Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fruits of labor II - ceramic bulbs

One comment I get most about any art I do, is that I should find one medium and stick to it. I disagree. I have found that experimenting with different mediums (painting, ceramics, wood) has helped me identify the common fiber in my work. One of those fibers is repetition of form and the desire to install.

In my ceramics class, I made useful plates and pretty wall tiles, but my favorite piece(s) are my slip casted light bulbs. They do serve a purpose, but the beauty of these repeating installed forms really resonates with me as an artist. Why go through so much pain just to make a damn ceramic light bulb? Because it allows you to make the same form - with very slight variation - over and over and over again. Its basically a stencil, but for clay.

Now, let me explain slip casting. Basically, in slip casting, the artist takes a bucket of viscous clay - aka slip - and pours it into a mold. In this shot, you see what the mold looks like while waiting for the clay to harden up. Once its hardened, the slip gets poured back into the bucket, and you are left with a hallow form. 

Slip cast molds

The light bulb, once out of the slip cast mold
Once the light bulb was out of the form, I dropped it on the ground, flattening one side, turning it into a hallow vessel. Flip it on its side, and you have a wall vase!

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