It is now the beginning of April, 1/4 way through the year. What a great time to stop and reflect on whether or not I was fulfilling my goals for 2018 which was basically “Finding my Voice”
First, let’s define what that means exactly.
I would go through other art galleries and know instinctively that a particular painting or sculpture or piece of pottery was done by someone in particular because it had their “look”
As an artist, it is important for me to create something that reflects me, what I love, what I enjoy making and reflects how I view life. These last few years of working in clay just about full-time I have had the wonderful opportunity to hone my skills and although I am still learning that part I knew it was time to find my “look”.
I needed my own look so that when someone saw a piece that I made they would know it was made by me before checking for my signature on the bottom.
So this is the year I have devoted to developing my own style signature. And I wanted it to be original and authentic.
Create, Not Recreate
That is a pretty big cup to fill.
I began to look at other peoples art, and not just pottery. I looked to see what I was drawn too, what resonated with me, what made me flutter inside and want to touch, smell and taste (not really!) the item.
During my photography days, I loved to explore the black and white photo, the stark contrast between items. When I drew with pencil or pen I always went for high contrast. During my gourding days, I loved carving out designs….. and I love COLOR!!!
Bright, happy, bold colors.
That is what drew me in and floated my boat…so to speak.
And I wanted to put some ART into my pieces.
My first heart flutter and step in my new direction was seeing a potter whose work was all done using the technique caller Sgrafitto. I had never seen or heard of it before but I was immediately taken by the sharp contrast of white and black and the wood carved look. I bought a piece, at quite a hefty price, so that I could take it home and devour it!
I played with this technique off and on all last year, but this year I got serious about it and started carving out these wonderful butterflies and Floral Patterns. The fun and challenging part about carving out a design by removing the black glaze to expose the white clay is that it is just the opposite of how we normally draw. It can actually be a mind bender!!
Then I got into using color.
I had a slew of Amaco Underglazes that were just sitting on my shelf. I knew nothing about them so I started to learn. I applied them onto leather hard (not completely dry) pieces and carved them off (Sgraffito). I applied them to bisque ware. I experimented. Some came out wonderful and some not so wonderful but I learned and learned and learned.
I discovered this Cake Decorating Tool that acts like an electric pen and it works perfectly with underglazes. It allows me to draw, make dots and fill in color. I have not explored all the possibilities of this tool yet but I will!
And through this all I am learning about my new L&L kiln and I think it has made a world of difference in the final firing of my pieces.
I am excited by all this and I am finally living my dream.
I would love to know what you think about my new work or, if you are an artist, your journey into finding your style. Please feel free to leave a comment
1211 N. Broadway
Poteau OK 74953
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