One of the truly amazing things about going to class is that you get to learn and experiment with new pottery techniques. This one is called sgraffito, which has got to be up there on the list of things with truly awesome names. Take the piece below, which is a combination of two bowls (one larger, one smaller and upside down) and joined by a curvy cylinder:
While the piece is still moist after tooling/trimming and joining it, a layer of slip is applied to the surfaces I want to be decorated. Slip is basically runny clay which has colour stain in it. When fired, the colour comes out. When the slip is leather hard dry, the drawing is carved out. The parts that are carved out will then come out white. This is the piece once the slip was applied and the drawing carved out:
Once bisqued, that is, fired to 1000 degrees Celsius, the colour started to come out..
Et voila! Herewith the final product. PERFECT for little sweet things, like truffles and Easter eggs 😉
NOTE: All photographs by Araceli Robledo
First of all, very sorry for my radio silence of late. I’ve been struggling to find time to post on here since I began my ceramics degree at TAFE, but I am hopeful things won’t be as crazy going forward. It is all a question of managing my time, and I am slowly learning to do it better. ANYWAY… I’m back! And what better than with a really interesting piece in progress I’m very excited about. I present you my Guggenheim vase, unglazed (can’t wait for the vibrant colours to show up and the pencil lines to disappear).
The vase is very tall, almost 40cm (biggest vase I have ever made). Being so big I just HAD to do something really special to it. Enter Pinterest! And this 1975 cover of the New Yorker by Laura Jean Allen. It was pinned to one of my boards over a year ago, probably waiting for the right moment to say “this could be a GOOOD idea”. I spent all of today researching the collection at the Guggenheim, designing the vase and having an absolute ball. Below is but one of the pages of my sketchbook filled with inspiration for today’s piece.
This isn’t my first museum-inspired piece (MoMA, Met, Prado), but I think the reason why the Guggenheim has been in the back of my mind these past days is because of the current exhibition in NYC: Gutai: Splendid Playground. You must agree with me it looks absolutely brilliant. I love how certain ideas resonate and linger in my mind for a while until I do something about them. Sadly, I always have more ideas than time to carry them out… Ah well 😉
On Wednesday I went back to school. But not to any ordinary school no, it was my first day at my Ceramics Diploma at TAFE. Look at this incredibly welcoming door…
Our teachers are a dream, not to mention the amazing facilities and ease of schedule. But the part that really got me was our program for Term 1. By way of a snapshot:
[…] Term 1
* Thrown forms with applied glazes
* Investigation into curatorial history written research project
Option 1: To produce a series of three cylindrical forms which explore the possibilities of joining thrown forms.
Option 2: Small one piece lidded vessels with organic forms or larger ovenware chicken pots. […]
Even if I were starting at Hogwarts I don’t think I’d be as excited as I am about this certificate. There was even time to get messy on the wheel:
and start making the vessels I’ll join together next week.
Classes are on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and every other Saturday. Heaven.
Note: All photos are by Araceli Robledo
So after doing a fantastic course at Greenwich House Pottery in NYC in July, and going back in September do glaze my pieces, my wonderful friend Maria went to pick them up this week. Herewith the results:
Now the bowls:
Look at the double rim made for this one. Munemitsu showed us how to make this feature based on his own work:
I remember tooling this bowl so as to make it as thin as possible:
And a pasta bowl too! This one is actually rather big:
And my first ever plate. Can’t wait to eat out of it. Preferably a steak or a nice roasted fish!
NOTE: None of the pictures were taken by me, but by my lovely friend Maria.
I don’t think I have mentioned it on here yet but… I have a Facebook page! It also feeds directly from my Instagram account. Together with this blog, all three pages? Interfaces? (My IT vocabulary is not very extended but I think you know what I mean!) ANYWAY, all three complement each other in sharing with you what I am up to in the absolutely fascinating world of ceramics 🙂 Please feel free to “Like” the FB page or to follow me on Instagram!
SO OBAMA WON!! YESSSS!! And how is Manhattan celebrating? IN BLUE!!
And this post has just GOT to be inspired by this amazing city, and how it inspires my work once again. But first, let’s go back in time, to 1957 to be more precise, and to Greenwich Village.
A party hosted by Art Ford in his brilliant Greenwich Village apartment and with Cy Coleman performing – I can’t think of anything quite so glamorous and just FUN! And what about the closing illustration of Washington Square? ANYWAY…. I then thought, why not do a piece that captures the fun and sophistication of this era? And so my Greenwich Village bowl came to life.
I painted the outside inspired by Greenwich Village facades with the inside being an Art Ford party in full swing! Then I got excited about the results and did another bowl, this one smaller, just concentrating on the guests and musicians.
And then I just HAD to do a mug as well, this time ONLY with dancers. I have more plans for this Greenwich Village party theme, so do stay tuned!
NOTE: Photo of Manhattan in blue is by Shane Walton, and the rest are by Araceli Robledo.
NOTE2: On my way to Jim and Valerie‘s to deliver their Greenwich Village bowl, together with the MoMA and Central Park bowls they had also purchased, the bag in which I was carrying all 3 pieces broke and they smashed into the pavement. It’s been just a few weeks, but don’t think I have recovered from the trauma just yet…!
In the heart of Sydney’s central business district (or “CBD”, as it is known here), lies this sensuous 19th century shopping centre. Queen Victoria Building’s interior design is wonderfully lush and romantic, just look at its lifts:
I had originally gone to buy ink for my fountain pen, but spent longer than expected looking at everything the place has to offer. From Aboriginal art galleries,
to a Viennese cafe, Klimt reproductions on the walls and Sacher torte included.
There’s also an abundance of jewelry shops – look at the size of the Australian baroque pearls of this necklace oh la la!
And believe it or not, there’s a shop that specialises in tin soldiers!
However, my biggest surprise came when I saw a Metropolitan Museum shop! With classic gifts and merchandising one would buy in New York, this shop was fully stocked.
And in case you missed my posts here and here, I do find a lot of inspiration in museums for my porcelain bowls. For a second time, the Met was subject of my work:
NOTE: All photos by Araceli Robledo
I know I should be packing right now, but as it has been made quite clear in previous occasions, I’m a huge procrastinator before a trip. However I did want to share with you some pictures of Saturday’s amazing sale. Here’s the lovely display of my pieces.
And here I am with the lovely Ann, who was the very first to arrive!
This is a bowl I did of Ann and her ADORABLE dog Watson. And yes, they are walking along Baker St.
Here’s the super amazing Alanna Cavanagh, who has been such a mentor to me in so many ways.
I have updated the “work” section on my website and you can check out the pictures of my latest pieces right here. Alas all of it is sold, but as soon as I am back on the ground in Sydney and have found a studio, the production for Christmas will begin!
The sens of accomplishment when all the pieces are loaded into the kiln and it starts to do its magic has never been as great as it was last night at midnight. Before I glazed all the pieces, I took some shots of new work which will be available on Saturday’s sale. Looking forward to seeing those of you who can make it then!
After immersing myself in the fabulous world of Brideshead Revisited for a recent bowl, it’s not surprising that a Venetian element would appear on one of my pieces. Below are pictures of my still pre-glazed Venetian Palaces bowl, the largest of the pieces that will be available for purchase at my sale this Saturday. The first picture is a true work-in-progress snapshot, where you can see my original pencil illustration on the bowl:
And here’s a view of one side of the bowl:
And the other side… Can’t wait to see how it will turn out when it comes out of the kiln on Friday morning!!