Experimenting with Gaudí Handles
Snuck into the ceramics studio this morning. I'm finding out that either early morning sessions or late night sessions are the way to go for me: so much quieter–both in the space and in my head. Been working on throwing pieces more consistently: weighing the clay, seeing how I can make the pieces very similar, even with just eyeballing and not measuring the diameter. Also working on getting the piece as "finished" as possible, even before the trimming stage, since that saves a lot of time and also decreases room for error. Improving in both areas, as you can see below. (And the trimmed Gaudí bowls are in the background of the photo, ready to be bisque fired.)
Even the mug/cup that got dented when I shoved it into the shelf is looking chic and flawed in its own way.
Meanwhile, I've decided to take this Gaudí inspiration a step further: experimenting with handles that are more organic-looking, instead of the typical machine-made look that we're all used to. These were designed to be touched and to be held. The results are... ugly-cute? Can't decide yet, but I'm very happy that they're so weird.
That was the first one. The unforeseen challenge was "how to not make it look like a penis." Was going for more "drippy," like water frozen in time and less "male genitalia." The attachment to the mug itself was tricky (looked super messy), but I figured out a way to get those liquid-like shapes. Was interesting being more sculptural since I don't ever do (and have never done...) this type of clay work. Really flashes you back to childhood days when you're playing with Play-Doh, which was always my favorite (along with Legos). There's no right or wrong answer, and you just figure it out as you go along.
The other new thing about this is that I'm not sure how the clay is going to dry. It's a solid chunk, and pretty heavy, and with the thrown body so thin, it might not work. Also didn't want it to collapse under its weight, so it's drying upside down. But will it crack? Will it shrink at the same rate? Will it stay attached? So many question marks.
Did this 3 more times, and (1) I got faster at it, and (2) I was able to envision what I wanted; it became clearer in my head. The first one was just, "OK, let's try and make it look like liquid as much as possible." After doing that and seeing how the clay acts, I realized it's a bit like editing. You obviously want to show the dips and grooves where your hand was–that's what gives it the organic feel. However, not every groove looks good, so you have to smooth out some but not others–keeping it still rough but polished in some places. It's like editing. This second one, I wanted more of a spiral, twisty shape to make it more interesting, more like a twisted tree bark.
Felt better, so I did it again and again.
They fit really well in the hand, but they're obviously not a lefty's friend. Måns said they look like intestines. Mission accomplished?