In my feedback, my tutors recommended that I try creating some more abstract pieces, where I simply ‘played’ with the clay and didn’t worry so much about the outcome. This felt a little alien to my interests and took me out of my comfort zone, but I was inspired to have a go at a new approach. As I had been considering the concept of ‘prosthetics’ and covering broken areas of branches with clay, I decided to develop this idea. The result was quite a striking contrast between the rigid, strong wood and the initially pliable clay I could sculpt into curves. As the bark had gentle indented lines, I decided to mark the clay with deep purposeful holes to accentuate the shape of the curls. I am quite happy with the fluid shape of the clay and how it contrasts and accentuates the wood. I will continue to experiment with other pieces, playing with creating other contrasting shapes.
Once the clay has dried and is fired it will become hard like the wood, losing the contrasting texture factor, but this will allow me to paint or glaze it, for which I have a wide choice of colours. Something very bright and garish would contrast with the subdued natural colours of the wood, emphasizing its alienness. I could otherwise work with blending the piece together as one, using more natural tones such as greens and yellows. This may allow more focus on the the actual shape and beauty of the piece rather than drawing attention away to the colour scheme!