Sunday, February 21, 2010

Disasters in Glass!

Remember this?

Distaster One: The Fried Blue Plate.

It's too bad. I would have liked it if it didn't crack and have five holes burnt through the middle of it.

Thank you, Frank Pol.

Frank Pol was my sculpture instructor when I went to art school so many years back. A big barrel of a man, I think he was Hungarian or something. He kind of reminded me of an overweight older Picasso and had the temperament to match.

We'd often work for hours straight on our sculptures, smoothing, sanding, fashioning, designing, preening and perfecting. Then Frank would come over and take a look.
"Nice job! Very nice job. Are you pleased with this?" He'd say, looking over sculpture perfection.
"Yes, I think it's pretty good." We'd say modestly, beaming, with A+ stars in our eyes.

And then Frank would do the unthinkable. He'd put his fist through the clay, mess up the plaster. Break a piece off of something that couldn't be glued back. I once watched him implant the breasts and butt of a Barbie into a plaster cast when a fellow classmate wasn't looking. Just to see how she'd fix it when she discovered it.

"If you can do it once, you can do it again, and be better at it the second time." He'd say. It seemed like a cruel thing to do to aspiring art students, but it was the most valuable lesson I ever received in art school: We became objective about our work, less emotionally attached to it. (Something a lot of artists suffer from. think of those who never want to part with their creations.) And we learned we could do it again. and again. And again if Frank Pol willed it! But we did improve and got more experimental when we were able to let go of making that perfect piece.

Kitty, one of us has to go, and it ain't gonna be me.

And I found myself telling Mitch this story as we surveyed the damage to my blue plate. Mitch put my plate in the kiln to slump it into a platter. He turned up the heat and simply forgot to turn the heat down at the correct time. Essentially, he fried my plate.

"I bet you won't do that again!" I laughed. Poor guy. He felt miserable.

The truth is, it's just glass at the end of the day. No one died. "I can do it again", I assured him. And just to make him feel better, more for his benefit than mine, I did make another plate today. He promises not to forget it this time.

Distaster Two: The Peach Plate

The experiment was supposed to be trying to block print on glass. Not the colour coordination.
Nix on both, I think.

I went to Vancouver this weekend and bought a whole bunch of glass with Rene helped me colour coordinate. I decided to try to block print the plates, knowing it would most likely be a disaster, but decided to give it a try anyway. (What I really want to do is silkscreen the glass, but I'm still trying to get the equipment together.

Kitty likes the butterfly plate.

But while I was carefully cutting out my plate, I accidentally switched one of my new cream pieces for one of Mitch's cream pieces- which happened to be lying on the same table. The result is a plate that came out looking a little pinker than I would have liked it to be.

Oh well. This is the problem with working with colours at night! You can't always see what you are getting.

The two projects that DID work so far this week:

The slumped Islamic plate that ended up looking like a daisy. I think it's better as a dish.

The beginnings of a funky sushi plate. I might make another like this one!
I really like the colour of the transparent glass.

Take Two!
This time I put little clear chards of glass (They were supposed to be really thin pieces of glass but they were too thin, so chards they are) Between the blocks. I'm hoping the result will be a smoother plate overall.
The new and improved version is already in the kiln! I'll see it tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you do quality work at all of your endeavors! Very nice! I don't really see any flaws from the pictures, but what nice design!