Home over a week now, I am looking back at the work I made while at Shangyu Celadon Modern International Ceramics Center. It was a productive time, despite learning about new clays, glazes, firings, etc. I made most of the work in Jingdezhen Super White clay and casting slip, as I was familiar with it from my time working in Jingdezhen. Yet, I learned about a number of other clays, worked in undergrlazes developed by Janet DeBoos, and experimented with the celadons available. I had access to molds, decals, and traditional paper cuts, which made for great stencils. I also had a large collection of basic thrown greenware forms available with which to work on surfaces.
I shipped ahead 3D scanned and printed (Makerbot and Objet) models that were sent to Jingdezhen for mold making by their masters. Within a few days they were done and drying at the studio. I started casting the second week. I worked simultaneous on surface with greenware plates in a variety of sizes. I built surfaces from underglaze stencils, bisqued, glazed, and then layered decals and luster.
Slip casting allows me to work in multiples. I am particularly pleased with the bowls that are derived from a 3D scan of an artichoke. I have to credit my digital assistant, Thomas Story for that form, as I kept worrying that the undercuts would make it difficult to make into a mold. We spent a good deal of time on the stl file and I am pleased with the outcome. Technology can challenge the creative side and the same is true in the reverse. That is why I enjoy working with artists like Thomas, willing to take chances with me. Other forms for the cups and sculptural forms were scanned from squashes.
You might think the small forms on plates, one a magnolia seed pod the other a paw paw fruit scanned, are lustered porcelain, but a quick lift of either of them and you realize they are cast in bronze. That was an amazing opportunity to have some models cast in bronze. I have more to work with in my studio. I also brought a couple of the molds back with me.
The mission of the center and its residency program is to build a collection for its planned museum. At least half the work created by each artist remains for that purpose. I am please what I donated and glad to bring home pieces to continue working in this series. It was truly a privilege.