This is one of my first video editing attempts, so please forgive the technical shortcomings:
I am making teapots to go to an exhibition in Shanghai. The Year of the Dragon will start in 2012, so I am making dragon teapots. My concept is to draw angular dragons twisting around smooth, rounded teapot contours. So, first I have to make the teapots. I'm using a porcelain clay.
Whether you make a teapot on the wheel or by handbuilding, it's essentially handbuilt - because there is so much fitting and attaching of the various parts. I like to handbuild anyway, so I've minimized the wheel part - I just used the wheel to get a nice, round form.
I find it takes time and concentration to make these pieces. I don't find the process easy.
And the lids are on. Each lid is pinched and then fitted with an inner flange that will keep the lid from falling off when the teapot is tilted. The decoration on the lids refers to some of the Chinese dragon traditions. Chinese dragons are sometimes shown with a flaming pearl (which is perhaps a source of heavenly strength). Chinese dragons also have strong associations with the number 9.
It's a gray, rainy day here in Augusta, GA. The sky is gray and even. When I was in Santa Fe this summer, and rain was coming, the sky was never even - I could always see blue sky and thunderclouds and white clouds and everything in between. I'm just reminded of the contrast - dry, fragile northern New Mexico, versus the rain and mold in this part of Georgia - and yet we're still in drought conditions. Complex situations, aren't they.
This was a performance on October 5, 2011 at the Maxwell Performing Arts Theater in Augusta, GA. It was part of the Westobou Festival. Carl Purdy and I collaborated to make a performance that combined art and music. Carl wrote the music, I made the sculpture, and we collaborated on making some sculptures that were playable as instruments.
Thanks to Sarah Barney Fletcher for taking these photos. Thanks to Rob Foster (flute and shakuhachi),Elizabeth Grant (soprano), Larry Millen (keyboard), Don Cleary (percussion and keyboard), Travis Shaw (bass) for playing with us. Thanks to the Porter Fleming Foundation for a helpful grant. Thanks to the Santa Fe Art Institute for an artist's residency that helped me think and make some of these objects. Thanks to Santa Fe Clay for providing firing access for some of the clay work. Thanks to the Augusta State University Music Department for sponsoring the performance.
This was our first performance of this type. Now the question is, where do we go from here?