Saturday, April 30, 2011

Making Sprigs for the Catalpa Pershing Bridge

Original frog eggs for molds

 Sprig molds have been used to decorate clay objects for thousands of years.  In that tradition, we have made several plaster molds to aid in the decorating of the tile panels for the bridge.  The process starts by forming a object out of wet clay or plasticine.

Original Gulf Coast Toad for mold

Froglet and sprig mold

We then cast plaster molds of these objects.  Once the plaster is dry the original object is removed leaving a void in the shape of the original object.  

Friday, April 29, 2011

Flower Back Splash

Custom Back Splash

The most amazing thing about the new studio is that we now have the space to work on more than one large project at a time.  With pieces for the bridge laid out and drying, we spent a fun afternoon working on a back splash.  This back splash will be installed in a historic home being remodeled in King William. The client asked for an wave of flowers.  This is the first time Diana has used this technique of pulling and pushing her fingers through wet clay in conjunction with adding clay with sprig molds to build up a dynamic surface.   The results are awesome, and the client is very excited.  These are pictures of the unglazed work.  Installation pictures to come...

Sara Boyd
The Fearless Assistant

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

PechaKucha San Antonio

About a month and a half ago I was invited to give a lecture for PechaKucha night hosted by the AIA here in San Antonio. It was a lot of fun, and brought in a packed house of design related folks. The format for PechaKucha is 20 slides 20 seconds per slide, for a total presentation time of 6:40 sec. This was actually harder to prepare for than I expected. (I had not realized how much I depended on visuals to get me through a presentation!) Anyway, the PK folks have posted the video on-line here is the link:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Public Art Commission Progress

Greetings, thanks for your patience with my posts! I have been busy with a few gallery shows, a Cookie Jar Show at Lilly's Cookies, and today I am spending the day recovering from another great showing at the Fiesta Arts Fair on the grounds of the Southwest School of Art and Craft.

Last week Sara Boyd (my awesome, better than could ever hope for assistant) and I started really diving into the public art project for the Mulberry Bridge going into Brackenridge park. Here are some pics of the progress. This week we should finish up the vertical pieces and begin the sixteen, 2x6' panels that will go on both the inside and outside of the bridge.
By building supports we are able to accomplish 2 things: 1: build two panels per table, and 2: the slope makes it easier to envision what it will look like when it is installed vertically on the guardrails. 
When building murals, traditionally artists have stapled burlap onto sloped walls to make sure the clay stays on the board. I have tried that, but don't like how hard it is to remove the cut tiles from the burlap. When pulling the clay off the support when leatherhard  it is almost impossible not to bend the tile, (which could lead to warping in the drying and firing). For that reason, I tried something new this year, beads of silicone on the board, then a generous rubbing of vegetable oil. It worked great!!! When the slabs of wet clay were pressed onto the board the silicone created little ridges that "grabbed" the clay and prevented it from sliding off. When the time came to remove it, they just pulled right off, no problem (due to the releasing qualities of the oil). The oil will burn off in the bisque. 
5 down, 4 to go!
Will post again with the progress at the end of the week, promise!