Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cloud Catchers

I've been focusing this past week and this weekend on getting these cloud catchers finished.  Here are the samples that I gave to SCAD.  We both opted for the larger font.

I'm going to be honest, I don't really enjoy the idea of production (which is silly because I've dreamed of being a production potter someday...) Sometimes the argument in my head looks like a responsible, square-shouldered, argyle wearing, adult (picture Mr. Rogers) scolding a quick tempered, curly blonde pig-tailed, little child (Shirley Temple-ish) who is holding a large multicolored lollipop.

"Listen, you have to wait until dinner."
"No! I don't wanna! ::stomps her right foot:: And you can't make me!"

Believe it or not, it's quite annoying.  So in order to do this project, I had to convince myself it wouldn't be that difficult to create 40 small little hands, and since I don't have a gallery right now and I'm not teaching a class, the money is enticing.  However, after I got this last sample approved, I got an email from the events assistance asking if I could create 70.  Now, considering it's almost double the dinero, of course I was eager to say, "Absolutely!  I can definitely make 70..." meanwhile, that little girl was rolling all over the floor screaming and flailing her arms and legs because it's almost double the production and the deadline is only a little over a week away.

Okay, so it's really not that difficult to make these pieces, it's getting the words on the hands that had me stumped.  I was using the carbon copy transfer method, but the transfer wasn't dark enough.  The process also took forever and made my hand cramp because I was trying to apply enough pressure to get the image darker.  Even still, I had to go back over the words by hand with a paintbrush.  Then, one night while laying in bed with this problem plaguing my mind, I was finally able to placate that tiny girl.  Sometimes I think that cliches like "If it was a snake, it would have bit you," were meant for me.  Since the hands start out as flat slabs, I should make a screen.  Since the words aren't that detailed, I wouldn't need to go through the whole exposure process.  All I needed was to break out my handy screen drawing fluid and screen filler (by Speedball) and bam...the screen was ready.

Newly made screen.  I'm using an black underglaze as my ink, which is thickened by black mason stain and frit.
This is what production of cloud catcher looks like...just FYI. :) This is pre-foot.
Footed and waiting to dry before being scraped and dusted with more color.
After the UG experience, I actually find myself siding with the little brat rather than Mr. Rogers.  It was too much to handle at that time.  Yet, I found myself getting into a groove yesterday screen printing those pieces.  It was surprisingly enjoyable.  I had forgotten what it was like to become familiar with a process that was reliable.  I'm sure that's one of the things that frustrated me about the cloud plates.  My loss rate was just too high and the needed quantity was also too high.  But back to the good things, the joy of making these hands have made me want to sit down a make some mugs and bowls.  If time permits, I may have to do that today.  I plan to fire these guys later this week and I'm sure I will need some more work to fill up my kiln, so more motivation to do so.

No comments:

Post a Comment