Plate Shift

Plate Shift med


Plate Shift
c. 11 x 11 x 1.5 inches (the section of the piece shown is c. 2 x 1.5 x 1 inches)
Kilnworked fiberglass insulation, stoneware clay and slip, copper powder, ceramic plates
(Photo: Susan Larkin)

Working from an electron micrograph of a leaf, I twisted the fiberglas insulation, tied it into vertical columns with optical fiber, scattered clay pieces around on it, poured slip and copper powder on it a la Jackson Pollack, put the whole thing, which was sitting on a ceramic plate, in the kiln and fired it up to cone 16.

When I opened the lid of the kiln I saw that the insulation had adhered to the plate and shattered it. The optical fiber didn’t melt, it just broke. The columns had collapsed. It was definitely not what I intended, but, on the other hand, the kiln had created some very cool stuff instead. Intricate forms I couldn’t have possibly dreamed up were in various places. It sort of looked like an alien landscape and I particularly liked one part that had a bridge with a hole in it. So, continuing to be inspired by Jackson Pollack, I decided to “cut out” that section of the piece, focusing in on it with the camera.

I wanted the whole photo to be in sharp focus and knew that there was a way to do this but I didn’t have the equipment for it. A friend of mine hooked me up with Susan Larkin, who shoots close up photos of plants. Susan did a great job with the photo. And she made me some fabulous coffee too.