Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Spiral Crankshaft"

At last, this buddy is finished.
 I'll go ahead and say it: it's probably my best.   You'll recall from last Fall that this piece was damaged during high-firing - the drippy glaze stuck it to the kiln shelf,



and the kiln-loader-gnomes at the pottery were unable to dislodge it without destroying the base.

Since I worked on it for a pretty long time and, if it weren't for the damage, I would have thought of it as one of my best pieces, I started to imagine ways of fixing it.  Including a "shoe" suggested by the pedagogical sages at the pottery,
 which, due to painstaking measures to compensate for shrinking, took 2 weeks to build but ended up shrinking too much to fit onto the broken base.  Oh, well.  It did turn out a brilliant gold-copper color (not pictured), so I'm keeping it at a cultural curiosity.

Enter, an angel, named Robert Fontanelli, who swooped it up and took it to Woodhaven, Queens, where lives a ceramics restorer who reportedly works for The Metropolitan Museum.   Robert took the J train all the way out to Woodhaven, proving, as if there was the slightest doubt, his sainthood and, returning 6 months later (wha?) to retrieve the item, ultimately earned his platinum-gilded angel's wings.   (Why it takes over an hour to travel 10 miles in the American city with the best public transportation is a scandal and a microcosm of what is wrong with how this country is run, but that's a subject of a different blog...)

Anyhoo, the glaze looks like melted metal, which is what I wanted (iron wash only).  This puppy stands nearly 2 feet tall, and it intrigues people (or so I like to think).  It's biomorphic and mechanical and sort of architectural, all at once, which basically describes what my brain gravitates toward when I'm bopping up & down on the elliptical machine at the gym, daydreaming about what useless tchotchke to conjure into concrete manifestation at the pottery studio.   The restorer reportedly even said, "it grew on me".  Yay, curmudgeonly art-restorer in Woodhaven whose apartment is crammed floor-to-ceiling with broken ceramics likes my work!

Here are some more views.  You can see this piece in person at the upcoming Greenwich House Pottery Members' Exhibition, opening June 2, on view for about a month.

Whee!

video

4 comments:

eric said...

Rolf..I super love this. I'm a fan of your work also. xo eric

Larry said...

Rolf,
what a beautiful creation. i loved that you gave a top view because that's not what i pictured in my mind's eye. your grin at the end of the video is so Rolf... you're in the zone and from inside there, it just keeps getting better and better. Rock on Mr. Potter... xox

britta said...

i WANT it. gorgois.

Jason said...

That's really beautiful, Rolf. I especially liked the surprise of the view from above.