Materials and technique
My work named “The Gesture” was created with white stoneware clay. The structure supporting the sculpture consists of an iron part and a transparent glass support. The shape is inspired by the arm of The “David” of Michelangelo and obtained by modelling the clay by hand. Once the form was created, a plaster mould was made to replicate it.
The mould is made up of two complementary sections to make the assembly operation easier and avoid possible damage or breakage.
The final shape was made by using the slab technique in a plaster mould under pressure.
The firing took place through a first step called ‘biscuit’ carried out in an electric kiln. Subsequently, once the detachant liquid and a crackle crystalline had been applied, the sculpture underwent a second firing in the Raku kiln.
The work was extracted from the kiln at a temperature of 940° C. Then, through a cooling process, the crackles took shape, showing a network of black cracks that brought originality to the piece.
The supporting structure, through its simple and essential character, wants to focus the viewer’s attention on the sculpture to appreciate its entirety and uniqueness.
The “Gesture” represents a new gesture that has become part of our everyday life due to the pandemic.
For the shape of the arm I was inspired by the “David” of the artist Michelangelo not only for its authentic structure but also for a real connection with the past. It survived hard times such as the black plague of Florence that can be compared to Covid-19. The Raku technique wants to highlight the uniqueness and fragility of each of us. Its crackle can’t be replicated, each time it builds up a different and unique structure. It can also be said that its fragility is only a superficial weakness, as it doesn’t imply a break of the piece but it gives the piece a distinctive character.
The crackles can be interpreted in different ways: they represent the starting point of the interaction network between people, the driver of the pandemic or a universal gesture which can be a friendly and respectful way to say hello but also a polite introduction to a stranger.
The Raku technique uses the four natural elements: water, earth, air and fire and wants to highlight this connection between humans and nature.
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