All Images © 2014-19 Chelsea Mae Wesley    

Sculpture by California Artist Chelsea Mae

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When it's not all pretty Instagram stories...Failures and Wins, the making of a sculptural bowl.

May 2, 2018

 

Let's start with the failures, they discourage me for way too long, and teach me SO much about what not to do. And isn't that life? I feel like I've learned more about what doesn't work for me than what does. 

 

What do you do when "living your dreams" isn't a dream at all?

When it doesn't pay the bills, when it's not all Instagram travel stories and sunny skies?

 

Well, I jetted off to Japan and made some pretty Instagram stories! An inspiration trip is always my answer, luckily this happened right before the biggest trip I had ever planned. Leaving all those little failures behind and flying to the other side of the world. Yeah, that works. But first, I made a successful bowl. Bowl number 5.

 

I learned a lot about scaling up my designs. Going big is not always and option with clay. It turns back to liquid momentarily in the molten temps of the kiln. I have to envision what it might do, and if I can't, then I put one in and see what happens. This one in the above photo wasn't dried slowly and carefully enough, so it collapsed. Thankfully Before I made all the tedious gills.

Here's the one that made it....

The thing is, when it does make it through the high fire, it's so super strong! This thing is solid. And ready to ship ;)

 

 

 

 So many gills! Each one is rolled out and then squished and shaped and rolled thin. Then carefully slipped, scored, and attached to the bowl. The back has a texture with embedded beach sand too.

 

I have a few different sizes of this bowl now too, one that is huge (20") that lays more flat, and a couple smaller ones. I'd like to take them all out to the forest and photograph them in a fern gully soon.

 

So, all in all I think I recycled 3 bowls and have 4 winners, pretty good ratio for large ceramics. You learn to deal with loss and failure in this medium. It's not like painting, where you can just add another layer if you don't like it,and reproduce it a million times. But I like the hands on approach, and you know what they say about idle hands...

 

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