|There's nothing more exciting than learning a new technique and imagining how I can extend and develop it to create something very different than the class project where it was introduced. That's what was going through my mind when, during a ring class, I first became interested in making containers.
I didn't jump straight from rings to fully realized containers. My thought process and experiments evolved over time. I started with the basics. Rings are round, hollow objects and I knew how to make those. Tube/cylinder beads are round, hollow objects and I knew how to make those.
So, the first container I created was round, but instead of using a straw or ring mandrel to create the round form, I wrapped metal clay around a pill bottle. On my next venture, I formed clay around an oval eyeglass case. Later, I tried joining two different bead shapes to make a 'lentil' shaped bottle. I was hooked! Today, I fabricate, saw apart, and re-configure all types of different shapes to come up with unique container designs.
Classes that focus on a specific project are a terrific way to dabble in something new. You get to meet an instructor you admire, work with other students you have something in common with, and come away with a really special piece that looks a lot like something the instructor might have made herself.
However, the magic really happens later, when you use the techniques you've learned in the class to create something that is uniquely yours. That's the definition of inspiration!
|Basic Tools for Precious Metal Clay|
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