Clay Sketches – April 2014

sketches - vanessa skiles I have been doing clay “sketches”. They are quick, about an hour or less for each. And now I am going to make one or two larger ones. Which one do you like?

I started with plants. Then creatures. And the creatures, as usual, are more fun to make by far. But the plants gave me ideas for the creatures. plants vanessa skiles   plants vanessa skiles

The Orbs


I like the orb idea. But they are very hard to photograph. I think the Vines do a better job of showing them off. I think next time I will make one of the holes a bit bigger, big enough for a lens. We shall see.


I also think they are to floral. I am going to go less floral next time. Bigger arches, more strange shapes, a lot of empty space.


And a matte glaze on the inside. It will make it softer, and show less little flecks of clay.

Things that didn’t work out – March 2014


As usual, some of my ideas did not work out as well as others. (Here are the ones that DID work out.) Above, I tried some color in an orb. I actually loved the way it looked, but I placed the orb in a cold corner of my studio and it cracked. I had used a clay that didn’t have much grog in it. So now I know that my clay with grog is better for the orbs, and not to put anything in THAT corner again.


I also tried some color in another orb, and it came out looking like the inside of organs, which I am not going for.


Then I tried a few pieces based on experiences that made me angry. For example, this one is about Discover Card coming to my kids inner city public school and planting a garden. I know, it’s very nice of them to do this, and I use a Discover card. But these credit card companies can be very damaging to people, especially low income people, so when they do outreach and spend a pittance on a garden it makes me angry.




Anyway, I am not quite sure how to channel my rage into art, and I’m not even sure I want to, so this one didn’t make the cut.


This is another angsty piece. I am pretty horrified by the state of children’s birthday parties. The amount of money spent and the amount of gifts received, for 5 year olds! is out of control. We went to one where the invitation asked for gift cards to Target. With 30 kids going that adds up to about $800. For a 5 year old.

So there you go. Pieces that didn’t make it, and with good reason!