I go to a Korean Master Potter’s twice a week for two hours and make porcelain objects. (Many examples on this blog.) In April of this year, I designed and constructed a large, 20″ x 24″ oblate spheroidal vessel, laughingly named “Bouteille de Parfum.” It took about eight hours to construct. Since it is totally asymmetrical, it was not thrown on a wheel but painstakingly constructed from 1″ wide slabs. When nearly finished I took a photo of it in the studio.
After some discussion, including not painting or decorating it at all, I was pressured to cover it with drawings from my Nightbook Project. It was a laborious process, which I finished about a month ago. Last week, my master gave it a preliminary bisque firing. I found many places where the paint needed touching up. I spent last Tuesday doing that. Last Friday I was ready to finish touching up and then apply the over glaze. Before I started painting, my master, said he wanted to blow the dust out of the inside of the piece. Alas, when he put the compressed air hose in the spout of the “bottle,” it blew out of his hand and smashed on the stone floor.
He was devastated. I was upset but kept up a jovial demeanor saying, “Well, master, all pottery eventually breaks. Some just sooner than others.” While he was walking around feeling bad, I gathered the shards and took this photo of the resulting assemblage.
I telephoned him on Saturday and told him I wanted to take the pieces to make the above as a real 3-D sculpture. He said he’d already ground them to dust. I am now double bummed.
Recently for my nightly sketching, I have switched from pencil (8B) to ink using an Arts Hybrid Technica 0.3mm pen by Pentel. I’ve also rediscovered my Shaeffer 585 gold nib medium-fine fountain pen. This pen was a gift from a music composition teacher. For years, even after e-mail, I wrote 90% of my correspondence with this pen. Shaeffer black ink. (Not permanent).
There’s a certain harrowing esthetic with all the dark lines that I’m enjoying at the moment. The subject matter remains at the intersection of sleep and wakefulness where images, (erotic, mundane, and terrifying) meld into a surreal gumbo of lines.
TheNight Book is a folio of mixed-media paintings: pencil, ink, watercolor, Aquarelle pencil & acrylic. The paintings began as pencil, later ink, drawings made in my bedside Moleskine and Stillman & Birn sketchbooks while in that zone between wakefulness and sleep, A world devoid of reason but rich in images: half-formed, unrelated, surreal, erotic, even terrifying. A critic likened my phantasmagoric paintings to graphic poetry. Inspiration for theNight Book project came from Goya’s Los Caprichos (1799), and from François Desprez’s (1655) and Gustave Doré’s (1854) illustrations for Rabelais’s Pantagruel (1655), in my novel, The Nude Pianist (Fictionaut, 2016), a few of these paintings appear as the work of Francesco Martinelli.
All these drawings are protected by International Copyright. Click on the paintings to enlarge.
I submitted this drawing to my Korean master ceramics teacher as a possible new project in porcelain. He said: “You can draw it, but you can’t make it out of clay. Metal, plastic, or glass, but not clay. It will collapse in the kiln.”
Here are my three entries in the Mobile Digital Art Contest. All three were made on an iPad using various art apps and my finger as a stylus. Unfortunately, due to a technical error on my part the images the judges received were thumbnails, not full size as required. So my entries were disqualified.
Porcelain, handmade, and hand painted. Fired twice at cone 13. 16″ H
The name was suggested by my good friend Patricio Villarroel-Borquez. I told him the top couldn’t come off and the spout didn’t work. He said, “It’s a philosophical teapot. You can ponder the wonderful cups of tea it could make.”