Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Now you're just work that I used to make: 1998-2000

I won't tell you how many slides I have from all my years at art school, but it's in the hundreds. I spent a whole day attempting to digitize 80 of them so that I could use the images of my past work for the talk I gave at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto (it went well btw!). Digitizing slides is a slow process- especially when you need them to be 300 dpi and fairly high res.  It didn't take too long for me to realize that the slides were pretty bad considering what I am currently used to with my amazing professional photographer that I get in the studio once a year to make my work look accurate, with no big glare from the glossy glaze, and with the lovely faded backdrop.  I guess I've been spoiled.

So, needless to say I dug around the studio to find a bit of work to re-photograph a few weeks ago when we were photographing for the Kindred Show.  This is the work I liked enough to want to keep and not sell, or break, or store in my parent's shed.  Even though I took my first ceramics course at college in '93, I really didn't apply to be in an art program full-time until '96 (I still took ceramics courses in those years though).  By the time I got into my 3rd year at Emily Carr I'd been throwing on the wheel for 5 years. 

 Looking back, I can see that this work laid a lot of the groundwork for my current work- but with some pretty obvious differences.  I used to combine more handbuilding components with wheel-thrown bodies.  I liked these puffy and textured handle along with the enclosed wheel-thrown forms with a cut out lid for a teapot.  I was also really into these casserole dishes where the shapes were really organic with the challenge being to create a lid that had a sense of volume but that also fit an oddly shaped casserole base.  One thing is clear though -I liked pattern, simple shapes and masking out glaze designs.  I've always been a fan of glazing and I think it's apparent from what you see here. This work was mostly cone 9 oxidation- I had transitioned from a really dark clay body with cone 10 reduction sometime between 2nd and 3rd year, wisely realizing the likelihood of me having access to a gas kiln after school was over would be slim. 

I'll post some images  of work from my last year at Emily Carr in 2 installments in the weeks coming up.  I kept thinking about this Gotye song when I thought about this work.  When I look at work that I used to make, I sometimes feel like I broke up with it along the way, where as maybe it's more that I let go of some ideas in favour of new ones.  The interesting thing about being an artist for this many years is that ideas circulate around and sometimes I come full circle back to what I had been working on so long ago. 

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