Thursday, November 13, 2008

Paperclay On Different Surfaces

This was the start of my piece titled "Trapped". The initial forms were made from chicken wire (galvanized steel mesh), wood reeds and thick cotton twine (left picture).

The Southern Ice Porcelain Paperclay slip was brushed on, layer by layer to build up a sufficiently thick coating. Each layer was allowed to dry before a new coat was applied.  The initial progress was slow, but as the layers built up, it became easier and faster with successive layers. In the end, it was a matter of deciding how thick was thick enough to show all the details I wanted to show (right picture).

I decided to make a hollow sphere (representing the world) from the same clay, drew in the major continents and islands on it freehand, and using the paperclay slip, build up the land mass to give it some topographical texture.

The piece was fired (as separate pieces) at Cone 04 (bisque temp). The wood reeds and cotton twine burnt away. The steel mesh is still within the clay.  A light pearlescent acrylic wash was applied over the raised surfaces of the world to subtly contrast it against the white clay. No glazes are used.

"What is caught in the trap?" In Asia, this kind of trap is used to catch fish. At first glance, it looks like a white ball has been caught. On closer inspection, we can make out that it is the world; our world. The choice of using this very white clay is deliberate. In Eastern culture, white has an ominous meaning.