Saturday, April 28, 2012

Second project

I actually had thought about doing my second project based on a photo my friend sent of me. Charcoal and all that. But... I had forgotten how much I really did enjoy clay when it didn't fall apart on me/hate me/destroy my life. So... I figured I'd make something functional. Something that I'd actually use or at least place somewhere I could see. So. I'm going to make a vase based on the Maori pottery and design that shows up often in their culture. It's going to be a vase with a wide middle, and long, thin neck. Similar to the one in this picture, with all the carved designs and whatnot. I'm most likely going to carve leaves similar to the ones already on the vase and in the picture below it. Also. As far as the steps to accomplishing my goal... I found two bowls in the room that could create it... A wide, short bowl to be the base half of the vase, and another bowl of the same width, but taller to be the top half. The rest is also explained in the other picture below.... My designs. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Maori Hei-Tiki #2

For my hei-tiki project I had decided to do a set of necklaces. Only two. All was going well. I finished over spring break. I was really proud of the second one I had made. I liked it a lot better than the person one.

And of course. With my luck. It broke. But it was fixable. So I took it home, reconstituted it, and reattached it to the best of my ability. It was still spring break, so I figured I'd relax for the rest of the week, and bring it to school on Monday to fire it. Again, my luck struck me. It broke again, but this time, beyond repair. Just into tons and tons of pieces. So. I had to remake the entire thing that night. I don't have a finished picture of it, but it looked like the picture below at one point, and I have yet to take it out of the kiln. What I've learned from this oh too wonderful experience is to be more careful with my transportation of artwork, and make doubly sure that all containers, boxes, etc., won't smash or scratch or deface your artwork.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Maori Hei-Tiki

Just a little bit of background on what I'm doing.
The Maori Tiki that I'm creating in class is very important to the New Zealand culture that it's from. It's... I would guess the equivalence (as far as importance)... of us at our 18th or 21st birthday. Except, to the Maori, it's a coming of age type of deal. It's extremely important to their culture. It signifies childhood and fertility, along with strength of character and individualism.

I started out with a block of clay I would guess about a half inch thick, and then just start carving out and shaping it to look like this picture above.  This is actually my friend from New Zealand. It's her personal hei-tiki.  Anywho. I started out by carving the holes where the arms and legs are, and shaping the clay with a needle tool and exacto blade to fit the curvature of the actual piece. At this point, the picture to the left is what it looked like. I felt like the arms and legs were the hardest part, and after I had those done, it was simple to finish the rest of the piece, or so I'd thought. Where the line is around the mouth area, I had carved out to make a negative space and put a raised platform of clay around it to make it look like "lips" and then I just carved out the eyes by carving a circle.

I'm having trouble positioning the pictures so please just bear with me. Then I had realized I needed to create a bail from which the hemp necklace I'm making could hold the piece. I tried just attaching a long, flattened out strip to the front and bending it to the back, but it would've been too fragile, so I had to create a ring out of clay before I attached it to the top of the tiki. I don't have a finished picture yet, because it hasn't been fired, but I will after break! :)