In the never-ending pursuit of hollow forms, I’ve been working over the past year on a new way of creating them. In fact, this way is the opposite of any hollow-form technique I’ve been using so far. Instead of building up the forms from layers of wet clay, I treat dried chunks of clay as if they were rocks or chunks of wood and carve the forms into them. Carving may be a misnomer, since this term is usually conceived as surface decoration. In this case the carving is structural, and there is no surface decoration. The surface of the pieces is either solid-smooth or perforated.
Sculpting by subtracting material rather then adding it, as done in wood and stone sculpture, requires some adjustment of our brain muscles, since it makes us think “in reverse.” This is not an easy task, but the results are so rewarding! Once you start using this technique, new ideas keep popping up and endless possibilities open. Many things that are very hard or impossible to make in metal clay because of the nature of the wet clay and its consistency, are made possible in this way of sculpting.
The photos below are samples of what I’ve done so far. I will keep posting as new techniques come up.
I’ve scheduled two sculpting/structural carving workshops for 2017. These are 5-day intensives taking place at my studio in Berkeley, CA.
January 12-16, 2017: this class is currently full. Please email me at email@example.com if you wish to be on the wait list.
February 22-26, 2017. This class is still open. Please sign up here by paying the deposit.