Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Digital Decisions and the Consequences.

A few months back, I wrote about my design ideas for a porcelain vase.  It's out of the kiln now and finally finished.  I like it.  It's final form is pleasing and technically good.  But I wonder if I played it too safe.  

Trying a new technique.  

This vase was thrown in two pieces on the wheel.  I've never done that before, so that was a risk.  Would the two pieces fit together?  Would it be a cohesive design coming together as one piece.  And how would under glazing affect the overall look of the piece?  

Digital Drawing.

I used my digital drawing app, SketchClub, to try out my ideas first before applying any colored under glazes to the greenware piece.  I wrote a blog a few months back.  Here are three digital drawings I felt were the best choices.  They all had drawbacks as I stated in my blog and although I'm not fond of waxing or wiping or repeated under glaze firings, I do what I feel a piece needs.  


Ultimately, I chose a different approach.  I decided on simplifying the color palette to black and red, eliminating the purple idea.  I feel working in porcelain that my clay is a big part of my art, not just for the delicious, silky feel of the clay in my hands but also for its soft, milky white color.  So, just as a watercolor painter uses the white paper as a color, I use my white porcelain clay as an integral part of the pieces I make.  With that in mind, here's a picture of the finished vase.

You'll see that I put the colors in to accent the sculptural and design elements in and around the clay by using red on the heart-shaped leaves.  And I keep your eye moving up, down and around the piece with the red and black dots.  There are more dots on the inside too, adding a the whimsical feel.  I also feel that coating the porcelain in clear glaze makes two separate thrown pieces unite as a whole and highlights the beautiful creaminess of the clay.

I don't usually draw digital designs before I under glaze a new piece.  I'm getting better at knowing how it will look in the end but this time, I'm really glad I did.


Terry Grant said...

I like your final decision. I am of the "less is more" school, especially when you are going to be adding beautiful flowers to the mix. It is a nice shape. I think the two parts blend together nicely.

Susan Gallacher-Turner and Mike Turner said...

Less is more most of the time, I'm finding, too. There is a certain zen quality to simplicity in design that I love. Thanks, terry.