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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Art Work

In about 1985 I took a course at Glen Echo.  This was about the first piece that I made.  I broke a chip off the rim and was going to give up when the instructor just took his knife and made those cuts which  gives the piece its character.  It was 1994 before I could get back to studio arts.                

 This and the next two pieces were exercises in a Design II class in about 1995.  This one is simply variations on cubes and cylinders.

On the left is a combination of two designs, one using rectangles and the other curvilenear forms.  The colors range through the blue and green sections of the color wheel and the colors of sections farther away from the viewer are lighter than those closer to the viewer, as they would be in nature.  This is recognition of atmospheric perspective, first noticed by artists of the Italian and northern Renaissances.

This is a model of the Arch of Trajan in the Roman forum, not far from the Arch of Constantine, which I also modeled, but in fired clay.  The dimensions are accurate, but I omitted the reliefs on the inside of the arch that show Rome's triumph over the Jews.  Apparently Josephus was in Rome to witness this event.

I was taking courses at Maryland in Greek and Roman art and that sort of bled into everything I did in ceramics and design for a while.  Here's a teapot meant to look like a small temple down the hill from the Acropolis in Athens.

In sculpture I started with a torso, which I was very proud of then and have since taken to the dump.  I also did a whole series of figures in clay from live models and then fired them.  I still have them but they are not much to look at.  On the other hand, I learned a lot about anatomy which went into my later work in clay, plaster, winterstone, steel, wax, wood and bronze.


In about the third semester of sculpture, I did two stones, a lion and a moebius strip.

About the best piece if made in ceramics was this tower.  I used the extruder to make the square tubes and then scored and slipped them together.  I must have used every glaze in the studio.  My wife, Yoshii, has what I irreverently call a black belt in flower arranging.  I designed this for her to use and she does.


And then I went through my Gauguin period.  This is a copy of his self-portrait cup or mug.  On the right is a variation on his house of joy.  You know, "Make love and you will be happy" or maybe some other things.

 Inevitably when I took a graduate course in Japanese art, what we were studying would creep into what I was doing in the studio.  The professor, Sandy Kita had a fixation on a certain bull.  I put it on the face of a sashimi plate I made in my ceramics class.  On the back it says "For toro only."  Toro is the best part of the tuna

I've done more figures in wax than any other medium.  One I particularly like is Girl Walking, fall 2009, which was inspired by a picture in the Post that was almost a silhouette.

This figure in walnut was carved from a 2x6 that I found on the floor of Sarah Silberman's storage room.  When I get a better frontal view I'll add it or replace this picture.

This has been a work in progress since spring 2010.  I saved pictures from the short track skating at the Winter Olympics.  When it's done they will have hands and maybe faces.

 I'm trying to pin down the date of this wax portrait of Venus fully extended.  It was probably the late 1990s, since I was still using coat hangers for armatures instead of welding threaded steel rods.

Layback Spin came sometime after Venus.  I later turned it into a much larger piece in winterstone

This girl was part of a series of four figures representing the four seasons.  The "seasons" theme was something we talked about a lot in my graduate course in late Roman art.  I did them in clay and then cast them in plaster.  I used the same head for all four figures but modified the face to reflect the appropriate age.
This is one of the last things I did in ceramics, so late 1990s.  The design is Yoshii's family crest.
And this is an allegory of victory.  The notes on her skirt are the first bars of Beethoven's 5th and the design on her blouse is laurel leaves.  The pot is for the fruits of victory, of course.

This needs revision and there's lots more to come.  First I have to go through my records and figure out the dates for each piece.

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