here they are, I will explain more about them when I get them out of their glaze firing on Wednesday (if they survive, fingers crossed!). All of these survived the biscuit firing in some shape or form. The pics aren't great, it's hard to capture the emotion of the pieces with poor photography.

Poor pig girl here lost an ear after biscuit firing when I was carrying her to the glaze room. She wobbled and hit the headboard of the piece with two guys in bed. The ear then got blasted away by the spray gun in the glaze booth, so when she's fired I'm going to try and sculpt her a new one out of a restoration putty.

Eventually this will be glazed with black lustre so it looks like the seal has been the victim of an oil spill.

 This maquette did not survive the kiln well at all, due to the use of wire inside. The tree was just too delicate. As you can see in the photos, the branches dried out too quickly and just ended up cracking. But it's okay, it's a maquette! I may also take this as a sign that God is smoting my religious work. Poor Adam and Steve.

So what is my project about? Well, as you can see, I'm making figurines. The idea is to make alternative figurines, the sort that just don't exist at the moment. This includes showcasing people who aren't white and skinny or straight! You very rarely see people who aren't Caucasian in the figurine world, unless they are in some kind of ethnic dress- Inuit furs, Native American headdresses, naked African girls with pots on their heads. I want to change this and make a more exclusive world of figurines.

Oh and also there may be zombies.