many versions

charles2This is the latest head. He is about 8 inches tall. I made him with no one in mind, just thinking about individual features, but I have been told he looks just like a potter we know, so I am calling him Charles. I don’t know if he would be flattered or insulted.

I am on target with the heads, at the least the making, if not the firing of them. They take so long to dry. Let’s see, I started in February and it is the end of the first week of March so I should have 5 made and as of today I have 1 glazed, one ready to be bisqued, 4 drying, and I am working on two more whenever I have time and inclination for them.

Since I assigned myself this task of 20 heads in 20 weeks, I think its up to me to make up my own rules. I am starting to get a little tired of the straight up head and want to play. So I just made the rule the other day that anything with a head on it will count. Oh, and size doesn’t matter either. One I just started has something to do with a house and another one – big surprise – a bird.

I found this quote when I was looking at a book review. It wasn’t signed so I can’t credit anyone, but I it came at a time when I was questioning my commitment to finishing the heads project. “Even with the simplest of subject matter, if you create many versions, over and over, it gives your work strength, a backbone, if you will, that will allow you to see the great art among your own work.”

I don’t know about the great art part, but becoming more comfortable and hopefully, more proficient at sculpting heads is something I have wanted to do for awhile now. Then the quote started me thinking about versions of things, and what the actual definition was, so I did what I always told my kids to do – I looked it up. ‘A form or variant of a type or original’ is the definition that fits the visual criterion. I thought of the birdhouse guy whose house I pass often and all the versions he has made over the 6 or more years he has been making them.

birdhouses These are mounted on the back of a truck in front of his workshop with a sign that has his website but it is not readable in my picture so I cropped it, but if you want to see more: http://www.berkeleyrusticbirdhouses.com

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3 responses to “many versions

  1. Charles looks great, what kind of clay are you using? I really admire you for sticking with your 20 heads in 20 weeks. I don’t think I could ever do that. I go off on so many different tangents. I don’t recall if asked you this before. Do you sculpt your heads solid and then cut them in half and hollow them out? That’s how my ceramic’s teacher teaches head sculpting so I was curious. Can’t wait to see more of your heads.

  2. Thanks Linda. I am doing this to force myself to stay on one big theme at a time. I still do wander off into other things. I am also doing a series of bowls and vases.

    Charles is made of cone 5 BMix. and he was made as a solid lump and then I cut off the top of his head and scooped out the clay till it was about 3/8 of an inch thick. Hopefully, I did it evenly enough. If you scroll down to Feb 26, you will see a cut-apart head. It’s kinda fun . .

  3. I get a kick out of the berkeleyrusticbirdhouses.com truck. The owner has a sign on the back of the truck that reads: An Obama Green Job (or something to that effect).

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