Wednesday 31 October 2012

Hot Chip and Curtis Mayfield

Ceramics update:

Worked very hard at last night's ceramics class - as did everyone else there. One chap who was working on a small figure declared at 9 o'clock that he was knackered: "I feel as if I've just run a marathon."

Creative work, even at my moronic level, is tiring.

Three tasks were tackled last night:

1) As I unwrapped from its protective cloth the narrow front wall of the building, it snapped. This was repaired by spraying water on the now very dry clay and then "gluing" the two sections together with 'slip' . Slip is liquidised pieces of old clay.
Dampening the two separated sections.

Stuck together with slip.

2) Then I wanted to stick on some decorative features that would add a 19th Century feel to the building. See the encircled section of  features in the photo below.

The temporary tutor who really grasps what I am trying to do with this building made a great suggestion. Using a slab of plaster (already available in the classroom) one could carve out little shapes: hearts, circles, oblongs etc. Next, one presses clay into the shaped cavities. Then, after they are dried out - which is after only a few minutes because plaster draws out the moisture from clay - one removes them from the plaster mould.

And, this is the really clever bit. One stores the pieces in a container lined with a damp paper towel and then only after collecting several dozen of them does one then stick them to the walls of the building.

One would then string the pieces out in patterns in between two rows of windows.

3) While waiting for each batch of decorative pieces to dry, I cracked on with the arched double doorways which appear at intervals along the ground floor of the building - see photograph above. The ground floor is occupied by shops of various kinds - probably upmarket clothes shops.

These clay pieces will be stuck on to the existing wall with slip and they must be at the same degree of dryness as that wall. To achieve this equality one uses a hair drier.

Then I etched out some double-door markings.

I lay them in position on one of the large walls. Now I realise that three doorways looks RIDICULOUS. Where are the shop windows to go? Fortunately, I have not stuck these down.

I think I'll have just one central doorway and chuck the other two away.

I actually stuck the doorway to the narrow front wall. That's OK.

Two observations:

The doorways seem to stick out too much. But, there will be other pieces stuck on the wall including the decorative pieces referred to above and also  a ledge running along the building immediately above the doorways.

Secondly, everything I have done so far seems fairly crude in its appearance. But, the application of glaze completely transforms a ceramic piece. I'm confident that so long as the walls don't crack when in the kiln, this building will be a success.

Last night's dinner:

In a rush to get out for the ceramics class so just had boiled potatoes and grated cheese.

Then, foolishly added beetroot which I like but which actually ruined the culinary experience.

Curtis Mayfield:

Sometimes the singer in Hot Chip sounds like Curtis Mayfield.

1942 - 1999

Tango update:

Unfortunately, I'm quite looking forward to my Tango class tonight. This is always a recipe for disaster. Still, got 4 hours to go so plenty of time to manufacture some dread.

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