This weekend was wonderful, I had the opportunity to play with porcelain for the first time, under the guidance and inspiration of Tanis Saxby, a Vancouver area artist known for her beautiful white porcelain flowy sculptures, like these ones currently on display at Shadbolt Center for the Arts :
I was inspired to something more floral, and have almost finished these two pieces, I will just need to return to trim up the bases / feet a bit more before declaring them done :
The process was really fun. I started both of these by throwing a bowl (although Tanis showed us other methods, such as hand rolling a slab, which I may want to try in future) :
Tanis started her pieces by manipulating the shapes, and noticing the shapes and shadows made by the edges and the form.
For my first piece, I did the same, playing with the edges and form for quite a while, letting it take shape as I played, but for the second one, I knew I wanted a flower, and so started with cutting first :
Tanis gave us blow torches (that was fun!) and showed us how to firm up the piece as it was being manipulated. I was surprised by how much the Plainsman P600 porcelain stood up to the abuse. That was truly fun, to push the limits of the clay, and see what it could do. It was great also to work with other creative people, and get great ideas and suggestions from them.
I was intrigued at how each student took inspiration from Tanis's work, but also had their own style and expression. I don't usually take photos of other people's work, but I had to take one of Teena Martin's wonderful porcelain creation :
This afternoon, there was a timeslot for picking up finished pieces, and I was delighted to pick up my big lantern, and find it in perfect shape, nothing broken, and the Sombright Green was applied thickly enough to create a beautiful green with only hints of brown.
Here it is outside, where it should be, in the garden :
What a wonderful way to spend a weekend, with hands in clay, and with such beautiful results to show for it.