Thursday, 3 February 2011

My Salvador Dali Vase

I took a ceramic course over 10 years ago and for the exam we were given a title of 'Relationships' we could take from it whatever we wanted and turn it into a piece for our final exam. I chose my relationship with Salvador Dali and how he inspired me when I saw his work at school. I also studied Escher, Clarice Cliff and Rennie Mackintosh. To combine them all and to show I understood their style I drew a dragons tail at the end of each artists as if they had done it.
When I'd designed my vase and explained why I'd chosen those items my tutor jokingly said I'd passed the exam for my written work before I'd even made the piece. I'd obviously gone overboard with enthusiasm and done too much. Needless to say I got A* for my work.

My vase was based on the crutches Dali used in his paintings, mostly visible in the one called 'Sleep' I designed three tree stumps shaped like a Y to simulate the crutches and added them to a kidney shaped coil pot.

Then the egg, well, there’s a painting called ‘egg on a plate without the plate’ and the egg is on a string dripping down. I chose my egg to be the lid for the vase and draped it over like a cloak.
The ants are visible in a lot of Dali’s paintings so I had to add some for posterity.

Then there are the pocket watch flowers, almost everyone knows about the painting with the melted pocket watches hanging on a tree in the dessert. It's called 'The persistence of memory' I'd already melted my egg over the vase so I chose to make the pocket watches rigid again and used them as flowers with pointers for leaves. The butterfly on a wire is actually copied from a part of one of the pointers on the watches.

The hole to the side had to be as this vase was not meant to be a straightforward vase I wanted it to be quirky and just as important as the flowers that would go in it.

Hope you like it.

Here's some more photos showing the mock up I made in cardboard, the clay stages of my vase and the table I displayed it on, which I also decorated. Note the table is half a circle yet it has all 12 numbers on it and cogs etc on the lower shelf to show the insides of a clock.

Covered in brown tissue paper.

An added bonus to my exam pass was that the education board asked if they could keep my years’ work and take it round the UK to show other schools how to mark a high standard of ceramics and 3D art. I'd done other sculptures in cardboard, painted plates and tiles as well as using clay for various items. I'd moulded tea sets and taken art deco jewellery designs and put them onto it. So I showed that a design once created, is not necessarily the end of that design. If that makes sense? For instance I made coffee set in camouflage for my camouflage wearing nephew. I declined the education boards request as they couldn’t guarantee not to break anything in the process. I did leave my folders with the teacher but someone took them which annoyed me as I would have liked them back one day.

Here's some photos of my 3D ceramic work from my final display.

 I love dragons so used them a lot in my work. Especially the tails.

 One of my folders of study for my exam and a dragons tail bowl in stoneware.

Above shows a Rennie mackintosh coffee pot, milk & Jug set with matching bowl. I mixed the colours to get the blue, I was amazed when it came out the kiln and had worked lol.

 Below is some of the Clarice Cliff items I made including a tree with a Clarice style tree on it. It also reminds me of the artwor in cat in the Hat books too.
The tiles were designs from Clarice Cliffe plates. below are some plates I hand coloured and fired in my oven at home. I displayed them in my kitchen which also housed an 8 foot by 4 foot mosaic based on a Clarice Cliff plate. On the back i wrote 'After Clarice Cliff' so I couldn't be accused of forging her plates.
I love the graphic outline style and the bright powerful colours.

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