Sunday, October 12, 2008

Martina's latest...

Hello Everyone
so above, you see an excerpt from my summer and the start of the new semester. Here you can see how the slab plates have progressed - furthering the layering of surface and working on them as whole image - then cut to individual plates. I am eager for feedback on the new work- for expediency i opted for studio shots this time. i hope they read okay.
Below is my latest technical difficulty. Crazing can be a perennial problem in earthenware - however i've never had it to this degree - where you can actually watch the water be absorbed into the clay. I haven't changed anything that i'm aware of, and it's not happening with every firing. Ideas?


critial ceramics said...


Juliane here. I keep saying this, but it is so interesting to see everyone's development in their work.

The pieces that I find the most striking are the ones captured in images 3-6, the bowls that are more minimal in color. You are playing with shape, border, and line on the pots (i.e. the bowl is a circle, and then you delineate another circle through the glazing process; as one looks at the pot from a standing position, she sees the green circle intersect with slightly off white circle in the the interior of pot to render the complete shape -- image 5). If my wording makes no sense, forgive me! Anyway, perhaps I am making my point. This is such a simple idea, the circle is such a common shape, yet what you are doing is deeply complex in bringing ideas about shape and drawing both three dimensionally (clay) and two dimensionally (oxide washes/underglaze pencil) together.

Did you use an underglaze pencil in one of the pieces? I am drawn to the bolder/denser lines -- the ones made by creating a strong border (and thus shadow) with your rib or the oxide wash lines.

Just a thought - what if there was even more precision in your rendering of 2D shapes on your pots, contrasting clarity of line with the looser, more organic feel of your 3D forms?

I find the folding over of the clay on the outside and inside of the rim on one bowl a litter overwhelming/busy. Perhaps playing around with the thickness of the added strips (or were these pieces cut and folded over during the throwing process)?

This all said, I still like your plates (1st and last pictures) and the complex layering and design. They have a totally different feel. What are you drawn to the most? What gives you the most enjoyment?

I hope all is well in Canada.

critial ceramics said...


I'm really excited about this new work!! For a while, the slab plates were my fav, but now the bowls have leap-frogged into the front running position.

My first reaction to the bowls were that they reminded me of Wayne Higby's landscape bowls, which were one of my first ceramic discoveries - the way the image travels from interior to exterior. I like that a lot. I also like the more subdued and simpler, cooler palate. I really like the simplicity of image 6 - and not so much the clutter of image 7. I think that you can say a lot with a little with this work - a few lines, a little tear. It has a looseness and expressiveness that I have not seen in your work in quite a while, and it makes me really happy to see it there.

The slab plates are nice but I'm not sure where they go next?

I need to run but I will add more if it comes to me.

doug said...

Great progress on the cut-lip plates Martina.

I have the one I got from you at NCECA on my "wall of heros" (a window between my office and the studio at the college).

On the crazing, it is always more silica. You can often keep the same glaze quality when upping the silica %, even drastically, by switching to a much finer SiO2 grind. Like Min-U-Sil in the 15 micron grade.

What happens is the glaze will start to "Recrystalize", or matting the surface, when you pump the SiO2 up. The finer grind can solve this at a surprisingly high % increase.

Good to see the work,

satoko said...

Hello Martina,

I thought I recognized your work from the display shelf in Doug's office at Mendocino College ceramics studio.

I think the collection of your work from this post is much stronger than the pieces from your last posting. As far as your plates go, in the last posting, the shape is so strong that the color, patterns and the imagery were a little too distracting for me. I understand that you were working on the surface treatment. This time, your lines on the plates (especially the first one) echo the physical outline of the plate, thus creating a much more pleasing, harmonic effect.
My favorites are your bowls. The last posting had pitchers, so it might be like comparing apples and oranges, but your bowls show more gesture/movement, and somehow look as if you are more comfortable with them. I really like the bowls in the 5th and 6th images. In #5, the circle on the interior and the partial circle on the exterior unite the form in an effective way. In the sixth I can really sense the tactile nature of the clay.
It was great to see your recent work.

Kip said...

Hi Martina!! You’ve got some great new stuff going on here in your work, it’s so interesting to see how things are evolving as you go through grad school. I am really drawn to the 6th bowl down that is all white with slab additions. My eye immediately goes to the vertical line created by the slab joint and the soft undulating rim. I love the tension between the crisp slab edges and the soft rim and body.

I also think that the way you set up a lot of these shots is very effective. In the third and fifth photos the continuation of the lines from the interior to the exterior is a great way to draw your viewer’s eye around your work. I know that these will change as you move about the piece, but this is a lovely and effective way to set up your images.

Playing with the surfaces on the plates seems like something you are really enjoying. I have a few questions about them: First off, I’d be interested to know more about where your imagery comes from these days. What is the text on the first plate? What kinds of things are you thinking about with the vines and leaves on the last two? I’m also curious about the shapes you’ve chosen. Visually I find them very interesting and like how they are moving away from the traditional square plates I often see, but how did you arrive at this shape? Where do you think these are headed?

Have you had any luck with the crazing problems? I’m working through some of that right now myself…

Alicia said...

HI Martina!
Its Alicia=)

I Love these, and where they are heading!
I think the forms have greatly improved, and the handling of the rims and patterns are so much better.
I find the softer quality so pleasing in the forms, cups included....I think the rolled rims give them a more luscious element to them. The one that i dont relate to as well, is the bowl with the added slabs?. I think once there is an introduction of additional "edges" it takes away the soft spontinaety of the form. Same with the slab plates...Maybe push or stretch the rim of the plates from underneath to puff them some? and sponge the snot out of the rims to round them...posssibly even softening the cut edges to more curvy ones.
I think that there could be a little bit of a punch of color somewhere too..maybe a little more colorant in the green color...or a line of a brighter color to give the viewer something to catch their eye and draw them in...
All the best!!! The work looks great!