Saturday, June 20, 2009

work in progress

soon after the may firing, ray suggested i should try and work on a bigger scale- a four feet tall sculpture. he said, make one of ur size!
i decided to work on one of the two forms. the female pillar from the tharu temple.
working bigger scale in ceramic is always tougher and riskier, one has to check everyday for the cracks, let the piece dry evenly and completely, not letting one part dry too fast. i knew of these by watching ray work the last year. so i was mentally prepared for all that.
what i didnt know was how tough it is to visualise the form in bigger scale. perhaps its just me, getting used to the idea of learning to build big, but the same form felt different while building it big. well, it felt beautiful, the entire process of building the piece so slow. it was i think the right warm up for me work on later pieces. out of this building experience i would surely make changes in some approaches for the next one.
the first two weeks were beautiful. i was wedging so much clay everyday and mixing grog in it and making long thick coils of clay and attaching it to the piece. its very slow and i did feel edgy at some point. but the most difficult stage was the last week of building it. the weather was surely not on my side. however much i applied water and covered the piece with plastic it was getting too dry too fast. but the part which i was working on refused to get dry- so i had wait in between i attached the coils for it to strengthen to take one more layer on top without sagging and had to check on it every two minutes. the top part proved most difficult, also becoz it would complete the form- it would give the form the final shape. there were times when i felt i had stopped 'seeing' and had to ask friends to take a look and help me with some lines here and there.
the piece took me three weeks to make and am so NOT happy with it. but ray says thats a good sign- it means i hv learnt to become self-critical and would be building more in order to get that perfect one! i hv surely learnt great amount by building this, am even ready to break it down. being unhappy with the piece one i finished it, gave me a strange sense of freedom...


Anjani Khanna said...

Looks good!

Rashi Jain said...

nice, i like. can t wait to see them after they are fired. hey, that s such a pretty cat u have.

Ashwini Bhat said...

thanks rashi.
yes, lola, she is a darling.