Saturday, January 31, 2009

Easy Does It

One of the new glazed, orange Rockfish I pulled from the kiln didn't survive...it wasn't the kiln's fault, I killed it trying to forcefully wire it to the metal base sculpture. I need to learn to be gentle when working with clay vs. how I horse the steel! I let out a cry as I broke him in half mounting the fish to a cool looking, welded steel and patina seascape. I'm too embarrassed to include a picture. Here is a picture of the Giant Alaska Sea Scallop that did survive getting mounted. I (gently) used reclaimed copper to wire the shell to the steel crab and starfish wall sculpture. The finished work is about 26" wide and 16" tall. The scallop was made using one of the plaster molds we made this last summer. I'm liking the clay/steel effect, but I need to do way more experimentation mixing the two mediums.

Art supplies are one of my weaknesses. For some women it's shoes or jewelry but for me it's power tools and supplies! BTW my husband thinks power tools are a great weakness to have...I purchased this vintage set of crayons from my friend Vicki on one of her ETSY sites, A Peaceful Life. Aren't they sweet! I especially loved the color of the petite box and was happy to be able to add them to my collection of vintage artist materials.

My electronic Bartlett Kiln Controller is still not functioning properly, leaving my new clay production anything but regular and predictable. There is an internal issue with something called MOV's and RF noise, which causes the kiln not to power up and maintain the firing properly. I do have some good people trying to solve this invisible and frustrating mystery. I admire Christine who is able "to get creative during setbacks." I want in on her secret...It's only January 31 of the new year and I think I have already lost sight of my New Year's goal...
Adopt the pace of Nature: her secret is patience.    
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

6 comments:

Orion Designs said...

I'm anxious to see more of your steel/clay combination pieces of art. What a wonderful addition to your sculpture.

I'm glad you're happy with the crayons :) It was a little hard to part with them.

Vicki

cindy shake said...

thank you!
I'm really excited to be back working in clay but it has totally mixed up my "normal" production routine so I'm a little scattered -but I'm working hard to meld the two. lots of possibilities!

i promise to take good care of the crayons and are a nice addition the vintage watercolors I got last time...:o)

Linda Starr said...

Cindy, I love your blending of clay and metal. You are a real inspiration to me. I know nothing of metal, but I have some braided copper wire left from a remodeling project I couldn't part with. I plan to strip the plastic coating off to incorporate the wire somehow into a clay sculpture.

cindy shake said...

Hi Linda!
I was actually thinking of you and your braided art piece this weekend! Trying to figure out how to "hang" or incorporate some of the finished clay work has been a challenge... Trying not to put too much pressure on the clay piece, attaching it (through holes I drilled in the greenware) using copper wire to the steel, but not wanting pressure breakage, so far has been a problem for shipping.

You might want to experiment with hammering the stripped copper wire to change the shape and texture. I bend and coil the wire then hammer the coil flat and lightly sand, changing the shape and color!

Linda Starr said...

Hi Cindy, I was thinking of making a hanging sculpture and leaving places in the clay with holes large enough to string the copper wire through here and there. Then fire the sculpture and then afterwards thread the wire through the sculpture. The copper wire might even be the part to hang it. I have a vague idea in my head of how I want this to look. Thanks for your encouragement; it is so fun to experiment with all these materials, you must have a blast.

cindy shake said...

Hi Linda!
It's all fun and games until I break something -hahaha! I like your idea and the direction you are going with the sculpture.

I forgot to mention that I get my copper wire at the Metal Recycle place here. Though copper has skyrocketed in price, it's much cheaper and plentiful at the Recycle yard. Construction workers and plumbers turn it in for $ and I buy it buy it per pound already peeled and in various weights. That way I'm not too stingy about how I use it and can really experiment.