My first studio day in Missoula-
Yesterday, I spent all day working on small, 3D sketches of various floral forms. These maquettes
were a great warm up exercise! And man did I need the warm up. It can
take a while to get settled into a new space and find a routine.
The first thing that took some adjusting to was my clay body. I have been using the same clay body for at least 5 years now. (Lymen Red
from Highwater Clays
.) But out here in Montana it makes more sense to get it from The Archie Bray
1.5 hrs from Missoula) than to have 100lbs of my usual stuff shipped
from the East Coast. So I made the switch and the two are definitely
different! I don't know yet if I prefer one over the other, but I'll
have to report back after my month-long residency. ABF Earthenware
is darker brown when moist and seems smoother. It has virtually no grog
compared to the Lymen Red
I'm used to working with at home. I'm curious to see the fired color and compare shrinkage, absorption and warping.
second issue I'm tackling is related to this gorgeous weather I've been
experiencing. Humidity. Or lack there of. In Florida (80-100% humidity)
clay dries very, very slowly and often needs to be put into a dry box
or blasted with a heat gun to speed the drying process along. Not
necessary here in MT! Slabs seemed to get stiff with the blink of an
eye! I will definitely have to adjust my work time and modify some of my
usual building habits.
small pieces not only helped me learn more about my new clay and
environment but they were great visual studies. I picked several flowers
on my walk to the studio and took the time to really observe the
structures, textures and colors of each. So, with the some 3D sketching
and traditional sketching done, I tackled my first "real" project today.
And I must say, I am pretty excited about it! But more about that one
tomorrow. I'm off to bed!