jeweled platypus


sunday, october 10, 2010
Drawings and ceramics

From art classes for fun a few months ago at Glendale Community College. Charcoal and ink:

Zombie apocalypse survivor. Another zombie apocalypse survivor.

Slab-built box in Arts and Crafts style and carved sugar box with spoon (see for scale):

A green box. It can hold odds and ends, but it's more for decoration. A strawberry after the style of one my mom made a long time ago.

Slab-built mug with linocut-style sgraffito California poppies, indoors and outdoors:

A mug made as a gift. A view of the glaze outdoors.

I loved my ceramics class, which was just hand-building, no wheel-throwing. It’s good exercise for people who read The Design of Everyday Things back in high school — turns out it’s not that easy to make a bowl that works even as well as the mass-produced one you can get for a dollar down the street, much less one that works better.

You learn to make preliminary sketches and small models, because if you don’t have a strong concept before you spend hours making a mug, you get an ugly cup with an awkward handle. This happens when designing web pages and writing blog posts too, but a pile of smushed clay on your table makes a point. The same goes for close attention at every step: a rough edge, weak join, bad choice of glaze, or a dozen other lazy mistakes can ruin how the thing works and feels. So you have to make lots of pieces before you come up with anything decent, but most of the efforts along the way are nice to keep around too.

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I’m Britta Gustafson.

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