During the accretion project, we had a few smaller creative exercises that stimulated some ideas. This one came from following the teacher prompt to make and use a thick slab, which I normally don’t do. I couldn’t quite feel what to do with it and put it aside to start on other ideas. The slab sat and started to dry to leather hard. I distinctly remember asking myself what I could do with this “brick” of clay now? That’s when it came to me, cut it into bricks and make a small keep/tower. The teacher was going on about the aesthetic disadvantage of “flat bottoms”, so I curved my base slab and turned it into a grassy mound to the tower to sit on.
Its construction is bottom-up, so I didn’t initially plan the whole shape; I just wanted to see what I could do before the clay ran out. I used a little slip and scoring to connect the terracotta slabs and allow it to dry a little more, before using a carving tool to add emphasis to the bricks. It occurred to me something was missing inside this keep. Afterall what was it keeping? So, I made the palo verde tree. Well, it started as a tree, but I liked the green terra sigillata I used for the grass and wanted to continue that for the tree. More on this next.
I wrapped it in plastic for a few days, before using a damp sponge to smooth it out a little. Then I painted on the white and green terra sigillata, before allowing it to all dry slowly to bone dry and bisque firing it. The grass was already green from the terra sigillata, and I added some copper oxide stain. I added iron oxide to the mortar and sponged off the excess. Then fired it at Cone 04.
Dimensions(Approx): H – 26cm x W – 18cm x D – 20cm
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