Experimental Surfaces IV

During the first week of lockdown I experimented with both papermaking and using up some leftover clay (using readily available mediums). I was interested in making holes in clay objects and accidentally created a very interesting and disturbing pattern that my flatmate said looked like “Trypophobia” – the unofficial phobia which is fear or disgust of closely packed holes, usually triggered by nature images with similar designs.

This had me thinking about ugly art, works that disturb and even the nature of holes in relation to “male” and “female” ports (in the mechanical sense) as society has long since argued that sex and gender are not the same thing.

As I didn’t have access to a kiln during lockdown, I thought I would experiment with low-mid fire brushable glazes and an outdoor open-faced pizza fire. Would the glaze react and change? Would the clay harden? As predicted the firing stone did not reach a hot enough temperature for kiln level results but did leave some glaze firing residue on the pieces. In terms of hardness, (I made a few test tiles to snap) I estimated somewhere between being sturdier than greenware but not as strong as bisque fired.

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