Wednesday 20 April 2016

Island of the Long Beards

The latest extruded frame pictures assembled.

They are designed to be wall mounted, and are therefore theatre, as in seen from the front and the side. In order to really get into the feel of the piece have to work on the whole, including the back, but it might be a pity to have the bottoms to the wall.

The idea for this one came from looking at some Persian manuscripts. My picture is really just a 3D version of this charming illustration I found, entitled 'The Island of the Long Beards'.

It has been easiest to make a rough plan on card to use as a guide with which to scale the thrown and extruded components.

The figures were a challenge. The bodies, heads and legs were thrown and the arms pulled like handles, keeping them soft enough to manipulate once the beards were on. 

Then the feet were turned sideways mixing low relief with the full bodies.

Friday 1 April 2016

Wolf in Sheep's clothing

It seems a while since I have made any totally new work but at last I feel I have cleared the decks enough to be allowed some proper creative play time. These are the first two of the new set of extruded frame pictures which I put together this week. Having learnt a lot from the ones I made last Spring I am constructing these in a slightly different way.

The main problem with the first ones was uneven shrinkage while drying, so this time I am adding the figures while the frames are still fairly soft.

It means that rather than working on the pictures standing up, the soft frames are still face down. Unfortunately this is not such a good position for my back as it involves leaning over at an uncomfortable angle. Tomorrow I will have a think about how to prop them up a little.

These two have now been lifted onto newspaper to enable the frames to move as they shrink. When they are a little firmer I will spray them with coloured slips and then proceed to dry them extremely slowly.

Putting them together becomes quite a jigsaw puzzle, well a kind of 'time' jigsaw puzzle. Which bit to lay in first and at what point. The pieces have to still be soft enough to be flexible but not floppy. A card template has helped quite a lot as component size chart and general guide, though as in all things clay it is only a starting point.