Fan fantasy, 2019

I’m currently working on a serie of ceramic sculptures inspired by a palm tree I saw while visiting Singapore and Malaysia back in 2017.

The pieces are as much a technical headache as a challenge in shaping. I’m going from a mental image of elegance, rhythm, direction and yearning to a physical shape by trial and error.

Technically I’m at the limit of what one can ask of clay, -I’m even using clay strengthened with flax fiber and still having a tough time. For every version I make, I try another approach, resulting in rather different outcomes. It’s fair to say I’m working at the limits of my own technical competence and each version teaches me more about the clay and will hopefully be a step towards a better solution.

Shape-wise I’m almost working as if I was blind-folded. I have a clear mental idea of what the shape should evoke in me looked upon, but I don’t have a mental image of a finished shape accomplishing that. It means I’m constantly evaluating the shape and altering it, but because material limits, the altering can’t go on for as long as I need, to get it … – well, almost right.

Colouring or not is a choice I make once the shaping has finished.

The first version of the fantasy fan will be coloured with metal oxides. I’ve decided to apply colour in order to divert from the rather inadequate sculpting. I’m pleased with the overall shape, but the details are shoddy. As of 20th of February, this piece is awaiting its second firing to fixate the oxides.

The second version, consisting of two pieces, will be coloured with metal oxides as well, but less abundantly. Again, I’m pleased with the overall shape and also with the details and the tears in the bends and a metal oxide will highlight this. As of 20th of February, this piece is drying before the bisque firing.

As of 22th of February, I’ll begin on the third version.

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