Monday, May 14, 2012

Sophomore year -- Spring 2012 -- KCAI

Since January I have been studying Ceramics at the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) in Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO). I started in my second semester Sophomore year and got the chance to work with George Timock on plaster and plaster molds. Our focus was on teapots; our inspiration could be drawn from animals, architecture or nature. With the help of those plaster molds I was able to create various teapots with different bases. This semester I also started using china-paints and luster, as well as kanthal wire. George also encourages his students to use the sandblaster, so some elements of my teapots are sandblasted in various stages of the process.

Melanie Sherman_16
Spider (sprig mold), china paint, luster, nychrome wire, on lid
Melanie Sherman_10
Teapot body with base, luster, wire
Melanie Sherman_19
Teapot with base, kiln elements, underglaze

I also continued throwing and I worked with my teacher Paul Donnelly on form and surface design. Our focus was on mishima and sgraffito techniques, as well as using underglazes, china paint and lusters. I got to play around with different decorations and applications. I also worked on throwing larger forms (8-9 lbs).

Melanie Sherman_6
Teapot, porcelain, with mishima technique, underglaze
Melanie Sherman_5
Teapot, porcelain with mishima technique, underglaze, iron decals
Melanie Sherman_1
Teapot, porcelain, with mishima technique, underglaze and gold luster

KCAI gives you the choice of moving into the "vessel" form or the "sculptural" elements of ceramics after you completed your Sophomore year successfully. Ceramic sculpture is taught by Cary Esser, who is also head of the Ceramics Department at KCAI. In the Fall I will be continuing my throwing practice with Paul and move on to explore the "vessel".