Monday, March 23, 2009

a productive weekend

I am finally inspired and working in the studio. I have spent the past few months thinking about what to make, doing a lot of looking and absorbing of shapes, surfaces, textures, colors, patterns. My friend Claudia and I were talking about feeling guilty taking the time to think as opposed to make. I came to the conclusion that thinking is an important part of my process.

I carry the thing that I will eventually make around with me, turning it over in my head and dreams. It will manifest itself, but in its own due time. I have to admit, I found the thinking a bit frustrating. I had left my job to have more time for ceramics, and I wasn't doing it. Is it a case of getting what I want, and realizing that I do not want it after all? No, I just can't rush the creative process.

I am happy this weekend got me back behind the wheel, so to speak. And yes, I love having more time to make, and to think.

The gourd halves I picked up in French Guiana (here they are above, displayed at a market) are finally cast into a mold. Follows my mold-making process.

The gourds are turned upside down on a plastic surface, and secured in place with plasticine. Wooden coddles are placed around the gourds, about one inch away from the edges. The coddles are secured to one another with clamps and kept in place with plasticine, which keeps the plaster from leaking out the bottom.

The plaster is then poured into the coddles. I use Pottery 1 plaster, made specifically for slip casting. Since I coated the gourds with wax before I cast them, they will pop out easily once the plaster has set. The plaster mold takes about a week to dry out, and then it will be ready for slip pouring. I cast four different sizes of gourds, to add to my petal bowls collection. Pictures to come soon.