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Comfortzone Stretch


Ocarina - Face the MusicAt some point this last year, I looked at Mitchell Grafton‘s amazing characters in ceramic enough to say, “I really need to give this approach a shot.”  Matt Chenoweth, my instructor for this last semester,  encouraged me to go beyond just brushing on underglazes and to experiment with the blending possibilities that come with airbrushing.

I’m not quite to the airbrushing stage, but I am starting to get a feel for what happens to different colors of underglaze as they are applied to bisqueware then fired to very high temperatures (Cone 10).  Parts of me like the idea of applying a material to a piece that actually fires out at the same color…that certainly isn’t the case for many ceramic glazes.  Parts of me aren’t crazy about the results because I am not yet comfortable with the fit between color, form, and control that show up on the finished product.  There is a fit out there somewhere, evidently beyond my comfort zone, where a series of ceramic musical instruments with varied human facial expressions will communicate my vision of a Face the Music series.

It isn’t a stretch to connect music and human emotion.  It isn’t a stretch to understand that not all of those emotions/expressions are the same.  What remains for me to see is whether a new approach with more color under better control can take me down a path to a successful series of ocarinas like the one pictured here.

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