After Ki Woon Huh, my Korean master ceramics teacher accidentally broke my laboriously constructed and painted piece, Bouteille de Parfum, he made a copy from my drawings. My version was slab made, Ki Woon used the wheel and expertly bent the clay into the complex shape. The result was a much lighter piece which has been drying for five months in the studio.
After I finished painting Kneeling Woman, he asked me to decorate the new Bouteille de Parfum. Because the porcelain was so dry, it was not possible to make a wet transfer from a cartoon drawn on calque, I had to draw the cartoon freehand directly on the clay with a pencil. The drawings are different than the first version and are derived from newer pen, ink & wash drawings from my Night Book series. Below are the four views of the new Bouteille de Parfum with the cartoon drawn on the clay. The piece is a little smaller than the original. It is ~12″ wide and 16″ tall.
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, ironically 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—July 2017. Last week—August 11, 2017, 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 overglaze. 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. A cubist Bouteille de Parfum.
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.
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.”
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.”