The vessels started as neutral colored, wrapped forms around the outside of a bowl for the “top” section and around a soft support for the base. I added some chalk inks to break up the white, but didn’t go too far since I wasn’t sure what color they would be once it came out of the oven. So far, so good, but clearly not finished.
My initial thought was to use the two pieces together, but the dark colors in the square piece on the top suggested that a dark bottom in the faux raku style might be better. I did a new bottom for that and added some more layers of ink, resulting in something a bit more interesting.
That left the bottom to experiment with, so back to the inks, including some alcohol ink and some metallics this time around. I loved the warmth that I got with the multiple layers of translucent inks and the way it accented the rough edges and organic shape. Back in to the oven to set the inks (and hope that the form kept its nice shape through another round of heat!).
I am currently working on a large mobile, or air sculpture as Tory Hughes is calling her pieces, that is about all of the shields I have made over the years without realizing that I was doing them. It follows them through various stages, up through current day when I still find myself liking the flat form but do them knowingly. I guess you could call them my visual “tweets”, as they are limited in size compared to my wall pieces, yet are still small statements and stories of their own. This particular panel was intended to be a new shield for the mobile that represented the Hundertwasser influence that remains from last month’s challenge.
Once the “bottom” of the vessel was cool, though, it ended up on my workbench next to the shield and I was a bit startled to see how well they went together. In no time, the bonding was made. I love the contrast of the irregularity in the vessel with the graphic design from the canes. This is one of my favorites of the vessel experiments to date for so many reasons!
The “learning experiences” both involved support forms that were a lot less cooperative for what I was trying to create and a reminder that impatience is rarely helpful when dealing with polymer clay. In the first case, the paper that I thought would provide a convenient release actually made things worse when the glue from the label bonded with the clay (ugh), making it necessary to slice down the height of the piece to get the metal canister out.
In the second case, I used a thicker, single clay sheet around the soft form, but found that curing it on its back resulted in a vessel that wouldn’t stay upright. The vessel was warm enough that I thought I could encourage it to a better angle, but it ended up cracking along the bottom and back in drastic ways. Now I know that a single thick sheet isn’t a good choice to go around a soft support!
Both of those vessels are going through rehab at the moment, so we will see how that goes or if they end up being chalked up to lessons learned. In the meantime, there is a new Art Bead Scene challenge to stretch my imagination, so new beads will be coming up next!