Ruins.

Kevin Gen. 2 got too hot too fast.  I candled him for 24 hours, but he still wasn’t dry enough.  Here are the remains.  I have to figure out a way to install him in the 840 show anyway on Wednesday.  Pictures of that will be posted as well.  This is highly disappointing.

Oh well.  Not much I can do about it now.

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RIP Kevin.

Kevin, my big monster was fired in a cone 6 glaze kiln a few days ago.  As I was shutting that huge metal door behind him, I felt like a mother sending her child off on the school bus for their first day of kindergarden.  I was nervous, but I knew he had to go.  Then, two days later when I opened the kiln door, I saw this.  Kevin did not survive.

 

As the clay shrunk, it shrunk away from its self in some areas.  When I build another piece like this I will be using Raku clay, which is much heartier than stoneware. Obviously I’m disappointed that it didn’t work, but it was a learning experience and I just have to think of it as a test run of things to come.

Thanks for looking!

Ceramic Monster Update

I’m finally finished building!!!!

In theses pictures you can see where I’ve carved away to get ready to inlay the underglaze. Please ignore that giant lump of clay holding the tail up, it’s just there for support until the clay stiffens up, so all of that will just be negative space when all is finished.

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I’ve also started applying the black underglaze.  It looks a mess because I still have to finish scraping the edges of the inlayed areas.  Toward the bottom you can kind of see where I’ve scraped some of it away (the lines are thinner and cleaner). But eventually all of the lines will be that quality.

My-Size Monster Update.

I posted a sketch and a small explaination of the giant ceramic creature I am currently building.  I’ve been working for two weeks and he/she/it is finally almost all the way built.  It’s been a slow process because the internal structure is a system of arches that supports the weight and curvature of the form.

I still have to add all of the details, and finish the top, but it’s getting close to the fun part! I should be ready to put the rivets and machine-parts on soon.  They will run all along the belly and bulbous back like rivets on an old fashion diving suit.

I will post more in process images soon, as well as my glaze tests for it.

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Wrestlers.

While I create my giant ceramic monster, I’ve continued to make prints of other creatures.  The above is my woodcut print titled “wrestlers”.  I’m trying to figure out how to see things in shapes rather than just seeing line, so that I can get a little better at block print.  I don’t know why but I have a really hard time with it, so I always choose to show form and shadow with line, which is pretty clear in the image above.  All in all I’m fairly happy with it. The perspective is atrocious, but the color turned out well, except for that spot in the middle, but that was a camera issue.

New Tiles in Process

These are my three most recent tiles.  They are at different stages, so we’ll see how they all turn out.

The tile above has been fired twice, bisque and cone 6 glaze, and is now waiting to be fired at a low temperature so that the decals can melt into the glaze surface.  The decals are the black line drawings. The process is pretty cool because they work sort of like temporary tattoos (in the way that you apply them to the clay) and then because there is iron in the ink, they turn red when fired.

This tile has not been fired at all yet, I carved the drawing in and inlayed the underglaze.

This one hasn’t been fired either. It’s kind of hard to see but I used a needle tool to poke through the lines on my drawing, making it appear on the clay.  Not sure what I’m doing next with this one though.

Neverhood

Doug TenNapel has been one of my favorite artists since before I knew I could consider him an artist.  By that I mean that when I was six years old, I would have tried to think of a painter or classical sculptor if someone asked me if there was an artist I liked.  However, I did not realize until I was older the influence that Mr. TenNapel was having on me.

When I came home from elementary school, I would hop on our family’s Window’s 95 and play the greatest game ever created: Neverhood.

The world of Neverhood was created through Claymation, and looking back on the characters and environments in the game it’s amazing to see the similarities in my own work.  The blend of humor and grotesqueness or eerie discomfort is something I have always admired, and have a natural tendency toward in my own work.

This was the cover of the game.

 

Inside Klaymen’s (the main character) house.  I love the tactile feel of the clay, and the completeness and believability of the world these characters inhabit.

 

Another part of the Neverhood world.

 

Willie – another Neverhood character.

 

Unfortunately I have not kept up with Doug TenNapel and his company’s work, but I recently did a little digging.  They are putting out another video game that looks aesthetically very similar to Neverhood, but most of their work between the two games was in short videos and graphic novel type work.

Personally, I don’t do any graphic novel work, but I respect it from an illustrative standpoint.  What really gets me about these guys is the claymation.  I wish I could have found better pictures that would have done the world of Neverhood some sort of justice.

 

Check out the Neverhood and TenNapel’s other work at tennapel.com.