Handbuilding

Updated: Mar 7

Following Collect I felt very inspired and wanted to focus on intuitively building another, larger, form. I was particularly drawn to more bulbous forms while at collect so aimed to create a more rounded form. As I wanted it to be larger, I used a grogged clay to add strength as I built upwards.


Created the base and left to dry under plastic overnight so it is strong enough to support the rest of the form.


However, had a bit of a disaster and when I came back the next morning it had crumbled:

So I focused on rebuilding the base and drying it slower to create more stability in the piece. All of the crumbled clay was reused in rebuilding, or will be repurposed as slip.

As I did with the terracotta vessel, I didn't smooth out any of the texture created during the hand building process. I really like the raised surface this gives and the detail it adds to the form.


I also added some extra pieces of small clay to create extra texture on the surface where I felt it was slightly lacking.


As I was intuitively making, I trialled different neck shapes before I added them to my vessel to see which I preferred. As I built it up, I really liked the asymmetrical 'wonky' shape it had. This fit really well with the rest of the vessel and the concept of intuitive making - leaving all the maker marks visible and any unintended elements as a feature of the design. I found it interesting to see the kind of shapes and finished my fingers created without thinking about them too much. With a plan, my works are often more traditional and slightly less playful, so intuitively making forms allows me to create objects more out of my comfort zone and accepting the element of risk as a part of the finished work.


Adding handles:

Referring back to my tutorial with Oscar and thinking about what it is I want to explore and what I enjoy, I wanted to refer back to my interest in maximalism. As im concentrating on creating texture within this piece rather than narrative/illustration, I decided to add handles. I like adding handles to my works anyway as they add detail and interest to a piece, but I wanted to do something slightly different with this work and follow the 'more is more' rule of maximalism.

I began by adding smaller handles around the waist of the vessel, which are thin rounded handles that are typical of my work, but wanted to add more layers of handles. I created larger flat handles that follow and compliment the curves and shape of the ceramic, allowing them to become leather hard before I joined them so they kept their shape - supported by a ball of clay while I attached them. As they're much thinner than the rest of the clay body, they'll dry much faster which could lead to them cracking. Therefore, I covered them in damp tissue paper to keep them at the same wetness as the rest of the vessel and slow down their drying rate.



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