How do you take a creative idea and transform it into a successful finished ceramic piece? Everybody has their own creative process and it can be so interesting to learn see how other artists start with a ceramic project idea and work their way through to the end product. It can also help you figure out how to turn your ceramic ideas into finished work.
In Ceramics Monthly’s second annual readership-wide contest From Idea to Finished Form, the CM editors asked artists to share their creative processes—from photos and paintings, to sketches, paper cutouts, and layered patterns, through to the finished piece—in a couple of images. In today’s post, an excerpt from the September 2016 Ceramics Monthly, we are presenting a couple of the winners from the contest. –Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
P.S. Open up the September 2016 issue of Ceramics Monthly to see the rest of the winners from this year’s From Idea To Finished Form contest, which highlights the many different ways that emerging and established artists share their creative process—from photos and paintings to sketches, paper cutouts, and layered patterns through to the finished piece.
Working Through Ceramic Art Ideas
by Kira Kalondy and Antonio Martinez
Kira Kalondy, Terra Haute, Indiana
My creative process begins with an idea, a concept, or a feeling to be expressed, which takes shape using different forms created on the wheel that are later modified through a combined constructive/deconstructive approach.
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I am interested in the shared traits of procreation, fertility, and multiplicity between human beings and nature. These ceramic vessels represent my interaction with and observation of nature, and my communication with other individuals. They symbolize a symbiosis between me as a human being and nature, or symbiosis between the feminine and masculine attributes found within myself and within every organism when they are in perfect balance.
Through my work I strive to create pieces that speak of life, nature, volume, fluidity, and, and the same time, organic simplicity.
Hand-drawn sketch. Inspirational image of a black tulip. A flower is a symbol of delicacy and fragility, which has a great complexity in form and color, making it unique even among the same species. Photo: Virginie Lenoir/Piabay.
Black tulip, 8 in. (20 cm), wheel-thrown and altered earthenware, slip, glaze, 2016.
Antonio Martinez, Lawrence, Kansas
When first starting to create a new form, sketches serve as a quick way to lay down lines and shapes to get ideas onto paper. These sketches are inspired by industrial and geometric objects from my past and present.
After sketching, cardboard prototypes are made and rearranged to get a better idea of how these objects will exist in real space. When prototypes are at a point that I am happy with, I cut them apart to use as templates for making that object out of earthenware.
Once bone dry, I brush on terra sigillata colored with Mason stains before bisque firing. A wash of either red iron oxide or black copper oxide is added then followed by chalk lines of frit and different colors of Mason stains. Next, soda ash is sprinkled on, then the pot is sprayed with a cone 04 clear glaze to help the soda ash move. Finally, the piece is fired to cone 1 in oxidation.
Sketchbook drawings for teapots, 2015. Cardboard prototype cut to actual size and finalized tarpaper templates cut to actual size, 8 in. (22 cm) in height, 2015.
Teapot, 8 in. (22 cm) in height, slab-built earthenware, terra sigillata, Mason stains, Ferro frit 3124, nichrome wire, fired to cone 1 in oxidation, 2016.