Taking Michael Kline’s 12 x 12 challenge was a good exercise to get my pods made. His assignment was to make 12 things by 12 noon. Well, I got 6 pods made, and as the hour closed in my pods were becoming smaller and smaller! They were a bit more time consuming than I had anticipated, especially considering that these are really TEST pods… you know how I feel about testing anything. This test is really important though, because I need to see how my kiln fires ^6 temps. The clay I’m using is that Seattle Pottery Alpine White SP655 I bought ($16 /25#) from the local ceramics lady. It’s a ^04-6 clay that “handles like a stoneware (which it is) but fires with the smooth look of porcelain.” Not really that great for hand building but it’s all she had in mid range clay for me to fire at ^6. I had collected some Iris seed pods from the garden and was surprised to find they have withstood the snow, wind, rain and moose.
I loved Nature's shape and her 4-season's design, inspiring me to create them in clay. My idea is to hand shape the pods in clay and weld steel stems and leaves in a vertical free standing sculpture. For texture I used some sturdy art paper I had in my “textures bin” and rollered the leather-like paper over my individual pod leaves. To keep the pod forms full, I stuffed newsprint in their bases and draped the larger completed
pods over soap bottles. The idea is the pods will be attached with copper and steel wire and incorporated into the 6’ tall welded steel sculpture. The pods as well as my second batch of sgraffito trays/tiles are on the drying racks now. With my “assignment” completed I cleaned up my mess like a good student should so the studio is ready for this week's metal. Check out the other results from Michael's 12 x 12 challenge here. While the clay is drying, I’m switching over to welding this week making a couple of Valentine special orders that came in. I’ll need to clear the studio main work table of clay dust so the steel sculptures I’m welding up can
get finish painted with enamel. Today it's back to wearing leather, armoring up, plugging in and letting the sparks fly!