Saturday, November 25, 2017

2017 Progress Report: September

Sorry this post took so long. After my art show ended earlier this month, I got a little lazy and decided to take a break from pretty much everything. I've been playing a lot of Friday the 13th lately. Now it is time to play catch up with my posts.

September started out a little slow and then sped up when I found out that I would be having a show on the week of Halloween. In some ways, this show was one of my easier shows to plan for since I had several projects that were intended to be finished for my last show that I couldn't finish in time. I first started out by doing some unfinished work from the summer involving polishing work on some ceramic pieces. Two of the ceramic pieces were going to be for my show while the others will go up for sale someday. Next, I finished my piece Anathema, a project that missed my last show by a few days. Then I started on a new ceramic piece that was a restart of a failed piece from earlier this year.

This is all I have for right now. I will continue catching up with everything over the next few weeks.

9/5/17: I finished polishing this piece. It turned out great.

9/5/17: I finished polishing this piece. Just like my other saggar piece, this also turned out great.

9/5/17: This is a piece I plan on selling. The polishing work turned out alright, though the piece is a little darker than I wanted it to be.

9/5/17: This is another polished saggar piece that I want to sell.

9/5/17: Compared to the previous two saggar pieces, I like this one the best.

9/5/17: This is the first of three pit fired egg pieces that I plan on selling. The polishing with these pieces turned out great.

9/5/17: This is the second egg piece.

0/5/17: This is the third egg piece, though it does have some problems from faulty construction that I'll have to fix later.

9/12/17: It didn't take too long to build this, though the bulges stick out more than what I originally intended.

9/26/17: This piece had been in development since 2008. I finally finished it.

9/26/17: The bottom of Anathema.

9/27/17: I did some glazing work. I managed to find a way to get a lot of glazes on here without overdoing it. It had to be carefully planned.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Weekly Report: 10/15-10/21

This week was yet another week where I got an extra day off from work. This gave me a lot of much needed time. During this week, I would finally complete a project called Black Widow, a project that originally started 12 years ago, went through development hell, then suddenly picked up steam about a year ago. A lot of other things happened which I'll explain in a bit, but the completion of Black Widow was definitely the highlight.

10/17/17: On this day, I was working on a project which was later named Autumn Decay. It is a mixed media project that is shaped like a leaf. I'm pretty sure I mentioned something about this project in a previous Weekly Report, but I'm too lazy to check. Anyway, I had finally finished getting all the canvas glued on and I managed to get the gesso work done. Aside from that, I was also firing four of my mask pieces via the raku kiln while glazing the one piece that fell behind the others. They all turned out good enough to the point where additional firing was not required. What was also as equally amazing was that despite using the same glaze combinations and being fired at the same time, they all turned out differently from one another. This was most likely because certain ones were removed from the kiln before others.

10/18/17: I continued to work on Autumn Decay. I applied the first layer of the extra coarse pumice gel that I had used on past projects. I also glued wood pieces to the backs of four of my mask pieces and another ceramic wall piece that I would eventually name Heritage. These wood pieces would eventually be used to screw hanging hooks into the pieces.

10/19/17: Today was all about getting the piece Black Widow done. I wanted it done. I was getting sick of working on it. I just wanted it out of the way so I could focus on the other projects that needed to get done for my upcoming show. Since I'm not showing pictures right now, I have to try and explain the unusual situation I was in. Black Widow was a mixed media pieces that a black and white charcoal and pastel drawing that is framed around sculpture work that was done using fiber paste. The sculptural part needed to be painted. I normally finish the drawing before I complete the painting. However, on that Thursday, I couldn't. The sculpture/ceramic studio at the college had a fan that I needed for the paint to dry. The problem is that studio was closing by 8pm. The drawing and painting studio would still be opened, but that studio had no working fan. This mean, I had to work backwards and finish the painting first and the drawing second. The result ended up leading to dust from the charcoal and pastel getting on the still damp paint which affected how the piece as a whole turned out. I nearly finished everything before the day was out.

10/20/17: In the early hours of the morning, I applied the polymer medium to Black Widow and finally completed a project that I first started back in 2005. I was also able to apply the first layer of pumice gel to the back of Autumn Decay.

That's all for this delayed Weekly Report. I know I've been way behind on my posts. I apologize, but I spent just about all of October preparing for my how I had recently. There will be a lot more poss coming very soon.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Weekly Report: 10/1-10/7

The Weekly Report is back! I finally reached a point where I was able to do a decent amount of work more than one day a week. On the first week in October, I had an extra day off from work which allowed for three days worth of work for me to do. I managed too work on eight projects because of this extra time I had.

10/3: On this day I did a raku firing which turned out great and started on my mask projects that required the usage of foam heads in order to get specific facial features. I wanted to make five of these masks, though I was only able to get three of them made that night.

10/4: This day was a little frustrating because of the limited studio time I had. I was already behind my own schedule since I wanted to have all five of my masks done the night before and only managed to get three done. Instead of starting the next project, I had to finish the remaining masks. My clay wasn't cooperating with me either. The clay stated drying and cracking because it went under the slab roller one too many times. Finally, I gave up and used a new batch of clay. I was able to finish the remaining masks, but was not able to start my next project until the next day.

10/5: I finally managed to start my next project which is a mixed media piece that will be a representation of autumn. I got the basic shape down with foam board and managed to start on the chicken wire work. I eventually stopped work on the project to get some drawing done for a project called Black Widow. This piece was supposed to be finished in time for my last show, but wasn't. I'm estimating that this project might have about 4-6 hours of work left.

That's it for right now. I should have a September Progress Report coming soon.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

2017 Progress Report: August

August was one of those months where there's something going on in the beginning followed by weeks of inactivity. Then right before the end of the month, we start to see some more activity. Most of what I did this month involved wrapping up my summer work and getting ready for the fall. There aren't many pictures this month, but we do begin to see some interesting developments.

8/1/17: I'm doing preparations for a saggar firing.

8/1/17: Lots of aluminum foil is needed for such small pieces. I want the effects of crinkles from the foil to be seen after the firing.
8/2/17: Even though the polishing still has to be done, the results from the saggar firing are still quite impressive.

8/3/17: This is probably the best results I have ever had from a pit firing.

8/30/17: I'm trying to restart a project that had failed during the spring.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

2017 Progress Report: July

Throughout July, most of my work consisted of pieces that I plan to put on sale over the next few months, though there are at least two pieces that I want to keep in my permanent collection as soon as they are finished. This work would resume throughout early August. I hope to have everything here finished before the end of the year. Overall, July was a very productive month for me.

7/5/17: Burnishing work is done. Overall, this turned out okay.

7/5/17: The burnishing turned out okay here, though the grooves left from the coils made the burnishing somewhat difficult.

7/5/17: The burnishing on this piece did not turn out too badly.

7/5/17: The burnishing on this piece turned out pretty well.

7/11/17: The burnishing on this one was somewhat difficult compared to the last one  mostly because of the curve at the bottom.

7/12/17: This piece made it through the bisque firing successfully.

7/12/17: This piece made it through the bisque firing successfully.

7/12/17: This piece made it through the bisque firing successfully.

7/12/17: This piece made it through the bisque firing successfully.

7/12/17: I'm making preparations for a saggar firing. I'm using leaves which something I don't normally use.

7/12/17: This piece is almost ready for the saggar firing.

7/12/17: This piece is wrapped up and is not ready for the saggar firing.

7/12/17: This piece is wrapped up and is not ready for the saggar firing.

7/12/17: This is the first of three pieces that are based on a piece I did last year called Equilibrium. 

7/12/17: This is the second of three pieces that are based on a piece I did last year called Equilibrium. 

7/12/17: This is the third piece that is based on a piece I did last year called Equilibrium. 
7/12/17: The saggar firing turned out pretty good. I'll end up keeping this piece, though it needs more work.

7/12/17: This saggar firing actually turned out pretty good. I'm keeping this one.

7/18/17: The burnishing work on the pieces turned out somewhat okay. It was difficult though.

7/18/17: These are the next generation of dish pieces that I want to put up for same when they're complete. This is the small set.

7/25/17: These are the next generation of dish pieces that I want to put up for same when they're complete. This is the medium set.

726/17: These are the next generation of dish pieces that I want to put up for same when they're complete. This is the large set.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

2017 Progress Report: June

Throughout the month of June, I had three specific goals in mind. The first goal was to order new clay. The second goal was to work on two projects from the spring that I couldn't work on before because I ran out of clay. The third goal was to begin work on new pieces that I eventually want to sell. This work would resume throughout July as well.

6/7/17: I had to order some new clay over the summer. I ended up getting 50 lbs of white clay and 100lbs of sculpting clay.

6/13/17: Last year, I made a piece that looked like this called The Coming Storm. It ended up being a pit fired piece.  This year, I want to make something with a similar form, but have it as a saggar firing.

6/14/17: The piece has been smoothed out a little over the previous 24 hours.

6/14/17: Last year, I made a piece that was pit fired called Creation. This year, I want to make a similar egg-shaped piece that will be saggar fired instead. However, I also want to make more pit fired eggs to sell. This was the first in a few eggs I would make. I would later decide which piece will be the saggar piece and which ones will be the pit pieces.

6/20/17: This is the second egg piece. I didn't like this one as much because the grooves from the coils were still showing a little bit.

6/21/17: I believe this was the third egg. There's not much to say about this one.

6/21/17: This is the fourth egg. I think I liked this one and the first one the best.

6/27/17: Now comes the process of slowly allowing the eggs to dry just enough to do the burnishing work. Since I could only make it to the studio on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, that meant that I would need to keep my work sealed for almost a week. This was annoying because it slowed the drying process too much at times, but I had to do it this way.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

2017 Progress Report: May-Part 3

I originally didn't intend to make a third May report. The only reason I am making one is because I forgot about two pictures from the very end of the month and I didn't want to add them to report #2 because I think at this point most people who saw that aren't going to look at it again and I don't expect it to get too many new views.

There are only two pictures. They are both of the project I've been working on called Anathema. This was one of the projects that I wanted to have ready for my show but couldn't. Now I'm glad it did not get done for the show because later on, I would discover some structural issues with the legs that needed to be resolved. The mistakes with the legs were made years ago. If I were starting on the same piece from scratch today, that issue would never have occurred. Speaking of which, it is interesting to point out that Anathema's development began back in early 2008. It went through several changes before becoming what it is now. Perhaps at some point in the future, I'll talk about it more, but let's just say that Anathema is probably about 70% complete and I hope to have it done by sometime next month which would be a little under 10 years of on and off development.

So enjoy these two pictures and keep a lookout for the June report.

5/31/17: I had to reinforce the legs. I was kind of pissed about this because it meant that the time I spend painting this was a complete waste.

5/31/17: Some legs needed reinforcing more than others. In some cases, I may have been overdoing it, but I wanted to make sure they were going to be okay this time.