Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Nobody cares what you had for lunch, and nobody cares about art class either

I have already forgotten what week this is in art class. I should know, since the professor keeps reminding us. The first semester people are right on schedule, for now, and the rest of us probably aren't making him very happy.

Two girls quit recently, because they weren't having fun in Ceramics II like they did in Ceramics I. Okay. Whatever. You can't make all the people happy all of the time. A lot of other people have just stopped showing up for some reason. I hope that they remember to officially drop before it is too late. My friend, who has cancer yet again, has missed a few classes. I thought it was because of the chemo, but I've been told that is only on Fridays, so I guess that isn't it.

I have missed one class on purpose, and another class was cancelled when the professor was sick. So I haven't missed that many official class periods, but I haven't put in much extra time either. I used to be in the lab whenever the door was open. Now I'm just too tired. Poor little me. Did I mention that my friend has cancer?

I have finished the green stage (that is, I've finished the work that needs to be done before the bisque firing) of the first two projects. The first vase has been underglazed and is now in the kiln and should be fired before I go back to class. The second vase will be left out to dry next. Except for that, it should be finished, unless something breaks. You wouldn't think that twenty pounds or so of clay would make something delicate, but sometimes there are very small parts or parts at an angle or parts that only attach at one point. Anyway, I'll feel better after we get it into the kiln in one piece.

The third and fourth projects keep changing. This is such a cool idea. But so is this other thing. I should skip ahead to the fifth project. The fifth project is a two or more part relief sculpture (mostly flat, like a sculpture on a big tile), and I keep changing my mind about that too. I had ordered a book of dragon patterns before Christmas, but there was a mix up and they still haven't sent me the right book. I guess that I'll have to give up and do something else. Then I thought that I'd make before and after views of the Lost City from Land of the Lost. But I can't find any good pictures of either view to work from.

Maybe I should skip ahead to the last project. I am pretty sure that I'm going to try to make a sculpture in the round version of the same dragon head that I've done in the other two classes. Maybe I should just work on that for a while, and then use whatever time I have left to make Halloween party dishes for the third and fourth projects. If I have to I'll find another dragon pattern for the relief sculpture, or maybe another sea turtle.


dmarks said...

As long as you did not eat clay for lunch.

laughingattheslut said...

Not intentionally anyway.

Dame Honoria Glossop said...

Blimey, I don't know how you keep up with it all.

(I had a cheese sandwich for lunch today, 'cos I was in a hurry).

The Absurdist said...

Wow! I've never met anyone so passionate about clay. Seriously, what's the difference between Clay I and Clay II? I don't mean to sound stupid or trite.

laughingattheslut said...

This professor feels bad for the students who are forced to take an art elective, even though they may have no artistic talent whatsoever. Talent is in no way part of your grade for that first semester. In that class, about half of your grade is regular stuff like quiz scores, and the other half mainly comes from following instructions and getting things done on time. There are seven or eight assignments, and the first three require no creative anything. That's not to say that you can't do anything creative, just that he doesn't force it on you. Like the first assignment is a coil vase, and you learn to deal with clay and sort of glue the coils together with slip or slurry, and then you learn to burnish the vase and make it smooth. But you don't have to make a fancy vase. You can make a plain straight cylinder, about eight inches tall, maybe three or four inches wide. That's a very boring thing to do, but it's hard to mess that up. The second assignment is a box, and you can make a plain five inch tall cube. The third assignment is a plate, which you glaze and paint with stain, which is a lot like trying to paint with watercolors. But you don't have to paint a pretty scene like I did, you can just do some stripes or some splashes of color or maybe just write your name or something. Then when you've gotten used to clay you have to carve a tile, paint a mosiac piece, do a really big tile like thing by adding clay instead of carving into it, and then the last thing is sometimes hard. You have to bring something from home and then try to copy it. A can of coffee, a box of cereal, a shoe, maybe an arrangement of fruit. I did a shell, which was in a museum for three weeks.

The first semester he tells you just everything that you have to do. This is the kind of clay you use, this is the kind of technique you have to use, this is how long the clay needs to dry on the mold before you can move it, etc.... The second semester you have a lot more control, a lot more options, etc.... He says that we have to make a vessel at least 18 inches tall, an asymetrical vessel at least 12 inches tall, a set of related items, a series of identical items, another relief sculpture in two or more pieces, and a in the round sculpture of maybe an animal or maybe a self portrait. The clay is your choice, the decorating technique is your choice, and the construction technique is your choice, except something has to be made by making a plaster mold and then pouring slip. The plaster mold thing is usually the identical series assigment, but it doesn't have to be. A couple of people are making a plaster mold for their 18 vessel, which is usually a vase.

Anyway, the second sememster is a bit more complicated than the first, and you probably shouldn't sign up for it unless you learned a lot from the first semester, and you think of yourself as an artist.