Some Clay Works this Spring

Here are most of the whosits and whatsits I made in my pottery class this past Spring. Some of them I like a lot, while others, not so much. But I think they have interesting qualities regardless of how they turned out.

The first piece I made this spring was a vase. It was meant to look as though it was wiggling around and then flail out a bit at the top. I wanted the top more open so that the flowers have room to breathe. It’s a deep black inside and a jade green outside.

The second piece was a jar with a lid. I liked the deep blue it ended up being with the bits of scattered white. It almost makes it look like the ocean, and the top like ripples.

This one is meant too look like water coming up around the figure. I thought it might look interesting with a plant growing all around it inside. I experimented with wax under the glaze on the side and got this strange speckled effect.

This is a triangular pot done with coils. It’s face looks completely tortured and contorted. It’s mean to go along with another vase that I made (it’s still on display so I haven’t taken pictures).

This was intended to go into a small animals cage, somewhere that a hamster or ferret would snuggled up with a matching bowl. It was mildly inspired by the Flintstones.

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These plates were made with two completely different techniques. The whitish one was done with coils and the green one was done on a wheel.

And those are all my miscellaneous pottery pieces from this year! My favorites will be up in another post.

Until next time!

damian alexander

Sculpting a Face

As strange as this may sound, one of my favorite things to do within art is create a face. I feel like every artist has their thing. Some love drawing dogs over and over or working with flowers or extreme lines or bright colors. My thing is faces.

There’s just something I love about creating a human face. It’s just so indescribably exciting.

I find myself at any given time, staring at people and gathering in the idea of them. Their eyes, mouth and nose, lips, freckles, cheekbones, skin tone, the ears or neck or jawline. Every face is so fascinating. And while I don’t often use references in print (as in photos) for my work I do find myself referencing the people I’ve seen, from memory. Of course, these are generally exaggerated references and stylized artistically, which has become apparent throughout my work.

I find it so exciting when I first see this new person peaking though, when all those dabs of paint or scratched in lines start to come alive. It’s probably the most exciting thing about painting and why I have a hard time branching out into other subjects, like plants or scenery. I get so thrilled when I see the sparkle in their eye and they become real to me.

Sculpting a face garners a similar reaction. When I choose to sculpt a face instead of a flowerpot or cookie jar I find myself unable to stop working until they are completed. I will keep working and working until I see the nose and eyes poking through that wad of clay. The hours melt away. Next thing I know I’m looking at the clock and four hours have past and I look back at my hand and I’m holding a person I could only see in my head.

Below is a sculpture I worked on this Saturday. She is a character from a children’s book I’ve been working on. I guess it might be harder for others to see, because I can envision her in full color (she’ll be painted soon) and I can see her cuteness and spunk shining through and she feels almost real to me now, a way she hadn’t exactly felt before. I’ll be making more characters as soon as I can.

I’m not sure if other artists feel this way but it’s one of the things that ­keeps me creating. To an extent, it feels like another way of creating life.

I guess it is.

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Until next time!

damian alexander