Sunday, March 6, 2011

(*** note: see "UPDATE" at end of this post...)  On the heels of the "Gris" piece I just finished, I was going to make a lamp.  I got a little carried away with the form, and it kept toppling over.  Then I started building it on its side.  Then I thought, jeesh, just leave that form on its side and make a horizontal piece, and the lamp be damned.  The form is the bottom-most piece - a sort of figure-8 lying on its side, with an extra loop.

Here's the result, just before bisquing (it's about 30" tall, per usual):

It's a little "busy", I know.  Maybe I didn't know where to stop.  As with the "Gris" piece, I didn't have a plan for what it would look like before I began, or anywhere along the way.  I finished a section, then just imagined the next section and possibly the one after and built it.  Then there had to be a sort of "flourish" at the end - a gesture that makes the entire piece come to its service.  That's how I think of the ribbon-like top piece, which flows down to the base in a graceful, if tortured, way.  At the top, from certain angles, it looks more like a dragon's head than a ribbon (although maybe that's just because I watched "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" again last night) and if you go with the dragon idea, it might look like the dragon is emerging from a chaotic cloud of, well, ashes, and voila, you've got your basic phoenix sculpture.  I suppose every artist at some point channels a phoenix, dontcha think?

(March 6, 2011)    A funny thing happened as I was on the verge of taking the piece to be bisqued... karma from just a smidge too much hubris?   And I had though hubris was just part of the "making art" deal.

 I keep thinking about this one Roz Chast cartoon where the character had purchased a lovely ceramic vase and on the way home the bag "just tapped" against something and when she got home discovered it had shattered into 1 million pieces.  I "just tapped" the work-table with my knee, and, ka-boom, it was all over in a split second.  

I have to say, I'm deeply appreciative of the words of encouragement, post-disaster, I've gotten from like a dozen of my compatriots at the ceramics studio - urging me to continue working in this vein, despite the, um, "structural failure" of this piece.   Thanks to all for boosting my morale!


Anonymous said...

Hi Rolf !
At least you have those great photos of it.
One of my paintings was lost in a fire, but luckily I had photo'd it and can remember what it looked like.

Rolf said...

Thanks, whoever you are.