Convergence, porcelain with acrylic paint, 8 1/8 x 9 x 7/8 in.
I'm beginning to get a better sense of where I'm heading with low relief sculpture. A big change with this piece, Convergence, is that I have eliminated the framing panel, which is part of the second piece below. When I posted about my last reliefs, I included a photo of them hanging on the wall in my studio, alongside some paintings; you can see that photo here. I played with the image in Photoshop, erasing the frame panels, then posted both images, with and without, on Facebook, asking which version people preferred. The overwhelming response was that I should eliminate the frame, which pleased me because I liked them better that way too. Convergence is my first attempt at a piece whose image stands alone on the wall, with no frame. A benefit of the no-frame is that I can make the image panel larger: the kiln has size limitations.
As with previous work, I am fascinated by line, by the meeting of one plane with another and the different ways that can be described.
Lines and Curves, porcelain with acrylic paint, 9 3/4 x 8 7/8 x 7/8 in.
For the compositions of my clay reliefs I've been alternating abstractions based on small thumbnail sketches, such as Lines and Curves, and abstractions inspired by photo images of farm machinery, similar to those I use for my paintings, as in Convergence above. I like going back and forth between the two, as they provide different kinds of forms and structure.
Lines and Curves detail
I begin with a full-size line drawing, which I trace onto the slab of clay. I have just line and shape, and overlapping shapes, in the drawing; my carving into the clay, and sometimes adding clay, is a fluid process. I don't know ahead of time that I will use a deep sloping edge for that lower curve, or that I will draw a thin line in the clay with a rubber shaper, repeating the curve of the upper form; or that a certain line will be sharp and another rounded. I have an idea, that idea leads to another. There is a constant reassessment of relationships during the working of the piece; the initial sculpting takes place over a couple of days, then there is refinement at the leather hard stage and sanding when it's bone dry. I paint the piece after it's fired, and choosing a color is intuitive, with lots of color mixing involved.
Here are the two new pieces on my studio wall, hanging next to two paintings. It's easier to see the difference between the unframed and framed reliefs. I feel that the low reliefs are a good companion to my paintings, and they are also a bridge to my textile works.