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Mudslinger Ceramics

Member Since 16 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 10:34 PM
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#62765 Inspiration?

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 18 July 2014 - 11:08 PM

Am naturally inspired heaps by other ceramic artists work but also by printmakers, papermakers, painters, sculptors, textiles, Japanese sand gardens, Ikabana flower arrangements, Korean tableware, Chinese calligraphy, Art Nouveau jewellery, beaches, water, pate de verre glass, plants, micro organisms, astronomy etc, etc...............it will be a colour, a shape, an approach to an unfamiliar medium, a concept, a social issue.....the choice is honestly diverse and limitless

 

I try and synthesise what I see, touch or feel into my own responsive interpretation using the ceramic and mixed media materials and processes that I love and think best express my response to that inspiration.

 

Without a broad curiosity, study and analysis of those things that inspire me I become creatively blocked, limited and repetitive..........horrible!!

 

Irene




#62764 10 Cool Trends In Contemporary Ceramics

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 18 July 2014 - 10:46 PM

I have been riding along this post for several days, thinking about various viewpoints. ...what makes a trend, who defines what, the role in art criticism that provides verbal skill as a stand in for pieces being able to speak by themselves without linguistic interpretation....

Then, I thought about how many art/ceramic students I've met over time, and how I am frequently amazed by their profound lack of technical skill, and simultaneously dumbfounded by their gift of opinionated description. To date, I have met three technically skilled individuals: two trained at Alfred, the other ignored all advice until given the degree that allowed them to go make and sell pottery. These thoughts are not unique.

Today it occurred to me: this stuff does represent a trend, perhaps. People who graduate from art schools are not learning solid technical skills. They are taught how to wax on verbally about "eh" work.

I understand the place for verbal skill. After all, the art critic of Artnews needs a job. But the abstraction of "pointed, political edge" from the work highlighted in the "anti ceramic mush" section seems to prove my point of b.s. making the art have a story that a nonverbal viewer would NEVER create themselves. I realize that story sells the art, but doesn't it seem reasonable that skilled artists strive to make technically proficient art that can stand without the artist or critic explaining it for the viewer?

Thus my proposed trend: language substitutes for skill in ceramic arts?

(Water buckets ready ;o)

 

drmyrtle, you make me smile.......studied my undergrad at my first college that was all about skills, materials, processes, experimentation etc by local and international practicing potters, the idea of 'learn to make a 'good' pot first before you go off with all your ideas'...

 

did not understand how grateful I would be for the solid foundational training I was given until I went to my first post grad in a college renowned for its contemporary approach..... standing at the photocopier in the post grad room I see a PhD student copying passages of a book on contemporary Chinese ceramics, so to start a conversation, I said hello and commented on the work she was studying and asked her about what kind of ceramics she liked to make.......the look on her face!...... you''d think I had just spat on the floor!!

 

"I don't MAKE ceramics,'she said 'I STUDY ceramics. If you want to make ceramics then you go to a technical college.' She picks up her bits and leaves the room!   I was stunned both by her rudeness and by the concept that you could 'study'ceramics to PhD level and seemingly not MAKE/MADE any!!??   It was my first close up experience with the truly ''all icing/no cake'' defensive nonsense some conceptual artists operate by....

 

the kicker to this story is that the head of ceramics department was retiring the year later and she, as the only graduating PhD student that yea,r secured the job!    

She has been head of ceramics for 8 years but to this day I still don't really know what her oeuver actually is!

 

drmyrtle, maybe I'm conservative and old fashioned with my 'skills first 'approach, but I'm with you on your 'trend ': language substitutes for skill in many quarters of the (ceramic) arts field statement!!

 

Irene




#62317 Good Days, Bad Days

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 13 July 2014 - 02:15 AM

Oh goodness YES.....just climbing out of a month's slump where 'everything' was crap!!!!......forms, glaze application, experiements....all horrible.....some really horrible....some awaiting further judgement.....

 

.....but it all looked like crap until late last week (I hope), where I ended up with a kiln load of beautiful pale water blue glazed bowls

.....whenever I lose momentum I simplify back to basics which for me are bowls (my favourite form) and my most reliable water blue glaze.....reminds me I can be a decent potter

 

Irene




#62069 What To Use As Binder.

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 08 July 2014 - 09:24 PM

Hi Babs

 

As you are an Aussie, try Derivan Block Printing Medium, which is a clear, thick-ish waterbased printmaking gel and mix 1:1 with underglaze colour.  

Using a printmaking roller/brayer roll out a thin coating of the mix onto a glass sheet or other very smooth surface until a soft hissing sound is heard.

Take a piece of baking paper and, glossy side up, lay it on the rolled out ink and draw away with a pencil or ball point pen being careful not to rest your hand on the paper or it will pick up colour.

Lay the ink side of the drawn image on your clay surface and transfer by rubbing with a soft grey rubber rib or soft blue Mudtool rib.

 

Have used this method for some years, easy for flat surfaces and small images on curved but some pre-planning for larger images on curved surfaces.

 

Good luck and show us your trial pieces.

 

Irene




#59351 Inspirations From Travel

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 27 May 2014 - 08:59 PM

Have not been international for many years but recently have been to the awe inspiring Australian desert around the very west of New South Wales then down through the German inspired vineyards to Adelaide in South Australia.  Have been twice, once during drought and once after rain. Ignorantly thought everything west of Sydney's Blue Mountains would be brown and dusty.....how wrong!! 

 

In drought the countryside all around the Broken Hill region blazes in orange, reds, yellow, purples, soft pink greys etc crowned by a crystal turquoise sky, after rain the desert really does explode with green scrub and a riot of desert flowers.......I was totally enthralled.......2 trips, 3000 photos, 5 sketch books and 8 smallish buckets of creekside clays for testing (couldn't carry anymore on the train).  The endless expanse of the desert and sky, its misleading solitude and quietness etc is the same feeling as surveying the ocean but the red/orange/yellow opposite of the blue/green/white of the water.

 

The country side from Broken Hill heading southwest to Adelaide changes quite fast into the rolling, incredibly Irish green hills of the Barossa Valley, dotted throughout by old Australian Colonial and German/Swiss inspired architecture. The Barossa Valley and surrounding Adelaide hills were settled by German immigrants and their influence is seen everywhere.

 

Stays as such a milestone discovery in my mind because when travelling abroad I 'expect' to be awed and inspired but I had seriously underestimated the beauty in my own country.  Now need to plan the retirement caravan trip around Australia and see everything else I underestimated!

 

Irene




#57485 Banding Wheel To Throw Light Pottery?

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 27 April 2014 - 08:31 PM

Hope this Youtube upload works!!!

 

Had wondered the same thing after seeing a young Korean student at uni once using a banding wheel with very soft clay, was mesmerised.

 

Found this Youtube showing throwing on a banding wheel to addto and finish off a pot begun with flat coils.....beautiful, they make it seem so effortless....but alas, my attempts were not... check out the video.  Could try this with a child as a project idea rather than a consistant method.

 

Also bought my friend's child a toy electric (battery operated) wheel after they came to my studio and he wanted a wheel too. On/off switch, red,noisy, grinding Chinese made unit about 10cm high x 20cm across, good for playing if the child is not serious about developing a commitment.....but if your child is serious then a real wheel investment such as a table top electric is the best bet for your child and as a portable for you.

 

https://www.youtube....eature=youtu.be

陶芸(pottery) めしわんの作り方 ひも作り How to make a japanese rice bowl.

 

Irene




#56170 Warping In Paper Clay.

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 06 April 2014 - 06:34 PM

Hi Babs

 

sorry, yes,..... longitudinal struts running parallel to the spine, I'd use 4 struts spine to page edge, decending height for 3 spine to before very edge strut then 5mm increase for last one for the 'flicked up' curl that happens with book pages (or not, if you prefer page edges to lie in decending height from spine to edge)

 

Irene




#52738 You Know You're A Real Potter When....

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 17 February 2014 - 02:01 AM

..................when I open the kiln door and...'IT WORKED !!!'

 

 

(preparing for exhibition next week, many seconds, NOT feeling like a 'real' potter!)

 

Irene




#52685 Told To Get A "real" Job

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 16 February 2014 - 12:42 AM

Mmmm, yes, the 'real' job..........

 

Wanted to go to art school since I was 17, had immigrant parents and told to get a REAL job, ended up working for our federal public service in Taxation, Defence and Social Security....you can just imagine the 'joy' this dry administrative work bought me.......

 

40 years old, one child, a dead marriage and a well deserved mid-life crises saw me walk out of a very secure job and into art school......... art degrees fed my mind and engaged a deep excitement in the joys and frustrations of creating my own visual statements in the world..................yes, much, much poorer but, without lie, each day in my studio energises me more than my well paid job did.............

 

My own caution encourages my son to pursue an engineering degree but his acting classes each week are absolutely essential, they bring him an animated joy that no amount of 'real' work will provide.......

 

a bit esoteric maybe but is a REAL job only measured in money?    ....or might it be in the engagement and excitement at what we do?  If a REAL job is measured by happiness and not money then I AM doing it!

 

Financial advisors are like take-out meals.........food poisoning once, never go back...........

 

Irene

 

P.S. Had an intereseting conversation with a potter of  +20 years 3 days ago who talked about becoming 'real' artist!!!  (see painter!)

 

We have spaces in a multi-disciplined art studio complex and our conversation was around the perceived value of ceramic works in comparison to painting works in our society ..... for a regular potter 1 week + equipment/materials + expenses yeilds a pot of $25-150 (??) and for a painter/painting $650-$10,000 !!!!

 

Maybe the 'big guns' ...Min, Mark C, John, Marcia, Chris, et al....might be able to talk us through that perception!




#51932 Self Glazing Cone 04 Porcelain

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 07 February 2014 - 07:47 PM

Really good read all of this. Enjoyed reading your posts especially Norm.

 

I remember reading something about a self glazing clay that while it was drying it had some water soluble flux that was brought up to the surface. This then went onto turn the outer layer of clay into a glaze.

 

Have I just been confused in my reading or is this a different technique? This way seems to be making a clay that is 100% glaze/clay hybrid.

 

 

The  'soluble salts rising to the surface during drying' sounds like this is an Egyptian paste recipie you may be thinking of, which is a low firing self glazing body (often coloured turquoise though white and other colours may be had) the salts form as the 'glaze' layer over the form.  This body is used for smaller decorative pieces rather than functional ware.

 

Weblinks are:

http://ceramicartsda...yptianpaste.pdf

http://www.ceramicst...cles/092501.htm

http://www.amywaller...ery.com/faience

 

 

Anna's query is the 100% clay/glaze hybrid body.




#51148 Self Glazing Cone 04 Porcelain

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 27 January 2014 - 05:58 PM

Hi Anna

 

I only threw with the clay twice and yes it wasn't very plastic, was a bit better for smaller handbuilding shapes but couldn't hold its own wieght in taller forms.

 

I used it for slip casting and got variations on off-white or cream depending on the kaolin/ball clays used but for some things the warm colour was quite beautiful. Don't know the Australian/US equivalents of the clays so can't recommend one.

 

The high frit content meant some of the forms would soften a little in the firing especially if thin cast and/or when pushed to to ^03 (1100C) and in some cases when pushed to ^02 would gently collapse in on themselves looking like soft fabric folding....very beautiful for sculptural applications I thought.

 

Hope your experiments are going well, post some pictures!!

 

Irene




#50867 Self Glazing Cone 04 Porcelain

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 23 January 2014 - 08:01 PM

Hi Anna

 

Was experimenting with this during my undergrad about 12 years ago......

 

Pick up a copy of Sue Peterson's 'The Craft & Art of Clay'', page 381 gives a recipe for ^04 low fired porcelain and page 152 has a recipe for a ^04 Irish 'Belleek' style porcelain.......both came out as a warm white, glassy body with a soft satin sheen. 

 

Being a 2nd year student and not that interested in formulas I used the frits I had on hand, in my case lead bisilicate, but the recipe can also use ground glass which I got from a bottle recycler.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Irene




#46755 Poor Instruction And The Cost

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 27 November 2013 - 06:36 PM

 I have pottery experience but took social classes with a friend, at a community college because I had no studio at the time......I did not need the teacher's attention other than some questions about glaze or firings so that I could fit my making into the accepted practices, I focussed on hand building at the time.

 

By the end of the first 3 or so classes I did not like this man at all......although an excellent thrower he only ever sat at the wheel 'demonstrating', he smelled of old red wine at 11am, told stories and dropped 'names' at every instance, sleazed at the younger women while re-enacting pottery scenes from 'Ghost' and avoided giving time or attention to other students including the quadraplegia disability student whose marvelous carer built her forms for her as she instructed him.....I knew this because I was at the same table as these students and helped out ocaissionally with their questions after he told them he would speak to them 'later'.

 

There were many quietly spoken comments and complaints in the room about the behaviour but nobody complained because they were 'frightened' of the possible outcomes or didn't want to be seen as complainers. My friend, a male and interested in learning to throw, acknowleged the behaviour but was the one of the teacher's favourites because of his eagerness to learn throwing. I was looking around for my own studio at the time so I so was not going to 'get involved' but was very unimpressed.

 

During session 11 while walking back into the building I saw a small sign at the top corner of the notice board outlining the centre's complaints and quality improvement policies......without a moment's pause I took down the sign and walked with it into the administration office and had that 'neutral' conversation that S. Dean outlined above.....came back to the table and told the others that if they were not satisfied then step up and speak up.....2 got up immediately heading for admin.  Sometimes it just takes one person to act first.....

 

By the end of session 12 the teacher was announcing to the class that someone had complained about him (while looking at me) and that he was being transferred to the advanced throwers class and a new teacher would start the next 12 week term......which in truth was a good outcome for us and him really!!

 

Chantay.....you are the person in that class seeing and hearing the teacher, we are not, if you think she is genuinely 'unstable, weird, and sometimes out right mean' then step up and speak up ......sometimes it just takes one person to act first....

 

Let us know how it goes

 

Irene




#46349 What Will An Archaeologist Say When They Dig Up Your Shards Or Your Pots? | S...

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 22 November 2013 - 05:56 AM

With my growing backyard rejects pile it will be.......'OMG, did this person know ANYTHING about pottery???'




#41039 Natural Talent....

Posted by Mudslinger Ceramics on 18 August 2013 - 11:22 PM

You labour on a piece of work, you strain yourself and spend hours,

then when you think you have really done well ...

... you see someone else who made a similar thing, only vastly better, with no effort and in no time ...

:(

 

 

 

 

Frederik,  you make me smile.....I have felt that many times........and yes, especially with the release of each new edition of the pottery magazines!

 

Yet......in moments of self doubt I remember a moment 8 years ago when I stood in a ceramics gallery, my then 12 yo son next to me, looking at someones work and lamenting that mine was never going to be 'good enough'.

 

My son turned to me and in complete exaperation said   'Ohhh, Muuum!!! There's 4 million people in Sydney and 23 million people in Australia!......SOMEONE'S going to like it!!!   

 

There is that saying about 'out of the mouths of babes' - it was a humbling and startlingly defining moment to say the least, one that puts things very much into perspective....the outcome of that ego slap was my commitment to my ceramics work where I have now enjoyed many compliments and this year I was invited to join that very same gallery I 'knew' I would never be good enough for.

 

My goodness, don't we LOVE our kids??....when homework, staying out late or putrid laundry is not involved of course...

 

Irene