I have used almost every tool throughout the course of this semester. Wooden ribs, metal ribs, and sponges have helped me smooth out all of my clay pieces. The needle tool and the x acto knife have helped me cut said clay, and the ribbon tool has helped me trim my pieces on the wheel. Some newer tools are the pottery wheel, which lets you make symmetrical pieces that are too difficult by hand. It has been super fun yet frustrating to learn about. There has also been weirder tools that I have used, such as rocks and spoons to smooth out the clay.
My knowledge of tools has expanded a lot due to my use of the wheel. I had never used the wheel before this semester, and boy has it been a process. It has been frustrating when my piece flops over or isn’t centered correctly, and centering is something I still struggle with. On the other hand, I have been able to make cups that are symmetrical and smooth! Anything I can make now is an improvement over my first time. Before this class, I had rarely ever used the ribbon tool, and now that I’ve practiced on the wheel, I have a huge appreciation for the ribbon tool’s trimming ability. Before, I used it more for texture or carving shapes out of the clay, but now that I know the true use, it’s amazing. The different sizes are very helpful, and I figured when to use the large ribbon tool versus the smaller ribbon tool.
Three Other Questions
What did you find most difficult about this class? What could be done to resolve this issue in the future?
I think the hardest part of this class is coming up with the ideas for projects and trying to bring them to life. This is especially hard since I’m trying to come up with concentration and piece ideas for AP sculpture next year. Some pieces you brainstorm and think they look good, when in reality they look awful. it’s also hard to come up with an idea that is completely original, since I’ve seen so much amazing art around me that is hard not to replicate. It’s also really hard to come up with a good idea for a project and then realize that you just don’t have the skills to bring that project to life. I wanted to make my pouring vessel project chicken themed, but I realized that I just don’t have enough skill with the wheel yet to make the cups uniform and the pouring vessel detailed yet. I think the best way to combat this is to not be so reliant on ideas, and rather try to experiment with a vague outline of what you want to do. That way, it’s not as disappointing when an idea doesn’t work out, and the pieces are more original.
Choose 1 piece of art that you used skills and techniques learned from previous projects. Discuss your growth as an artist and how you incorporated these skills and techniques to create the piece.
For my underglazes project are used knowledge that I previously had about clay and let it vessels to make a butter dish. I had used underglazes before for a sgraffito project, so I already knew the differences between underglaze and regular glaze. This year, though, I was able to use a bigger variety of underglazes, allowing me to see how mixing underglaze colors works. I also used the knowledge I had from art one, when I had made a lidded box. This time around, I made the bottom piece the part that locked, rather than the lid. Having squares in the corner of the lid was the technique I use for my first lidded vessel, and it just wasn’t neat enough for my liking. I was able to make the most stable locking lid so far, which was really cool.
Choose a place or artwork where the subject matter reflects you as an artist. One that you have a personal connection to. Please explain.
I think my teens inspired project reflects me the best as an artist. The whole concept of this project was the fallen angel. I’m not really a religious person, so the religious aspect of that concept didn’t really apply to me. What I wanted to do with the piece was to put my own personal spin onto a concept that a lot of people have made pieces about before. I like to tackle subjects that are really deep and personal, something that I want to focus on for my AP concentration next year. Although it’s kind of hard to see in my art, all of my pieces are representative of an underlying emotion or process that I was going through at the time. At the time of this project, I was dealing with a lot of frustration and trying to analyze myself to see if I was a good person or not, so I think that’s why the fallen angel concept caught my attention.
For this project, I started by making the two cups on the wheel. While those bisque fired, I tried to make the pouring vessel. I had to coil it instead of using the wheel, but it turned out alright considering coiling is the devil’s technique. I then glazed the cups and bisque fired the pouring vessel. I didn’t have time to completely finish this project.
Positives: I really like how symmetrical and smooth my cups ended up being. I was also able to make a circle at the bottom of the cups to make them lighter, which was fun. I think for a project where I had to use a tool that was completely foreign to me, it came out ok!
Negatives: I am not a fan of my pouring vessel, mostly because I wanted to make it more circular like the cups and I just couldn’t without the wheel. It’s messy and assymetrical, which annoys me. I also had an original idea for the project that I just couldn’t do because of a lack of time and skill, so this project makes me miss what could have been.
This week, I’ve been trying to fully flesh out my concentration and sketch out some project ideas. It’s a little hard, and 15 is a lot to come up with, but I’m excited.
I’ve been trying to work on the pouring vessel project, and I couldn’t use the wheel for the actual pouring vessel, meaning I had to revisit coiling; the WORST technique. I also glazed both of my cups.
This week I’ve been trying to work on my wearable sculpture project. My first attempt was a failure, but the picture above is my most recent and so far my most successful attempt. I have also been trying to practice on the wheel more for my pouring vessel project, but I haven’t had any success.
I started out with an umbrella hat for this project. I got some felt, pipe cleaners, feather boa’s, and some weird plastic string to add to the hat. The first thing I did was splatter white, blue, and purple paint onto the top of the hat to make it look like space. Then, I hot glued the felt and pipe cleaners on the ridges of the hat. I then hot glued the boa was to the hat, and I tied the strings through small loops at the edge of each ridge. I was going to add lights throughout the inside of the hat, but it proved to be too difficult.
Positives: overall, I think this project was a success. I’m not good at making costumes, so I was initially scared to do this project, but after a bunch of trial and error, I was able to create a final product I was happy with. I especially like the paint splatters, as well as the strings, which make it look more jellyfish like.
Negatives: it was really hard to cut the felt, since I don’t have specialty scissors, so the felt on the top of the hat looks a bit rough. The hat also ended up breaking, but I’m not sure if there was any way to prevent that. It’s not the prettiest, but I’m still proud of it.
For this project, I wanted to do something that was familiar, but slightly off. I also wanted to try and sculpt a body, so I figured a mermaid would be a good canvas. I ended up deciding on making the tail an actual fish, and giving her a more realistic look than normal magical mermaids.
I used sculpey for this project, and it was very annoying. At first, it was amazing, since you didn't need to score and slip, but it ended up breaking a lot, especially when I added the hair to the head. It was very hard to get her balanced, which is why she is leaning a bit. Overall, I'd use sculpey for smaller projects, not something so heavy.
I feel like I did a pretty good job on the female body, although the hands and breasts are a little off. The breasts broke in half, so I had to repair them and make them look semi-alright. The hands were incredibly difficult. I also feel like I could have painted it a little better, but I wanted the fish to resemble a koi fish.
Overall, this was an important project since I discovered a new medium and it was my first practice for sculpting a human body.
This was originally supposed to be a paper roll project, but when I visited Asheville with my mother, I saw some of these origami flowers. She immediately fell in love with them, and I knew I had to try to replicate them for a Mother’s Day gift.
I was able to get some double-sided paper and started by folding each individual petal. I then found some sticks and hot glued the petals to them. It’s a fairly simple process, but it took lots of tries and tears.
Positives: I really liked the colors that I used, I feel like they look really good together. I also think for my first time doing origami this project came out very well.
Negatives: The folds on the petals are a little bit rough, since the paper I used was very thick. Next time, I would like to use thinner paper and try to make each flower a little bit neater.
This week I heave only been in school for two days, so I didn't get much art done. One of my cups for the pouring vessel has been fired, but I started doing origami flowers for my paper project, which I'm going to give as a mother's day present. It's a pain so far, but I'll make much more progress next week.
This week I worked on my pouring vessel project. I made both of the cups for it, as well as an extra bowl for fun. This week has mostly been practice on the wheel, trying to learn how to center and such. Next week I won't be here much, so I may try to start on either the pouring vessel or a new project.