Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Annie Leibovitz

Again I'm out of my crafting routine and not feeling very well. My hands haven't been fit enough to work with clay and the class is not taking place at the moment.

But I've seen the very impressive Annie Leibovitz exhibition in Berlin two weeks ago, showing her famous professional works as well as private snapshots of her family and very personal pictures. I feel a bit ambivalent about the latter because they obviously were not taken for the public eye, yet I did not feel like an intruder when I looked at them and I liked them.

To me the strongest photographs in this exhibition are those of her lover Susan Sontag as well as the war photographs. A picture of the destroyed National Library of Sarajevo would be bitter and a symbol for brutishness in itself, but it is much more expressive with an outstanding intellectual like Susan Sontag sitting amidst the rubble. The glamorous celebrity pictures even appeared a bit vulgar in comparison.

I was moved by the pictures Annie Leibovitz had taken of Susan Sontag during her illness and until her death (and I recommend you to read "Illness as Metaphor", a strong text that she wrote during her first battle with cancer as well as "AIDS and Its Metaphors"). I don't know if these pictures are shown with Susan Sontag's consent, but they are full of respect for her. The greenish picture showing her dead and dressed for her funeral to me shows the state of shock Annie Leibovitz was in at that time and thus is much more a picture of herself than of Susan Sontag.

At the exhibition the BBC documentary "Imagine - Life through a Lens" about Annie Leibovitz was shown and I watched parts of it there. You can watch the trailer above and the film split into one, two, three, four, five, six parts is available on Youtube.

Sunday, 19 April 2009


The vase on the left was dipped into glaze and then dashed all over with other glazes and I also applied a thick coat on the rim. I'm curious what the firing will make of this. The vase on the right is just covered with green glaze.

The pot in the middle is glazed green on the inside and stained with oxides on the outside. Its surface design is immensely popular among my clay mates. I received some very flattering remarks about it. Now I hope all the more that it'll turn out alright.

Monday, 13 April 2009


I've been very busy making stuff. According to my hands I overdid things (and they are right). I am totally addicted to piercing my pieces although it is so exhausting. I take this as a tough exercise for my hands as well as some sort of compulsive fun. Here's what I made:

Look, I decorated the outside of a bowl! You could even eat your soup out of this one.

It's not recommended to try it with this one though.

Here you can see my favourite parts of the remaining fragments of a bowl I made that cost me a lot of work. It cracked right through the middle when I gave it some finishing touches and obviously applied too much pressure doing so. I broke it into more pieces and can't decide whether I should fire some fragments or not.

I also deliberately made some pierced fragments, because I love them so much.

Friday, 10 April 2009

More Experiments

Two of the pieces you can see in the picture are already glaze fired, which means they are finished actually, but I'm trying something new with them. I applied glass beads and now they are going to be fired a third time in a bisque firing, which is done at a lower temperature than a glaze firing. I don't know if the glass will melt at all. I'm extremely curious how they turn out!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009


I had a bout at cylindric shapes for a couple of days which resulted in these vases and a pot. One is just plain so I can mess around with some glazes. On the one on the right I finally used the mould I made some time ago. Spring made me do the pattern on the pot. It has been so warm and sunny recently and the subtle scent of freesias is in the air. I couldn't resist to buy a bunch of those because they smell so lovely.

I experimented a little bit with these pieces. I tried to close the seams without using slip because it inconveniently softens the clay a bit too much on these parts, which I don't like at all. The weight of the walls can make them go baggy at the bottom when the seam is too wet. I tried to prevent this and they seemed to be very stable and neat when they dried, so I hope they come out of the kiln intact.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

WIP - This Week

This is the pot I made last time in class and forgot to photograph. I sanded the edges this time so it's ready for bisque firing.

Here's all the stuff that already is fired once and now got a coat of glaze and a bit of glass and is ready for glaze firing.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Homegrown Bell Peppers

My bell pepper plants as well as my mother's spent the winter in my kitchen, that serves not only as a pottery workspace and a dumping ground for necessary and not so necessary stuff, but also as some sort of greenhouse. Some still hibernate and don't even have a single leaf as yet while others prospered all winter. One of them bore fruit on my window sill.