Tuesday, December 17, 2013

More of Julia and Her Figures

Here are some more pictures of Julia and her work. Numbered from top down.

1. Untitled, unsigned. Glazed high fired stoneware.
I call this piece "Iron Man."

2. Untitled, unsigned. Raku fired.
I call this piece, "Woman with Red Rose."
The delicate red roses impart a wonderful counter balance to the while crackle raku glaze.

3. Untitled, unsigned, Raku fired.
I call this piece, "My Venus." I really love the minimalist feel of this piece.

Pieces 1, 2 and 3, were acquired at Julia's estate sale.

4. Julia sculpting Michael in her live study class.

5. Model Michael Schmidt posing for Julia's live study class.

6. Julia taking a breather, 2004. Model is Michael Schmidt.

 The last three pictures are courtesy of Michael Schmidt and are used with his permission.

Julia sculpting Michael
Michael Schmidt modelling in Julia's class

A relaxed Julia taking a break. Picture taken in 2004.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Julia Klemek - A Tribute

Julia was my first ceramic teacher when I started on my road to "mud play" back in 1985.

It was by chance I got into her Thursday evening class at the Irvine Fine Arts Center. I liked her class because she allowed me to do what I wanted to do, instead of following a set of requirements. After learning the basics of the material, I usually set off on my own, but she was always there when I needed technical help or explanation. I moved out of the area three years later and my ceramic exploration stopped for the next 10+ years.

When I decided to return to clay again in 2004, Julia was still teaching the same Thursday evening class. I signed up, showed up and the first thing she said to me was "I recognized your name" and smiled.

In each 10-week class, we would have a live model session and we try our hand in creating miniatures of the model. Figures were not my forte.

I've always admired Julia's style in figure modelling. She would put bits of clay together and in the end, her piece would capture the essence of the human pose.  The marks and textures she left in the clay are what I find most interesting. She never tried to smooth out her figures.

I acquired several of her creations from her estate sale. She passed away earlier this year from ovarian cancer.

Most of them don't have titles. But I discovered when I got home that the second piece down was signed and titled "Teardrops Fall, 2001.

14"H. Untitled, unsigned. Raku fired.
I call this piece "Blue faced woman."

"Teardrops Fall" 2001. Julia Klemek.  9"H.

10"H. Untitled, unsigned
I call this piece "Woman with Colorful Robe."

"A good teacher recognizes the potential of his/her student. And guides them to discover their own natural gift."   Anthony Foo

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Journey To The West - Part 1

A commission I was working on this year for a brand new hotel in China. The work is based on a piece of the same namesake, but on a larger scale.

The pictures here show the progression of the project, starting from top down.

1. Hand built Gault 10 paper clay tubes. The tallest greenware piece is 50"H, the shortest is 35"H.

2. Fired to Cone 10 oxidation, bare clay. One fire from greenware straight to Cone 10. No glazes were necessary

3. Treated with a paint primer to seal the ceramic surface.

4. Custom paint treatment.

5. The finished grouping, "Family Ties." The "ties" were re-purposed from nylon strapping I salvaged from the trash from a well known electronic store. The bow design is my own.

I'll post more pictures after the piece has been installed, sometime early next year.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tea Bowls

The tea bowl on the left was given to me by my Japanese language teacher before she returned to Japan.

I made the one on the right for my own daily use. Hand built paper clay. Texture is from mixing cooked rice with the paper clay before making the pinched shape. Stained with black and red iron oxides. The inside is green celadon glaze. Fired to Cone 10 reduction.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Work In Progress #2

Another project in progress.

I'm looking at adding a section to the bottom to raise the piece up higher for visual interest.

The piece as been fired to Cone 10 oxidation. The exterior color is the natural color of the sculpture paper clay, Gault 10 PClay from Aardvard. I'm entertaining some interesting ideas for the exterior surface of the pod.

The inside details are from my R&D with dipping coffee filters in paper clay slip (Southern Ice porcelain), and fired to Cone 5 oxidation.

The inside surface of the pod is coated with Black Mountain paper clay (home made) and feldspar crystals. At Cone 10, the feldspar crystals "pop" and you can see them quite clearly. No glazes used. Present height 28"H.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Work In Progress #1

Some pictures of one of my many works in progress.

Am still deciding how to finish the piece. I have several ideas in mind ranging from using acrylic paint washes/embellishments to incorporating hand made Japanese paper.

Hand built sculptural paper clay, southern ice porcelain paper clay. Black mountain sculpture clay and feldspar crystals were used to coat the inside of the pod.

The main piece was fired to Cone 10 reduction. The more delicate "tendrills" were fired to Cone 5 and then assembled. The white glaze on the flared opening is beaded white (Cone 10) on white porcelain paper clay.

Height: 26"H

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Taking Time Off

I've been taking time off for myself to work on new projects and to recharge by "batteries" so to speak. Am looking forward to getting back with renewed energies and insights.

Stay tuned for more pictures!