Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I have been taking a handbuilding with clay class at Kentucky Mudworks this month.  (By the way, this is a lovely place to drop some dough and spend some time getting your hands dirty.)  From time to time in the past decade I've dabbled in sculpture, primarily in clay.  The medium is very freeing to my imagination.  Because it is difficult to control, I think I approach it more with a kid's mentality and just play more and plan less.  Anything to stop the inner critic!
Styrofoam heads with faces sawed off...No, I swear I am not a psychopath!
Faces taped down onto cradled birch boards covered in newspaper.
It's kind of funny - I'm taking a workshop to prepare for another workshop.  How's that for overthinking?  In June I'll be at Arrowmont for an encaustic workshop which happens to have a 3D component.  So I was thinking, wouldn't it be fun to have a few bisqueware pieces to take to the Arrowmont workshop?  I haven't really used clay as a surface yet when exploring the encaustic possibilities so this should be fun.
Tonight made week 5 of a 6 week class.  I worked hard this weekend to start finishing up the pieces I had been creating at home.  Unfortunately I had forgotten how difficult eyes are to create!  Practice makes perfect - maybe I need to do a panel covered in eyes...hmmm....

Doing the hair for the long piece caused me to lose track of time.  I may have gotten a little too caught up in the seduction of the clay and sort of forgotten that I was planning on putting encaustic over this...  There is no finished concept in my mind for these pieces yet.  I made some smaller, textured boxes during class nights that I'm currently thinking will lend themselves to the encaustic process better than the boxed faces above, but I won't know for sure until I'm in the thick of the creative process.
2 odd, textured boxes with random bird heads
I made some plain, front-side torsos for the encaustic workshop too.  The more I think about the polymer clay torso as a substrate, the more worried I get about the wax popping off during temperature changes.  With bisqueware this won't be an issue.
On the left is my classmate, Olga and on the right is the instructor, Leann

Some pieces approaching leather hardness

Speaking of needing more practice with eyes, I used a Debra Fritts bust that happened to be in the studio as a model and worked on some more facial features.
 Not too long after I added the third eye, I decided to scrap this piece and call it a night!


  1. FUN! I can't wait to see how the encaustic melds with these clay sculptures. You and I have a like mind--to play and constantly try new things!

    1. I believe you are correct Erin - who wants to be bored with the same 'ole, same ole! Your blog has me drooling over bookmaking.

  2. love, love, LOVE mudworks and all the gang there!

    1. I'm glad I finally found them! Do you happen to remember hippieartchick that it is you who introduced me to clay for the first time about a gazillion years ago with that wheel throwing class after work at the art league? I'm glad to see you are still throwing. : )