Monday, October 27, 2008

Standing Bird

This was the first of the ceramic pieces that I started and the last one finished.

I woke up one morning from a dream and knew I had to make this form. Before the dream I did not know where I wanted to go in my work. I had been working on the surface design pieces for a while but felt like I needed to get back in to the media I love so much, ceramics. After the dream I started making several sketches and felt much more confident.

I started working on the piece soon after that. I slowly coil built the form, having to wait at points for the lower parts to harden so that I could build higher. Eventually the form came together and I was very happy with it.

The first day of my graduate ceramics class I brought the piece to the studio. I was feeling very proud of myself for knowing what I wanted to work on for the semester and for already having one piece started. After class I talked to Bede, my professor. Essentially he told me that my formalist style was out of fashion in the ceramic community. He told me that one style that was being held up by the ceramics community was to be "so f***ing sensitive." He told me to do what I wanted, but since I was thinking about applying for grad school the opinions of the ceramics community should be considered. So since I enjoy the work of the "so f***ing sensitive" artists that Bede was talking about, I thought I would lean away from my formalist tendencies and try something new. That is where the flat wall hanging birds came from.

Eventually I came back to Standing Bird and decided that it too had the right to be finished and try out for the Flights of Fancy. I used some of the techniques I had been working on with the flat birds like overglazes and decals. It ended up making it to the show, being one of the attention grabbers, and getting sold.

The formalist in me loves this piece and can't wait to see how it informs the new body of work.

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