Spring 2014! Whoo! Let’s See What I Can Blow Up

For Ceramics 2 in spring 2014, I plan on preforming many experiments with materials and form. Previously, I was working with the figure, and while that served as a conduit between an emotional state and a physical state, I would like to move away from the figure, at least temporarily, so that I may dig deeper into the aesthetics of the materials themselves.

My subject matter will focus on negative space and the multitude of boundaries that we surround ourselves with. I will be keeping the content of my work simple, in order to really focus in on the fine details of the subject matter, which will hopefully lead to an improvement of my work.

To begin, I will be making and testing a cone 6 casting slip that will be versatile and can be used in a multitude of ways. The slip recipe I found contains soda ash, barium carbonate, KT OM4 Ball clay, KT #1 Tennessee ball clay, talc and sodium silicate. Although I haven’t tested it, I have heard that talc and soda ash will not react to each other the way I want (lots of orange and grey colors), so I plan on substituting the talc for frit.

I purchased five pieces of vermiculite board, which can withstand temperatures of 2102˚F, as well as ceramic brake caliper lubricant, which can withstand temperatures of 3000˚F, and I plan on dividing the fifth piece of vermiculite board into smaller pieces so that I can test if the lubricant will release soda ash, casting slip or possibly glass or other materials from the vermiculite board. This testing will allow me to then plan my large scale sculptures.

I currently have several sketches that I will be working from for this semester. I would like to create pieces that have deliberate negative space within cavities and crevices that are formed by materials that will burn out in the kiln. First, I would like to work with blue Styrofoam that I will be shaping and then stacking within a closed off space (vermiculite board) which will then be filled with casting slip and put in the kiln. This piece will be depicting the positive shape that is created within a negative shape.

After I test the first piece, I will then be able to move on to more complex shapes and ideas. I would really like to focus on finishing each piece by making professional bases that will bring a sense of completion to the sculpture. I plan on completing three experimental sculptures, each focusing on the reaction of different materials within differently arranged spaces.