Saturday, December 20, 2014

alchemical vessel, phase one

Earlier this morning I drove out to DC to the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts to pick up a blank, white bisque-fired ceramic bowl. I picked up the bowl because I was nominated to participate in the third annual Alchemical Vessel exhibit and fundraiser this coming spring. I sketched out some ideas today for my bowl's design, and I chose and researched some subject matter that related to strength and healing and resolve in times of crisis. I'll go more into this as I gradually post my progress on the bowl. Currently, however, despite completing the first phase, which is simply a sketched out idea, I'm still kind of blurry as to how to approach applying it to the bowl. My original idea was to use acrylic paints, but I'm drawn more to the notion of glazing the entire piece to add to the bowl's overall strength and visual aesthetic. I'm only minimally experienced in ceramics, though I've got enough of an idea of how things work and so far have had no problems when working with them in the classroom. So, I will most likely apply the image with an underglaze, which works like acrylics in that you can mix colors to create new ones. Then I would apply some clear coats of glaze on top and fire the piece. I'm already gaining a huge amount of respect for those who work with ceramics, as it's such an unpredictable artistic medium to employ. The only other idea I had was to do a detailed colored pencil application, which would create a flat, matte look to the piece. Still, glazing, despite the risk, looks like the way to go for a good number of reasons. 

I first learned of the Smith Center when I visited the Joan Hisoaka Gallery portion of the place during the summer of 2012. I went to see an exhibit focusing on Outsider and Visionary art at this beautiful space, hoping to see some works by artist JJ Cromer, in person. A year later I would acquire a piece from that exhibit by JJ Cromer, and in between that time, JJ and I collaborated on a mail art exchange that would later be exhibited at the neighboring Off Rhode Studio gallery portion of Art Enables. A little over a year later, Mary Liniger, executive director of Art Enables nominated me for the Alchemical Vessel exhibit -something I had wanted to try out for since I first heard about it a couple of years ago. It always amazes me how things sometimes work out this way, and it is a real honor to be a part of this awesome project, dear to my heart for a number of reasons. In the meantime, you can learn more about it HERE. Below is a video clip featuring work from a past exhibit.