Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Dinner Party

      Over the past couple of weeks we have been working with clay. It's gooey, cold, and messy, but sure fun to play with. The first week or so Ms. Kiick let is practice making bowls just to get the hang of clay. It's quite tricky actually. You have to roll out a large piece of clay which is really tiring. I was even breaking a sweat! Then you place the piece of rolled out clay onto a form. After that you cut off the excess clay and then use a heat gun to speed up the process of getting your clay off the form. When your clay is hard enough to peel off the form you then use the heat gun to achieve the basic shape of your bowl or whatever your making. The best stage of your bowl is called leather hard. It's where you can shape, trim, and almost do anything to your piece. After that you can then add any design or 'doo-dad' you want. Ms. Kiick then put our pieces into the kiln. Here a link that will explain what a kiln is: When a piece comes out of the kiln it's time to glaze. This is really fun! It's basically like painting. You can mix a bunch of colors together to come up with your own unique color. After you glaze the piece it goes back into the kiln and then its basically done! 
      Once we conquered bowl making we moved onto our dinner piece set. I will be making a bowl, plate, and cup. I have finished the sculpting of the bowl now I'm on my plate. Everyone had to pick a person that they would represent through this set. When we are all done we will have lunch together using the ceramics we made. I chose to make my set with the influence of my family's friend Kate. She is more like an aunt to me since my mom and she really close. Kate loves sailing, sewing quilts, and nature. But, she is very honest and kind hearted. If I'm having any problems going on in my life I will always go to her to talk. She will listen and comprehend, but she definitely tells me if out of line in a situation. She doesn't sugar coat anything, but she is very loving.
      So, I decided for the bowl I would base it off of her love to sail. I don't have a picture unfortunately because it is in the kiln, but I'll describe it. It's pretty basic, but on the edges of the bowl I have waves coming off of it. I want it to look like an ocean and the waves will be whirling around the bowl. For my plate I am using her love to sew as my idea. I made a spool of thread and wiggled a long and skinny piece of clay around the plate, then I made a needle. My plan is to make a design on the base of the plate and have the needle be making a quilt in a way. I'm going to make the design some type of wave pattern so it will flow with the bowl. I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with the cup, but I'm brainstorming ideas, so I'll update when I know more. So far it's been a blast working with clay, but here and there I have my moments where I do get frustrated with it. I'm really eager to see how everyone's finished dinner sets turn out!

Here's a picture of my plate! It's not finished yet. I still have to make the quilt design, but so far I'm really pleased!

Finished Metals!

A couple of months ago I was working on my metals project. Well, I finally finished! I gave a couple pictures of what I envisioned my metal to look like on my previous blog post. The finished product looks quite accurate to the one I had in mind. The colors are a little different, but the textures in the piece are extremely cool. Once I cut all my pieces of metal out I textured them the way I wanted. For my main two bronze pieces I hammered little circle indents to the ends and with my two copper pieces I added a fish net design. After aligning all my pieces together I had to solder.  Here's a link on what soldering is: I used little pieces of solder to hold each of my metal pieces together. Sometimes picking up the solder and positioning it to the place you want was tricky, but I eventually got the hang of it. Then came the fun part! I took a torch and melted my metal pieces together. It was interesting seeing the metals dissolve into each other. My metal came to life. It had texture and different variations of colors. When I was done with the torch Ms. Kiick immediately dunked my metal into water. I heard a sizzle and saw a bunch of steam. When she took it out of the water I was in awe. It shocked me that I was capable of making such a creation. It was a pretty good feeling. 

Here are two pictures of my metal. The top one is my metal on a black piece of velvet and the bottom one is my metal hanging up on the board. It's interesting how my phone camera picked up both pictures. Then again my phone camera is very low quality.