So, WHAT'S Katie up to???

Monday, August 30, 2010

Studio #5

This is the entry to "Bei Kaya", the studio in which I am working. A literal translation of the studio name is "Cave Man", which is also the name by which the owner, Erdogan GuleƧ, is affectionately known around town. &, indeed, he is known by almost everyone.

The last couple of days I have spent making some small (about 12 x 6") abstract pieces. I have succumbed to economic reality and the anticipation of sales, deciding to make some smaller (i.e. less expensive) pieces to give the exhibition a broader appeal.

The pieces above represent, from left to right, a woman napping under a tree, a dancer, and a mosque.
And here are 3 more dancers. From a work standpoint, although these will sell for less, and may therefore sell more easily, they are not terribly efficient to make. I can produce 6 pieces in the time it would take me to make 2 of the medium sized panels, which are each 4 times as large. Of course, If I sell 6 of these to one of the bigger ones, it will prove to have been worthwhile. They actually have been really fun to make. Heaven only knows what they'll look like after firing...

I really am attempting to work with the materials at hand in the way that local artists would work with them. The clay is worlds apart from what I'm used to, and it has taken some getting used to. As I usually do, I'm trying to let the clay speak for itself, emphasizing its characteristics through carving, texturizing, and some staining. But I want to enhance the clay, not cover it up.

Pieces are not 'pampered' here during the firing process. They are stacked one atop the other, dozens high, until the kiln is full. No one seems to worry about chipping off bits, or colours rubbing off, or much of anything. It's not the place for delicate pieces, for sure. Amazingly, what goes into the kiln usually comes out just fine, in spite of the rough treatment. This clay, although very sticky and full of bits & bubbles, seems very tough. So I have faith all my work will fire well. Whether it looks like anything good after all is said and done.... well, that's another story.

All for today (I had another pic to add of an interesting insect visitor, but it's lost.... tomorrow).

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