Saturday, February 9, 2008

Kip III: Lowfire Adventures

Hi ladies… Here is what I’ve been up to for the past while. I think I’m ready to say I’ve embraced the low fire direction. Most of the developments you see here feel like movement toward a more coherent body of pots, and it would be great to get any advice as these ideas coalesce in my work and into an artist statement (hopefully by NCECA!!).

Below you will find a list of things I am pursuing and why they are feeling important to me. It’s not an artist statement yet but some of the elements are there.

-Drawing on functional pots is currently a large component of how I’m approaching clay. As I sketch, there is ample time think about what I am illustrating, how I am grouping imagery and what those image combinations come together to express. Because this work is utilitarian I hope the user will continue to contemplate the ideas and the way their meanings change over time. I feel like this fits well into the “constant conversation” framework.

-I like how the drawings essentially become etched in stone once they are fired: little moments of history in a permanent, physical form.

-I’m intrigued by the sides pots have and the impact one side can have on another. The potential to pull a person in with cheerful color (someday soon!) and innocuous ideas, only to show a darker, sarcastic side of the (seemingly) innocent has me thinking a lot. The way that mixing and matching the same group of images can evoke vastly different ideas and feelings is something I’m pursuing as well.

-I’ve been looking at and thinking about graphic novels and zines. I like the method of progressing a storyline with visual frames, and how only through use and handling of these pots is the full story revealed. I’m thinking about working in a series of cups, where it takes multiple pieces to complete an idea or thought.

-Finally, there is the glazing – my great nemesis! But, I have a goal in mind now, which makes things feel more manageable. I know some of you are familiar with Ursula Hargins work – I am really interested in her glaze palate and that of Bernadette Curran as well. I particularly like the way Ursula lays down bright colors that drip and run outside the lines of her drawings. I’m starting to go in that direction, but am still struggling to get the finish I want. I started with following clear glaze:

Frit 3195 - 90%
OM 4 - 10%

But, I’ve had some shivering in areas, and a lot of bubbling over the areas with mason stains. I did some line blends, but I think I need to increase the expansion even more than I did in the blends (I never hit a point of crazing…). I’ve also used a water blue glaze from Julia Galloway and all Frit 3110 with mason stains and all 3195 with MS, too (see Test Cup). I’ve had a little luck with the latter three, but none are really running as much as I’d hoped… any ideas (I’m thinking I should introduce some 3134 for starters)??

Thanks for looking ladies…

What's for Dinner? (view 1)

What's for Dinner (view 2)

What's for Dinner (view 3)

What's for Dinner? (detail)

Gas Cup

Gas Cup (view 2)

Oil Cup

Oil Cup (view 2)

Turbine Tumbler

Pipeline Cup

Wall Tile (6 x 6)

Test Cup

Test Tiles 1

Test Tiles 2

Test Tiles 3


mel said...

hey kip!
first of all, this looks GREAT! honestly, i think the stark, sharp clarity of the line work works really well with just the red, white, and clear. but i know what you mean by wanting to create some sort of colorful cheeriness for ironic purposes. i love the clearly delineated stripes of red, and the drawing is amazing. this is perfect. i'm so happy this is coming together for you after all that hard work.
some artists that immediately come to mind that you probably know but maybe you don't:
kowkie durst
naomi cleary
julia galloway's landscape tumblers. i think it was martina, or maybe julienne, who pointed me to these. i'd never seen them before and it really helped me to think about how to string scenes together over more than one piece.
thinking of the zines and other graphic work, i can see these glazed in almost a paint by number, comic book sort of way. i'm actually not picturing as much running as you might be. just really bright, candy red and almost plastic-like colors. i don't know how to get those. maybe they are not glossy, now that i think of it.
some recipes:
lowfire clear (03)
frit 3124 85
EPK 15

merekeri clear (03)
this has some cloudiness to it
3124 59
3289 14
Neph Sye 11
Silica 10

woody's base (03)
this is a clear that can eat through slips and sig in some places. could be interesting.
GB 26
Lith Carb 4
3124 30
Neph Sye 20
Silica 1
Calcined EPK 5

when i was first experimenting with clear, i got some dry lowfire clear glaze from standard ceramics. it was cheaper than the pink amaco stuff, but just as reliable if you measure your water. i don't remember what it was called, but there weren't many options so it shouldn't be too hard to figure out. i bet you could call standard directly and ask them to send you a free sample. or wait! i know! i have some left that you could use. i also have small amounts of the frits and such things for some of these recipes. i'll bring you presents at NCECA!
i'll have to ask ayumi for the runny glaze recipes she has. also, what about lustres? i bet kristen has some good recipes, too...

critial ceramics said...

hi kip -

i second mel's "this looks great!" it seems like you've clarified a number of things in your work from when i last glimpsed at your matt long workshop pieces. i can feel your innate attention to detail in these pieces and feel that the forms are really coming along as well. quite a different sense of engagement and conversation you are sharing with your pieces now. i love the tumbler shape...

i think the simple forms fit really well with the detailed drawings. have you thought about distorting the images where the cup bulges out (i.e. making the rising gas prices larger or more prominent on the bulging area of the cup...kind of like the distortion/fisheye effect from a camera lens)?

also, i am thinking about your ideas on making a sequence of drawings on a series of cups. how important is communicating a specific storyline? could someone rearrange the cups to make their own sense of the story, or do you like the idea of the order being really essential?

i thought the drawings of food (steaks, chickens etc) were quite clever, yet i wonder if some of these images might be too political or too "unappetizing" for some folks while they are eating their sunday dinner. yet, i feel that the reception of these pieces will change once you add the light -hearted and cheery colors for more irony.

i like the gas cup and saucer. the winding pump really animates the saucer!

i wonder if holding the kiln for a little longer at the final temp might help smooth those bubbles over? good luck and keep me posted with your glaze research!

hope we can reconnect in pittsburgh.


critial ceramics said...

ppiK-i feel like you have had that moment when things are starting to become clear and just knowing how you want to finish your pots can be half the battle, congrats on this break thru!

critial ceramics said...

via martina, via linda arbuckle i have pages of recipes, also the lisa orr glazes are nice and runny but are very soft surfaces that scarth easy but i love them. i did have one thought on a way to possibly try to marry the images to the object/cups and saucers in a stronger fashion. my idea/suggestion/(thought for my work as well) is for example with the suv and and gas pump is maybe some tire tread on the saucer so the decoration isn't just on the surface but part of the surface design/object. agian just an idea. i love the sharp,very direct line not soft. i started my ceramics career with tiles and love your start. i thought the "whats for dinner" were the most sucessful, i like the scratchy-ness and more clay coming thru. i do love the idea of some color, yellow chics perhaps or red bloddy meat. i am sorry i don't have more to say, but i think your on great path and should follow your nose and mind acinom

critial ceramics said...

Hi Kip,
It's great to see what you have been working on. Lots of progress!! You have really struck out in a new direction.
I'm curious if you have been slip casting at all? I know you were excited about that, and am wondering if anything has come of it.

I do think that I would like some color in the pieces. In fact, it took me a while to realize that they were, in fact, glazed. I also am entirely taken by your test tiles. I really love them, the colors and the patterns. I wonder about including some element of this decoration on your work - so that you have part of it that is narrative, and then decoration as a framing or a break between the narration. I just think they (the test tiles) are playful and pleasing. The imagery on your work is much more heavy and sobering. Having a decorative element could help seduce people into the enjoyment of your work (the way one is seduced into buying an SUV). I realize this might not be helpful, but the test tiles are the things I keep wanting to look at, and blow up to full size on my computer.

As for the pots -- my favorites are the turbine cup and the pipeline cup and saucer. I like that they reference a more specific place, that they are situated in a landscape rather having the 'anywhere america' feel. I also feel they make more of a connection to the process of resource movement. I also find that I like the pieces that have some amount of white space - some room to take a breath.

I've been delving into the whole realm of surface decoration since arriving in Sacramento, so some things that I have been thinking about are ideas of layering images, through sgraffito, slip inlays, different textures, drawn imagery and image transfer. It can get out of hand pretty quick! But you might want to spend some time thinking about different ways you can apply an image to your surface, and how that affects how the piece looks and the content of it. Drawn imagery vs. decals, etc. I know that is not very specific, but just some food for thought (like you don't have enough else to think about).

See you soon!!!!