I am really enjoying creating the flowing, curved, gouging, funnelling, marble running forms which are inspired by the erosion of rock either by weather or sea. I am, however thinking of how to create larger pieces without them becoming too heavy. The piece below is made from 2 bags of crank and is very heavy. There comes a point when, to remove clay from the centre via the underneath, the walls become very thin and the depth of the tool marks are somewhat reduced. I am toying with the idea of wrapping the thick clay around a tube to reduce the clay volume within the body yet keeping the ability to gouge deeply. Would I create a base and therefore turn it into a vessel?
It was suggested that I use porcelain as it is lighter than normal clay. I had never used or touched porcelain before. Knowing how careless and clumsy I can be, I always stayed clear of anything white, pure and delicate! However, I decided to give it a go.
I cleared all traces of other clay from my workspace and cleaned my tools. The porcelain was quite hard so I sliced through it, gave it a good spray and placed it back in it's bag for 24 hours. On return, it was much more malleable and had a feel of elastic putty to it.
I found that you can't hide anything with porcelain. Every mark made and surface smoothed showed up lines and finger marks - but this can all be part of the 'handmade ness' of the piece.
I was so eager to gouge the base of the clay that I didn't take into account for it's elastic and stretchiness. One look away and it was falling over and collapsing on itself! A quick saw of a card tube with the hacksaw blade allowed me to place the tubes into the spaces and create a sturdy scaffold for the piece.
I think I have created the next scary character for Dr Who!
Once finished, I shall attempt to transport the piece into college as my kiln is too short.