The process of developing new ideas, including all the starts and stops, is something I truly enjoy. The frustrations only make me work harder and in turn, the successes are that much sweeter.
About a year ago I made a series of little ink drawings for an invitational exhibition. (Check out the blog post here.) Ever since I've been thinking about how to transfer some of these drawings onto cups and plates.
Thoughts of random objects drawn on my pots turned into drawings of tools and sweets. While discussing surface methods with Sam, the two ideas melted together and I started thinking about objects with hidden elements. Helpful cakes and tools with sweet surprises.
I started by "drawing" the object using an inlay technique on the leather-hard clay. After bisque I inserted the hidden object (a saw or hammer inside a cupcake, or a cupcake inside a chainsaw.) I had a hard time stopping, it was exciting to finally visualize some of the ideas. I layered several glazes and underglazes and tried a few different applications.
I wasn't terribly happy with the results, but it was a good start and gave me more ideas on how to proceed.
The hidden cupcake inside the chainsaw needs more definition, the glaze outline around the chainsaw doesn't work, but the color contrast is a good idea, the tools are too ghostly inside the cake, the cupcake is just ok...
At least this gave me enough information for another round of tests:
I'm happier with these results, though there will be a few more rounds before I start making more of these drawings on other forms and producing sets.
This process can be frustrating and exhausting but mostly it is exhilarating. Once I start working on one cup or plate, I think of so many more ideas and processes. I'll wake up at night thinking about new ways to solve the problems.
All the while I'm thinking about what these little drawings mean- is the cupcake being helpful? What about the secret the chainsaw is hiding? Is this about that time someone called me a tough little cupcake? I'm the kind of girl who likes getting tools as gifts, but I know some who don't- so maybe including a cupcake with the gift (that really isn't for her) would be helpful. (Just a thought!)
Whatever it is, I'm enjoying the experiments and am excited to develop quirky stories for the surface of objects that are meant to be handled and used everyday.