I thought it'd be nice to share some of my sketches and notes on my more recent pieces, and to give an idea of what my creative process is like! I've assembled all the sketches I have for Some Thing Better Left Alone and Dead Hearts and given some commentary and translation.
These were my first sketches on notes what would become the Some Things Better Left Alone series. It was originally going to be a tea set rather than a series of teapots, as you can see in the sketches. I knew very early on what the theme was and that I wanted the forms to resembled Rococo pieces, but I had a hard time trying to pinpoint what details I wanted. I started to experiment with snakes, which was an important symbol for my in my early work, but I quickly scrapped that. To avoid fussing over the concept stage forever, I decided to make as many teapots as I could and experiment with the details and colors to really pin down what I wanted. The tea pots ended up becoming a cohesive series, and I decided to keep it that way. I may return to it one day and make a full set based on one of the pots.
To get the complex forms I wanted, I realized I had to thrown each section of the teapot separately and then assemble once it was dry enough. This was me figuring out each piece I had to throw specifically for Rack and Ruin.
You'll also notice some other doodles, and that's from my deep hatred of wasting sketchbook paper. I tend to jam a page full of doodles and sketches that are often unrelated (The ones here are from a Dungeons and Dragons session I played in).
These were my first sketches for Dead Hearts! I changes the name of the first one to My Heart's a Prisoner to my Ribs and switches the skull for a bead, but the concepts for both remained solid. Thats not particularly true for the next page however.
None of these pieces were made as a part of the original collection for one or more of the following reasons; 1. the piece didn't fit with the rest of the series visually,
2. the piece would be impractical or harmful to wear (i.e. too heavy, sharp points, ect.),
or 3 they would have been nearly impossible to do in ceramic.
For example, the fox skeleton on the top of the first page was supposed to be fully articulated, however, to make such delicate, separate pieces in ceramic would have been impossible to do unless I made the piece larger, then it would be too large to be a necklace.
I really enjoy some of these pieces conceptually and may create them on their own outside of Dead Hearts.
This is when I decided what pieces belonged in a set together, and also when I started sketching digitally. Many of these sets remained the same and stayed together, but a few were switched around and altered. For example, the rib and heart necklace here was changed when I took the heart charm and placed it next to the jawbone pieces after firing and found I liked that better. A few pieces were scrapped all together for the same reasons from the previous sketch, but most of these made it to become full pieces!