Musings of the Artists Mind
Starting with a dual goal of achieving the forced perspective of looking upward at a very tall sculpture and exploring the possibilities of a black porcelain clay body, built this one up in stages. The upper body was easier in that it required only a small amount of clay rolled in a thin slab and modelled into the torso. The legs were more challenging. The black porcelain, being new to me, has a sweet spot for using it in thin slabs. At the start it was too wet and couldn’t stand up to the hight; if I let it dry too much it cracked and crumbled. So, I made thicker and thicker slabs. The final piece had close to 40 lbs of wet clay. I’ve since learned how to work it faster, but mainly in pure white porcelain. I chose to do a thin application of dear glaze without any additional stains and let the iron content of the clay play it’s magic to create the satin finish you see. The biggest mystery here is why the thicker clay used in the legs seems to have fired lighter than the thinner upper parts, even though it was from the same bag of clay.
Also, you don’t clearly see them in this picture, but the clay cracked in very interesting places, mainly where I added extra layers of clay to add curves. I chose to leave them, instead of filling them with melted zinc to highlight the faults. I’m still debating the benefits of this decision, but it’s an academic thought process, as I no longer own the piece.
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What inspires an artist?
“All they see” is the first and most literal answer.
For me, that is literally hundreds of gallery & museum exhibits, thousands of books, and tens of thousands of images online.
Books that Inspired and Influenced my Experimentation:
When asked where to start a book collections, I almost always recommend these art bibles: Janson’s “History of Art” OR Phaidon’s “The Art Book” Both give a nice overview with good pictures. Once you’ve discovered what you are attracted to there most, you can then dig deeper into that area.
These are perhaps the most accessible influences, but the truth is that my influences run deep through thousands of books and works I’ve seen & read. If you have the time, you are free to visit my GoodReads library to see a fraction of the books I’ve read. These are the ones I remember, that is. Or you can visit the ever growing collection on my Pinterest account.