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art, rules, and switching from form to function

updated wed 1 sep 10


Deborah Thuman on wed 25 aug 10

Jim got me a set of 72 Inktense colored pencils that will work like
watercolor when wet. Last night, as I played with the pencils, seeing
what they would do and what would happen if I....., my brain suddenly
froze. I don't know how to do watercolor. The rest of my brain
screamed: What the hell difference does that make????? Somewhere along
the growing up way, I got taught rules and that I had better stick
within them or I was doing it wrong. I managed to get art teachers who
hated teaching, weren't any good at teaching, and only managed to make
the class pure misery. (One teacher was so bad, he turned a hose onto
a student's papier mache sculpture.)

I got past the brain freeze - but only by reminding myself about how
many times I experiment rather than follow rules. Once again, the
pencils are fun. Once again, I'm playing with color and lines. It
doesn't look like water color, but it doesn't look like colored
pencil, either. I like it and I'm having fun.

I used to make sculptural ceramic pieces. I had fun figuring out the
engineering - how can I keep this from collapsing? I had fun making
sure it would fit in the kiln. How big can I make this thing? What
happens if I .......

This semester, I'm working on personal casserole sets. These are for
me and they have to fit my needs. How big do I make these? How much do
I need to allow for shrinkage? How can I take a smooth piece and make
it possible to be grabbed successfully with pot holders? Pretty is
great, but not if my dinner lands on the floor. What do I need to do
to make this practical? How do I avoid the lid that flies off and
lands on the floor? I'm using a petrie type lid, using a slip trailer
to make texture on the sides of the dish (I don't want color - just
texture so the glaze can break of it) and making a plate/shallow bowl
to go under the bottom so that I can cook the food in the casserole,
then put the casserole on the plate and not burn holes in my table.
I'm also putting a hole in the lid so steam can escape and I can use
this casserole in the microwave. Oh, yeah.... I'm using Lee Love's
suggestion to put terra sig on the bottom of the pieces so they don't
scratch the counter top or the table. Function needs to function on
many levels.

I see a natural progression from my first large sculptural piece (a
giant coffee bean) to the female sculptures to Qumran jars to personal
casserole dishes.

Now.... if I could just find colored pencils that turned into glaze
when fired.

Deb Thuman

Kathy Forer on tue 31 aug 10

On Aug 25, 2010, at 9:27 AM, Deborah Thuman wrote:

> Now.... if I could just find colored pencils that turned into glaze
> when fired.

Underglaze Pencils and Chalk Crayons