last bfa blog everr (week fifteen)

this is my last blog.. brian i’m not crying, you are 🙂

umm yeah. not too much to say currently. my thesis show reception went so well! so many people came and wanted to chat with me. i tried to talk to everyone but you know how it goes.

i am anxious about having to move out of my studio and stop taking ceramics classes. i know i will be doing student teaching stuff in high school and elementary classrooms over the next year and i can use some of their stuff to a certain extent.. so that is better than nothing i suppose. i was thinking about taking an independent study this fall but i just don’t know if i can afford it/want to spend the money to do that. we will see how i am feeling at the end of the summer.

i will start organizing my studio by the end of finals week hopefully. and i actually still have a couple of pieces that i never glaze fired. so i think i am going to stain them, and then put them to be fired, so hopefully someone will fire them over the summer or next fall.

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as for moving forward with my art making.. i am excited to start pursuing mediums other than ceramics! i have always really loved printmaking and painting, so i am hoping to get back into that now that i have time!

as far as ceramics, i am not sure. i am going to continue looking into options for an outdoor art installation of my thesis work somewhere, or maybe install them somewhere on my own property.

i plan to continue making hanging sculptures hopefully. i got good feedback regarding making hanging work that interacts with a piece placed below it, so i’d like to try that. i also got comments about considering what is placed behind and just in relation to the hanging rings. the theoretical concept side behind the pieces involves the viewer being placed into a forced juxtaposition with the pieces, so they have to look through the rings to what lay beyond. so, with an intentional placement of a background/mural type thing or sculptures, the viewer will look through to something that i planned out, rather than a blank wall.

here are pictures of my final installation of my thesis work!

week fourteen

install for my thesis show is complete! i finished up last night, and then did lighting this morning. the installation review from the faculty went really well, the only comments about my stuff was regarding the lighting.. but Deb helped me out a lot and i think it looks really good now!

i got the pedestal all finished up before the show, of course. boy was that a pain. as soon as i started adding paint to it, the surface of it got super rippled, from the moisture.. so i put a ton of spackle on it, to help with that, but also to smooth out the surface since there was a spiral ridge over the whole thing. even still when i started to put paint on top of that, it still got bumpy, but it smoothed out for the most part once it was dry.

last tuesday when i got my pieces out of the ^10 kiln, they definitely weren’t what i was expecting. the red piece came out super uneven, too much variation of reds and browns. i think the problem was when i was mixing the paints, i had remixed before moving on to the second half of that ring, so one half had more red mixed in, but the other was brown. it was the same piece that had broken in half, so since i was already gonna be using acrylic paint to cover the glue seam, i could also alter the coloration on the rest of it as well. i mixed up a nice warm brown wash to put over both rings around the joint area, and fading it out. it turned out really nice! i like the piece a lot more now.

installing the rings went so great, i’m still really surprised. of course the pieces are heavy, so it was hard to support them and hold them up while the wiring stuff was being done up in the ceiling, but it wasn’t too bad, i suppose. they seem really sturdy, and i know the hanging equipment used is strong enough to support it.. so i suppose i trust it.

the twine/jute cord that i was originally gonna use ended up being too thick for this application.. so i decided to use macrame cord and color it with the same brown acrylic that i was using on the piece itself. at first i wasn’t super happy with it, i think i just don’t love the look of having the string on it at all, but i like it enough to live with it.

i used uv resin on the rings, so when i started adding the resin to one of the pieces, i placed the light on it, and then i guess it started swinging (since it was one of the hanging pieces) so as it cured, it got this really interesting ripple wave kinda look in it, but it looks so cool. i wish i would have thought to do that intentionally haha

the layout for my show as a whole changed a lot from where i originally planned on placing everything. but i really like the placement of my work now! the flow of it just didn’t quite feel right, so i’m glad we decided to move my pieces around.

week thirteen

last full week before my thesis install begins! i got my show cards printed and all of my work has officially been bisqued! yayy

i picked up my tube to make my pedestal. here is a funny picture i took with it while in menards haha

my dad made a 20″ top for it out of mdf that fits down into it. he also put a bottom on and made a 20″ piece for the bottom as well, in case it needs it for stability. oddly enough, i don’t think it really adds to the strength of it at all…

my only concern with it is that my piece slides around a bit.. i’m sure that will change some once there is paint on it.. but when it is bumped hard.. the piece doesn’t threaten to all topple, it just slides around.

i’m working on getting it painted up now. when i first started adding the paint to the tube itself, the surface of it got really ripply from the cardboard getting saturated, it was kinda scary, but over night it flattened out nicely!

i’m now trying to decide if i want to place moss around the base of the piece.. i’m not really sure yet. i;m afraid that the tall pedestal piece will look too out of place, since it is the only one on a tall pedestal, the pedestal is also round, so i think if i also place

here’s what my first ring looks like pre-cone 10! it has an oxide stain on it that consists of red iron oxide, copper oxide, and chromium oxide. of course the red iron oxide overpowers most everything else so it should turn out a nice variegated warm brown. also the mossy bits have wax over them, which is green, so it really amplifies the green, we will see how that turns out! they are in their cone 10 firing right now, the last firing for my thesis show!!

week twelve

a couple days ago one of my sculptures broke 😦 i think it will be okay.. it is a fairly clean break, so i don’t think it’ll be too big of a deal to use some pc11 to clue it back together after its finished firing and everything, then paint over that with acrylic i guess.. we will see. i think it broke along the spot where i had cut is and stuck it back together but i don’t even totally remember where that had happened. here are some picture of the evolution of the crack 😦 what a sad sad series of images rip.

earlier this week i had a progress critique in ceramics and it went so well!!! we decided to switch up how i will be hanging my sculptures, and i’m much more confident in this new method!

yesterday i also started adding resin to my big boy! i was very nervous about getting started.. hence why i waited so long.. but mixing sand in with the resin is adding a really interesting texture and surface to the piece.

i’m super duper nervous about adding color to the top of the piece.. i think i’ve gotten so used to seeing the sculpture all one color.. gray-ish then white then a dull yellow color.. that it is hard for me to even imagine what it will be like once there is color on it without thinking it will look too bold.

during my progress crit we also discussed my plans for coloration for that sculpture.. i was originally planning on having the bottom be super bright, purples, greens, blues, and then the top being ocean-ey. but i got some feedback that if the base is bright as well as the top, the form might just get lost. so i decided to stick with the sandy theme and then add bits of color in here and there. i’m just still afraid that it’s gonna look stupid… idk

i’ve also decided that i would like to have a round pedestal for my thesis show, so i suppose i will have to make one myself. i think my best bet will to buy a concrete forming tube. they’re made of cardboard, but are actually fairly sturdy. the only problem is that i can’t seem to find one that is big enough for my sculpture. my dad suggested that i go ahead and get one that is *almost* big enough, and put a top on it that’ll make it big enough. i’m just not so sure if i am into the look of having a big top on it.. but i suppose if that is the best i’ll be able to do, then so be it.

week eleven

i fired my big sculpture and he came out great! no cracks in sight! well there is a tiny superficial crack in one spot but that was there pre-firing, so we won’t count that.

here it is in the kiln!

i finished sculpting all of my thesis work!! yay!!! i finished it all up this past sunday night. i am still working on some underglazing stuff on them, but the first milestone has been surpassed so it has definitely boosted my confidence in my abilities.

when i put the two halves of the newest ring together, they did not quite fit, unfortunately.. so i had to cut it and do a little re-con on it.. it feels pretty strong though, so i am hopeful. i wish this wouldn’t have happened on this piece, because this is the piece that i am gonna have to speed dry.. because i only have 10 days-ish until i’d like to get it into bisque.

i settled on the coloration for the newest ring. i’m going for a redish-orange-brown color, so i need to buy some more underglazes to get the variation of color that i’m looking for.

i also worked on my coloration tests for the big wave boy.. but i’m not so sure about it, i kinda like it.. but we’ll see what people say during my critique coming up. it is a mottled purple-pink-green-blue.. and it is super intense.. so i don’t know. here is a picture of it, i’m glad i decided to fire a small tester for both the base and the top portion of my sculptures, so i could test the colors.

week ten

i’m not sure if you can tell from my last several blog  entries but… i’ve really been struggling with ceramics lately. i really see myself as so much more of a multi-disciplinary artist and i’m just kind of kicking myself for letting myself get so invested in one medium. i know hands down that ceramics is my favorite,, but i think that i’ve just really been struggling to even enjoy it lately. that makes me so sad because i love clay so much and i hate that i’m having so much difficulty with it right now.

i’ve been doing  my observations in an elementary art class room these past couple months and i’ve been having so much fun and i think being able to step away from the ceramics studio and get to work with kids doing fun little projects everyday is something that i’ve needed for a long time and i just didn’t realize it. right now my kids are working on clay projects it’s just been so rewarding. watching them just light up with joy when we tell them that we’re gonna be working with clay is so cute and exciting. it really helps me get excited about it too.

anywayy

this week i finished *building* my last stuff for my thesis work, i still have to do the additions and such on them, but i should get done with that this week as well. i’m a little bit nervous about one of them.. after the problems i had with it last week.. i’m afraid something will happen to it again.. 😦 i’ll just have to be careful i suppose. it feels pretty strong, but i’m just not sure about it

i think i need to get better about not rushing things and allowing myself plenty of time to complete projects. for some reason i’ve been trying extra hard this semester to hold onto some semblance of a life. haha i know i should devote myself to clay more, but id just go crazy if i didn’t take frequent breaks

i also decided to totally switch up the decoration plan for my other sculpture, as soon as i started adding in some of the icy mountainy stuff, i decided that i really just wasn’t into that look.. so i decided to go with a rough red desert rock formation type of thing.

so yeah here are my color thoughts for the second ring

week nine

this week i had a bit of a rough time with one of my sculptures. i was movin and groovin right along and finished up the base construction for half of one of the rings, and it decided to break on me. i was able to salvage about two-thirds of that ring half, so i had to start over on the rest of it. it wasn’t that much of a big deal, but it still sucked a lot. coil building large sculptures is so tricky, and it is hard to get the timing just right. you’d think that after ohh maybe 8 years of coil building, that i would understand clay, but shit it really knows how to put me in my place.

i know it was my own fault, spring break was this week, and i was just trying to rush right through everything.. i put the piece upside-down in my lap to work on carving out some holes.. gravity saw an opportunity to take action and boy did it. just popped right in half. normally thats not too much of a problem, but idk with this one it just didn’t want to go back together. so i cut off a good chunk of it off and started rebuilding it. luckily, once you’ve built something once, the second time around goes a lot smoother and easier, because you can visualize better what you’re going for, and just do it without the worry.

also i made a mug for funzies. so here is that

week eight

this week i finalized my hanging method and bought the materials for that. here’s what that looks like. i placed the holes in the top of the piece and worked out some kinks there. the main problem i had was with the placement of the holes, but i decided to place them kind of on an angle, so that when they are actually hung, the weight of the piece should kind of lock them into place? not sure if that makes sense but i’m just hoping gravity will be my friend in this situation and help me out.

now i’m trying to decide what height i would like to hang them at… i’m wanting them to be around eye level kind of, so that when the viewer is looking at it they are looking through the center of the ring. so that would mean the top of the ring would be above the viewer’s head and the bottom of the ring would be about stomach-high? my only problem is that obviously people are of varying heights so i need to try and figure out what height i would like to place it at… i don’t necessarily want it to be so high that when short people are looking at it, they are staring directly into the bottom half of the ring, like looking at the piece itself rather than through the hole… but i also don’t want it to be so low that a tall person is staring over it… sooo yeah that’s what i’m trying to work through right now.

soo yeah here is a picture of the hanging mechanism and what the holes look like.

here’s what my work + my studio is looking like rn hahah

week seven

i believe i have given up on hopes of having time to make another sculpture for my thesis show.. i don’t know yet. i did come up with an idea for a sculpture but i don’t know if i’ll have time. i think that once i have my sculptures done and drying, i’ll have time to make another quick sculpture, but i don’t know if i’d be able to have time to finish it. so we’ll see.

this week i finished up building the second half of the first ring so i’m proud of myself for that! i also figured out the hanging mechanism situation for the show and picked out my location in the gallery!!! so i measured all of that up so i could figure out the length of the cable that i need!

i’m still a little bit worried about the whole hanging situation… mainly about connecting the lower half of the rings to the top half. i’m afraid that too much stress, i guess, will be placed on individual parts of the  loops..  i think it will be okay, but i’m trying to decide how i should actually hang all of it. i was thinking about hanging the top portion first and then kind of sitting down on a ladder right under it and having someone hand me the lower portion so i can kind of balance it on my legs while i hook those together? I feel like if I connect the two pieces to form the ring and then hoist it up into the air oh, it would be a little bit riskier and just put  the connecting parts under too much trauma

week six

this week i don’t have as much to say. i’ve been trying to come up with plans for another sculpture, but i’m definitely struggling.. i think if i did make another, i would want it to be another pedestal piece. since i have one pedestal, two large hanging, and one huge floor//short platform piece, i think that another pedestal one, maybe even a shorter pedestal or a piece that goes onto a small pedestal against a wall, would really round things out.

we’re prepping for an empty bowls fundraiser right now, so i’ve been trying to bounce back and forth a bit when i need a break from my thesis stuffs.

of course i’m starting to get burnt out on my thesis work.. i really need to come up with a design for another piece but i just don’t know…

i’m finished up with the first half of one of the ring pieces.. and i really need to start pushing myself harder with that work.. but i struggle.

i’ve also been writing my thesis.. and boy is that hard and time-consuming. when i first started it, it was like a breeze, but it has gotten so much harder lately.. some of the areas, especially when talking about my own vision for my work, it’s like i can see it in my head, and i just magically understand how it works, how i get from point-a to point-b, but verbalizing that thought process is so much more difficult than i had imagined.

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