Summer of sculpture, the making of large clay sculpture
What does an art teacher do on summer vacation? Why make art of course in this case the making of large clay sculptur . Earlier this year I was contacted by a community college about having a solo show of my work. Of course I said yes, I mean I can fool around but I ain't no fool. It then occurred to me that while I have some work I needed more. Why you ask? Because I have this condition of never thinking I have enough, don't know why, don't know if it is genetic but it's always there in my mind. It usually hangs out with my imposter syndrome and makes fun of my anxiety. But this is not therapy it is an art blog. (ok, ok sort's a little like therapy.).
Back to the topic at hand having enough work for this solo show thing. I decided I would make a few new pieces to debut at the show and that would be enough, or so I thought until they sent me the room dimensions. Gulp, yep it was a bit of a bigger space than my last couple of shows. At first I was petrified, then overcome with this weird sensation of joy. A big space well? Oh my. I had been wanting to make some larger pieces for awhile but it's kind of hard to justify when your work that sells is small, and storage is always at a premium.
I just had to do it.
So in April I did, I started constructing the largest clay sculpture I have ever made. He stands at a whopping 4 foot 8, weighs somewhere around 250-300 pounds and is the culmination of 4 months of labor. I constructed him using a hollow slab method and he is comes apart in 4 sections to facilitate firing in my kiln. It has taken 60 ounces of underglaze to add the color and 6 or 7 firings. I lost count.
I still have work to do on this rabbit, repair an ear, build a base, underglaze wash and fire. But it's getting there, the light at the end of the tunnel no longer looks like a train head light.
In the midst of the insanity of this build I have also been working on small sculptures that compliment this larger piece plus a few wall pieces, because I never think I have enough. If everything continues to go to plan I'll be done by the end of August and installing the show at the end of September. Then I'll take a breath, take some pictures and figure out what to do with a 4 foot 8 rabbit.