Understanding Technique

Part of studying art includes different techniques. Every class teaches you something new whether it’s easy or hard. I am usually extremely open minded when it comes to learning new techniques and easy ways to create new things. However, it is definitely not always easy.

Recently, I learned a new technique to create a serving plate with clay. Part of the process to make the plate starts by creating a slab of clay, this is something I have previously learned already. After the slab of clay is laid out, I had to use a mold to form the clay into the shape that I need. This is the newer part of the technique for me because it took me 4 tries to get the right amount of clay to cover the mold. My previous experience with clay either had to deal with the wheel or by hand and my own imagination, so learning how to set clay up with a mold is an easy new process.

Once I created the plate from the mold, I had to create feet so it could stand. This is where imagination plays a major role because there were no specific instructions as to what the feet are supposed to look like. It was fun trying to figure out what shape and design to use because it came down to trial and error. I first tried to create feet that were of circular nature but it couldn’t hold the plate the way I wanted it to. So, when that didn’t work I tried a triangular shape which inevitably led to the strange box-like triangle that reminds me of workout weights.

Many times as I am creating art, I tend to try and use as little material as I can so I don’t waste any. This assignment helped me better understand the fact that sometimes the more material you use the easier it is to figure out what you are doing, because in the end there will probably be a lot of materials left over anyway. I believe this is important, especially with ceramics, because in many cases the more material you use the more you will learn and understand rather than worrying about having any waste or limitations.

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