My Friend Greg from Schulz Pottery, working out of Canton, GA, is doing some amazing sgraffito work! This is where the work is dipped into one or more alternate colors of slip and the design is literally scratched and carved into the surface. This creates texture, either subtle or pronounced. Keep in mind this is all unfired greenware. It takes over 2 hours or more to create these designs plus the time it takes to throw and form each vessel. I can’t wait to see them when they are fresh out of the kiln!
From Wikipedia – In music, a motif or motive is a short musical idea, a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition: “The motive is the smallest structural unit possessing thematic identity”.
In my last firing I started thinking about decoration of my vessels. After a decade in photography I realized that I had an enormous amount of knowledge and was able to solve just about anything that came along. I had my own language.
So now I have a template to go by for learning and mastering what I want to create in ceramics. The template is repetition, the ability to solve problems and exercising your imagination. Once you get it rolling you are able to create a motif of your own with infinite variations.
“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.”
– Zig Ziglar
You start with the basics: Color & Texture.
- Single Solid Color
- Blending of two or more solid colors
- Floating colors
- Creating Breaks
- Where do you create the delineations of colors / textures / shapes
- Color Combinations – What looks good together
- The breaks can be on any part of the vessel, what parts look good?
- Patterns, both in color and or texture
- Other things I cant think of at the moment
The sketchbook is out and I’ll try on paper each variation and combination and see what suits me. The happy accidents are the deviations that can lead you down a new path.