Thursday, 14 May 2015

Paralysis of Choice

 I had so much pleasure in making Orbis and Icos (click here to view January post), reinforced by their popularity at the Sculpture by the sea, that I have decided to explore further in that direction. 
My mind was blown away with the images of various polyhedron online, and I binged endlessly, looking for the shapes that would be suitable for me. I am looking for the geometrical shapes simple enough to make in clay, complex enough to be interesting and intriguing, and evocative of the shapes found in nature; planktons, polens….

For a while, I was just filling my mind with the images and possibilities, feasting on the new stimuli…but I noticed that I was going back to Kepler’s solids more and more often.
Geometric figures (Platonic solids and other regular polyhedra). Source: Kepler, Harmonices libri V (1619), between pp186 and 187.

With such an abundance of shapes to choose from, I had difficulty deciding which one to focus on. I created a new folder in my “Inspirations” file called ‘Geometry’ and started hoarding images.
I call it “Paralysis of choice”, as the abundance of choice can be just as paralyzing as when all the inspiration dries up. You know what I am talking about; It is like a hungry person looking at the lunch menu with so many mouth-watering choices that she is quite unable to make a decision, prolonging the agony of hunger and indecision. It can quite easily get out of hand, especially if there are no deadlines to push one forward.

As I could not choose one, I compromised by choosing 3 polyhedra that fitted the criteria and started making full scale cardboard models. Making always breaks the spell. As I made the models, I started visualizing ceramic possibilities in my head, and when I was too tired to work in the studio I would sit and doodle, sketch and try to capture the thoughts and images in my head. The flood gates are open and the ideas are flooding in.Those are my momentary top 3 choices:

I've made two models and cast them in plaster:

 And I have to show you this one:

I am so pleased that it worked (so far - it has not been fired yet).
It is made with porcelain slip (You guessed, recycled Australian Fine China casting slip).
I have put it in the kiln while leather hard to avoid handling it at it's most fragile state when it completely dries out. If I had a full kiln, I could of fired it immediately, straight to vitrifying temperature. As I don't, it will have to wait a while, and than be fired to bisque first, to accommodate other things in the kiln.

If you are interested in polyhedra, and perhaps tempted to make some, THIS is a good starting point.

No comments:

Post a Comment