Lamp and bird-man

lamp1After all my worry, I was relieved to see, when I opened the kiln, that my pieces were intact and upright and had not ruined Kay’s urn. However, the ash glaze on her urn bubbled and ran down onto the shelf. She will be disappointed.

The lamp base is another project I started several months ago. It is ivory paper clay with cone 5 majolica and underglazes. I painted it whenever I had a little time and the inclination which wasn’t often. I made it for my living room to complement (counteract?) the solid colored furniture. Craig says it looks like a hookah. I can live with that.

It was made in two pieces and put together it is about 2 feet tall. I will epoxy it and then start the process of figuring out what I need to make it into a functional lamp. Oh, should I have figured that out before I started? Every time I am in the middle of a project like this, I wish I had planned all the details like wiring and shade support, etc. first. But I didn’t and I don’t and it usually works out, but undoubtedly with much more work and time spent. OK, the real truth is, when I think about all that, I just want to hand it to someone else and have them wire it and choose a lampshade and then I can just plug it in.

I am getting a little behind on the heads. I started the heads project in part because with all the possibilities in clay its hard for me to focus. Making the commitment to do 20 heads in 20 weeks forces me to at least come back to the same theme for some hours a week. The other reason, of course, is to improve on a sculptural form I am drawn to. What I strive for at the end of 20 heads is to be able to sculpt a head with some technical facility and ideally, and more importantly, to be able to convey emotion and imagination in a face.

OK, after those lofty aspirations, I will show you the funny guy I made last week. Craig thinks its hilarious that after all the human heads I have made with birds, I made a bird with a human head . I think its only fair.



6 responses to “Lamp and bird-man

  1. The bird with a human head is very powerful, I like it a lot. I also like your lamp base. I really feel you are speaking my voice when you talk about making something in clay and then saying you should have planned ahead of time. I do the same thing so often and it usually turns out, but as you say it would have been so much easier if the thought came before actually making the piece – thanks for voicing that – now I don’t feel so bad at how I seem to work.

  2. Thanks Linda. I make a sketch and do some planning when making something large, but then I get excited about seeing if I can make the form, and just want to get to the fun part of constructing with the clay. Any ideas on how to improve the planning process?

  3. Hi Barbara! It is so good to hear from you. Yes, the sheep does look a bit out of it and it’s all due to pressure points. The master shearer knows where to apply the correct amount of pressure to totally relax the sheep…now if I can only figure out how to do that with my dog.
    I love your little bird-man! This seems like something artists are very interested in; melding the bird and human forms. I love your interpretation…he seems very wise, like a professor bird-man.

  4. Hi Noelle, and to hear from you, too. Ah, pressure points! Yes, it would be a great puppy training aid. Especially helpful would be a “come when I call you” point. A professor bird-man – I like that.

  5. I agree that the bird-man is profound and professorial. But also he looks a little scared and trapped, sort of wondering what happened. Makes me think of Kafka’s Metamorphosis (I love that story for some reason). I was thinking of you and your birds this morning when I was sketching pigeons at the BART station while waiting for the train.

    I always feel like I should plan things out but sometimes that causes me to just never get around to doing the project in the first place. You inspire me to just go for it and stop worrying about it.

  6. nice to meet you and see your great and funny work!

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