Castles Made of Clay: 5 years of Ceramic P******r

I figure it’s about time I put together a post featuring this series of sculptures.  Back in 2009 a friend of mine asked me to design a tattoo featuring a certain funny book vigilante wearing an apron that read “Bless This Mess”.  No, he didn’t actually intend to have this inked into his person. It was one of a series of ridiculous tatts he had dreamed up that made us laugh. I drew it up in a sketchbook and forgot about it for the next few months. A couple of months later a different friend of mine enrolled in a ceramics class at the local University. He offered me a few pounds of spare clay and offered to slip whatever I came up with into kiln with the next round of firing. I had actually been thinking about how I wanted to take a break from drawing and try something more crafty so I accepted the offer. I needed a subject and somehow the tattoo image seemed like a good idea.  I changed the text on the apron and the positioning of the figure (later I completed a second sculpture that was closer to that original sketch). I carefully passed it of to my friend to be fired and when I got it back I applied the paint.  That’s how it began. I loved the process, the challenge of working with a medium I had no training or experience with, and the end results.  Since then I’ve completed 5 in all and I’m currently working on the sixth.  So here they are along with some preliminary drawings. Enjoy…

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Sketchbook drawing (2009)Image

Ceramic P******r I (2009)

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Ceramic P******r II (2010)  sorry for the low quality pic.  At some point I’ll take a better shot of this one.  Also, as you can see this is a more representational of that original sketchbook drawing.

Now you might notice a change in the colors of the following figures.  Here I switched from enamel and acrylic to what I call “minature paint’. It’s a water-based paint that is intended to be used for those little role playing game figures. It’s way more managable. Now I can’t imagine using anything anything else. At this point I also started using other materials besides clay (Fabric, plastics, wood). You can probably tell which parts I’m refering to.  The figures however remain 100% ceramic.

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Ceramic P******r III (2012) 

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CP III Preliminary drawing (2011?)

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Sketchbook drawing (2010?)  Although I went with the Nantucket sweatshirt on the next one, I held off on the needlepoint idea untill the fifth sculpture.  Also, I’m definately going to have to put our hero in a cardigan at some point.Image

CP IV preliminary sketch (2012)Image

Ceramic P******r IV (2013)

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CP IV preliminary sketch (2012)

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Ceramic P******r V (2014)

So that’s what we have so far.. CP#6 is in the works. I should have it posted within the next few months. It might be a little while as I’m also working on the sequel to the ‘do it yourself Doodler” project

If you want to be kept in the loop about these or other art endeavors follow along on Twitter, Tumblr, or Flickr or just search my name on Facebook.

And if you have any questions feel free to email me or post them in the comments section below.

Thanks for looking,

-David

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