Let the Beauty of what you Love be what you Do...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Clay Class Assignments: Functional & Non- Functional Cups & Use of Slips

Good Golly! Six weeks later and I am finally seeing results from class! The slow pace has been a bit hard for me to take... and I admit I have lost a bit of motivation for creating when I see the work sitting on shelves for weeks. Anyhow, our very first assignment (6 long weeks ago!) was to hand build functional & non-functional cups & the application of slips. On the one below, my idea was to create a fragile & whimsical cup. The clay body was covered w/ a fine white slip then bisque fired, coated w/ clear glaze & fired again. I thought it turned out pretty cute.

Below is it's non- functional counterpart. I used the same whimsical design, but created a bullet hole through it to suggest the fragility of life. (Just as a cup is a vessel... so is our body... and it only takes one act of violence, or one thing to "go wrong" to render it non-functional.) 

I think the concept came across well in the piece. Below is another functional cup. I wasn't so happy w/ the "final product," but it was a good experimentation in the use of colored slips. The clay body is white, a black slip is applied, then either carved into to show the clay body beneath, or further painted w/ a white slip. I did a little of both.

I wanted to put something I love into the cup... so I added mountains, a full moon... and well, let's face it, who would not want to wake up & drink a "cup of joy" every morning?!

But when I took it home, I realized I just can't drink out of a black cup~ can't really see your liquid level & I prefer lighter colors for drinking & eating. I'll use it to put my glaze brushes in. 
Below is probably my favorite piece. Inspired by the design of the first functional & non-functional cups, I made this little vase... but added a bit more "movement" to it.

It's about 4 inches tall & would be perfect for some spring wildflowers once they arrive! I've been experimenting w/ different sizes & shapes of the same sort of design and they are quite enjoyable to make. We're also in the process of learning how to mix our own engobes (like an underglaze) so that is pretty exciting.  In fact, I'm off to throw some test pieces in the Kiln... hoping to get a rich black like in the mug above to use for my "oil spill" in my Polar bear city piece.
Happy Weekend, Everyone!


Wanda..... said...

That last photo of 'Cup of Joy' is beautiful...I understand not wanting to drink from a black cup...it would look wonderful in deep blue and be so cheerful with morning coffee!

Anonymous said...

I like every one of them. Can't you imagine the stories the "bullet hole" would inspire on some guy's desk? Of course, it would have to hold pencils instead of coffee.

The joy cup is very pretty, and so is the crinkly vase cup. Almost time for wildflowers!

Pat said...

You've done some interesting things here. That bullet cup is pretty neat, as is the "moving" vase.

Barb said...

Hi Becky! I really like the bisque color of the lighter glazes. So delicate looking. These pieces are a departure from your other pottery. They're more fragile and whimsical. That bullet hole mug reminds me of my artery blowing - luckily, I'm still functional!

Randy said...

I love all of these pieces but most of all your "Cup of Joy." The others would make great vases and the one with the hole would surely create conversation. Have a wonderful weekend.

DirtKicker Pottery said...

Very nice work. I love the mugs! The bullet ripped mug and it's meaning really makes a statement. Well done Lady :)

snowwhite said...

The moment when you open a kiln and see how glazes worked must be very very exciting!!
Post the photo of the little vase filled with wild flowers!! It will be the joy of spring.

Thank you for your concern about the people in Northern Japan. In front of Mother Nature’s wrath human beings were powerless. I pray for the people and for no more suffering, no more loss.

Randy said...

Thank you for the birthday wish Becky! Have a happy Sunday!

Annie said...

I love them all! My favorite is the vase. I want to hear more about slips and engobes, never heard of that. There is so much to learn with clay, it is never ending.
Great to see you yesterday!!!

snowwhite said...

I was very impressed by your question. I hadn't thought of that. I examined, the first Great Buddha Hall didn't have a pair of "Shibi",but the second one had them! So they failed to protect the hall from the fire. Thank you for your question. I learned from you a lot.

michele s. said...

Beck - the first thing I thought of when I saw the bullet hole mug was, "pencil jar" - totally cool! Love the other pieces too - you are so talented! :) michele

Kate said...

I'm sending you offline a photo and quote from a potter, Michael Simon, who has a retrospective in the Northern Clay Center's gallery in Minneapolis. Part of the exhibit is a group of handleless cups, and I think you'll be interested in it. Hope that your class will continue to inspire you, even if it has been slow on occasion. Now it just occurred to me; I hope that I can find an email address for you!!

Rick said...

Wow, Becky - those are GOOD ! That non-functional one sure tells the story well. And I love your drawing on the black one - not sure why you weren't happy with it. Spring flowers should be out soon - you should post your last cup with some colorful flowers in it. Have fun with your next pieces ... and patience ;-)

Dawn said...

Hi Becky! Thanks for your visit...and I sure like your thoughts on things. Your pottery creations are wonderful....and I want to have my coffee in the 1st mug- you're right, black cups scare me..The Unknown;))

As for your most recent post...you're right. It only takes a bit to help out a LOT.
Hearts are with Japan and the people.

Will return to see more of your work...and maybe more pottery pieces?:)