Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Bride of Frankenstein


Carrie's taking a new sculpture class at Good Dirt, and this is the first work in progress. It's a sort of sculpture, sort of planter, in the shape of a watering can.

It's mostly slab-built, assembled in a quilting technique borrowed from Amy Sanders, a North Carolina potter.

(Incidentally, why are all the potters in North Carolina? Easy - clay. Everything's clay. Everything. And all the other potters are in Georgia. Why? Peaches.)

With the quilting construction, small pieces of rolled slab are attached to leave a pronounced seam on the outside, making it look like the pieces are sewn together.

The spout is wheel-thrown and manipulated to follow the curve of the body.

We decided to keep the top open rather than build a handle or a lid, because the quilted construction looks really cool from the outside. It was that decision that made it a planter for sure.

The shape was my contribution. Originally it was a rectangular box, but Carrie was bored with the shape and wanted to find something more interesting. I took it apart and played with it with the freedom of a person who doesn't know what the hell he's doing and found that the clay really wanted to curve, so I decided to go with it.

Carrie always tells me that clay has memory, and that's why it's not that big of a deal when I bump or squish a wet piece a little. So, if clay has memory, I guess it also has kind of a mind of its own. I think of it as a turtle - once it decides to go in one direction, you can't turn it around.

So, the planter curves.

This side is the part I think is the most beautiful - the texture Carrie impressed into the slab and the shape of the panel reminds me of a cathedral, and that gothic element kind of puts me in a particular frame of mind.

Add to that the fact that, from behind, the top looks like shoulders and the back panel like a woman's waist.

Add to that the fact that I took it apart, cut it up, and stitched it back together again, and you get the Bride of Frankenstein.

So from here, there's still a lot of superficial work to do. The two white panels are preparing for scraffito, and on the wide white panel (you can see it in the first picture) Carrie has a surprise that I don't want to give away quite yet. But you'll get to see the progress right here on the Old Cat Died blog.

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