Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More Terra Cotta

Two weeks ago, I made this little round-bottomed bowl using a plaster mold and added a spout to it. I thought about making a clay spoon to rest in the curve of the spout, but instead decided to make the bowl more 'important' by putting it on a rounded pedestal. Today I leveled the feet of the base and drew test lines to see where I would like to put some black underglaze. I was originally thinking about making the whole bottom of the bowl black, but when I looked at it on the base, I decided to change the decoration to just strong lines on both. Unfortunately, I got so caught up in the doing of it that I forgot to take any more pictures!

I did, however, take a few pictures of the large platter I've been working on. Here's the beginning of the snake plate design:
I've had this in my designs/doodle notebook for years.

**I generated some pages for the design notebook by drawing pages with blank circles and curved oblong forms to draw design ideas in--ready-made basic forms drawn with Superpaint. Loved that old program. I did a lot of graphic design with it. **

I did create a commissioned bronze plaque from this design idea. But I didn't go much farther with it because in the Pacific Northwest, snakes are taboo. I doubt I could sell this plate there. But in the Southwest, it's a different story. Having grown up in Missouri, I learned my how-to-identify-a-poisonous-snake lessons early and don't really have a dislike of snakes.

They have been revered as keepers of knowledge in some ancient cultures. At the bottom of a temple excavation in Bahrain of the Dilman culture which was the contemporary of Babylon, there was discovered a fragile skeleton of a snake curled around a perfectly round rock and tucked neatly into a delicately woven basket. The interesting thing is, that whole idea is shared with ancient Chinese culture as well. ( Just thought you'd like to know that little brain tickle.)

I was lucky enough to be able to go down into this particular dig when we lived in Bahrain in the early 1970's.

Anyway. Here's the translated snake from an oval form to a round one using 3 coats of black underglaze on greenware. It's ready for the bisque kiln and then I'm planning to glaze it with a non-shiny transparent glaze, letting the clay show through.


Sister Creek Potter said...

I love checking in on your blog--you share so much of your process. It is like being in a workshop! Thanks. PS The snake is great.

chaetoons said...

I haven't thought about snakes for years! Growing up in Massachusetts (for 1/2 a year each year) it tickled me to catch the gardener snakes and scare the boys with them (spoze to be the other way around)!
Your snake platter is very spiritual. Mythical. Lovely.