January 5, 2012

Work in Progress: Laputa House

I confronted the scary clay slab canvas yesterday!  I draped the slab into a shallow bowl form and started carving away.  I wish I had taken a picture when it was still leatherhard.  The clay is so ugly in this state, and it's hard to photograph the all white surface.  There is a lot of texture and detail that is in there that won't really show up until I glaze it.  I am quite pleased with it so far!  I want to go in and carve out a few details like the windows and define a few roots, but I really don't want to spend all day "noodling" it, which I am prone to do. I want it to be more fresh, like a sketch. A friend asked me the other day if I liked to just draw and sketch with pencil and paper.  I do it sometimes (I showed a drawing two days ago, in fact) to get an image out of my head, but I much prefer drawing into clay. There is something about the line quality or the feel of the tools and the clay that just appeals to me more than any other material.  Once I got past my fear, I really enjoyed carving.  It has been a long time and I have missed it.  This is a new approach to carving, being more "sketchy" with my imagery.  I would like to play with this more on future projects.

So I like the form... the plate/wall hanging format is nice and versatile.  I added 3 small button like feet at the bottom, the top one with a hole through it so I can wire it up for wall hanging.  I like the scale, as there was a lot of detail I wanted to get into this piece.  The only thing that I don't like is that I see it and love it, but I want it to be jewelry sized too.  But I don't really want to carve it again.  So now I am thinking about ways I might be able to use the finished piece to generate an image that could go onto a pendant. This is a whole new way of looking at making new work that I am very curious about!  I will have to start exploring ways of getting printed images onto small surfaces. Maybe some sort of image transfer or decal or printing process? Any suggestions are welcomed!

Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.


  1. How about a browse through that "Image Transfer on Clay" book that I gave you? :)

  2. Hey! What a great idea! It's like you knew or something.... Get out of my head! lol

  3. Ooh! I love how image transfers look. The thermo-fax technique is so interesting. Eager to see how your piece turns out.