First Sculptural Project in Cleveland with Brick Ceramics

  Waterloo Arts District , Collinwood.

A few weeks into my time in Cleveland, I was shown around the Collinwood area, in particular the fun Waterloo Arts District. It was the best day to go, as they were having the monthly Walk All Over Waterloo event, which is great if you want to meet all the creatives that have set up in spaces in the area, attend local art and music events, and generally have a good time. It's great!

Collinwood started to get redeveloped in 2002, from dilapidation caused by postindustrial economic decline. Artists and enterprising residents completely transformed the area, opening arts and music venues, coffee shops, studios and small businesses. Today, its a bright, clean, thriving little neighborhood full of street art, with events happening constantly. It really does show the transformation cultural investment can bring to communities.

There are some really stunning facilities for artists to use in the area, and I really wanted to work with one of them. I loved Brick Ceramics, and felt that exploring sculpture would be a really logical avenue for me in my own work. I've been drawing vessels for a few years now, so it was only a matter of time!

Below are some photographs of the process of making my giant bottle, built from slab by hand and using decoration methods like wax resist, photo transfer and finally sealing my finished bottle.

  Rolling the porcelain into a slab

 Rolling the porcelain into a slab

 First forms being joined together

First forms being joined together

 Getting some help from expert  Val,  learning how to join the seam.

Getting some help from expert Val, learning how to join the seam.

 Letting it rest and dry off a little in the studio heat.

Letting it rest and dry off a little in the studio heat.

 Forming the bottle shape.

Forming the bottle shape.

  I wanted it to look like my drawings of vessels, not perfectly straight, mimicking hand drawn lines.

 I wanted it to look like my drawings of vessels, not perfectly straight, mimicking hand drawn lines.

 Fresh from the first firing!

Fresh from the first firing!

If you look closely here, you can see the wax hands I painted on the surface.

    Painting on top of the wax resist... magic!

 

Painting on top of the wax resist... magic!

 Painting the textural wash of paint over the wax resist.

Painting the textural wash of paint over the wax resist.

 Ready for glazing

Ready for glazing

 Big bottle awaiting glazing. My other bottles and objects have already been glazed here.

Big bottle awaiting glazing. My other bottles and objects have already been glazed here.

 All packed up in the huge gas kiln!

All packed up in the huge gas kiln!

The process for making the little message in a bottles was a bit different, as I wanted the pair of bottles to be twins. We decided to slip cast them, using a mould Val had already made. Here's some bonus process pictures of that.

 Filling the bottle mould with slip

Filling the bottle mould with slip

 Excess slip dripping back into the bucket

Excess slip dripping back into the bucket

 Fresh out of the mould

Fresh out of the mould

 I used a photo transfer technique to make this little bottle. My other one had hand painted designs on it.

I used a photo transfer technique to make this little bottle. My other one had hand painted designs on it.

 After glazing! This one was destined for the water...

After glazing! This one was destined for the water...

 The cork wasnt an exact fir, so I sealed the top with some specialist sealant for good measure.

The cork wasnt an exact fir, so I sealed the top with some specialist sealant for good measure.

  Click through for more images of the finished works .  This is what it looked like after glazing, and in the  Cleveland Print Room  gallery!

Click through for more images of the finished works.

This is what it looked like after glazing, and in the Cleveland Print Room gallery!

I ended up with three pieces, one big scultural bottle, and two small bottles that were designed to be used as message in a bottles. One ended up in Lake Erie, the other has travelled home with me to Dundee. Check out the rest of the project here.