Sunday, February 2, 2014

52 Form Project- Week 5

The 52 Form Project 

What is it?
My 52 Form Project is devised to help me stretch my creative muscles, explore new forms, or finally get to making forms I have been wanting to try for a long time. I am planning to make a new or modified form for every week of this year
How can you help?
Your input on the forms, their shape, decoration, appeal, and function would be greatly appreciated. Some forms, if they seem like they may do well in the market, may become a part of my regular production.
Week 5
SALT PIGS! These little beasts have long fascinated me, and though I don't tend to salt dishes I make on the stove a whole lot, we do salt at the table, and pinch or spoon salt from a dish. So, the function of the piece makes sense to me to have no lid and be open. I admire the shape of both Paul Jessop and John Leach's salt pigs, which resemble a mug tilted on its side, but I find myself having a design conflict of interest. My conflict is with the opening. I live in an old house that seems to have dust (literally) coming out of the woodworking all of the time, and wonder about the slanted opening of a salt pig collecting dust or kitchen debris.
I investigated some designs that had a more hooded design, so the hole would be on the side, or protected in some way or another.  I tried a few variations. I started with a basic, closed form with about 1 1/2 pounds of clay. By closed, I mean that there is not any opening or hole on the initial vessel, so it's like a small, clay balloon!
For the first version, I threw a ring to add to the front for the opening. I figure this could protect from falling debris and dust and makes (in my opinion) a fairly appealing design.

The prototypes for this variation initially looked like the photos above. 
Stamped "Liberty Stoneware"

Stamped "SALT"

Stamped and decorated
I added some stamps to say "SALT" and "Liberty Stoneware" along with some white slip and a little cobalt blue decoration around the opening.
Variation on the salt pig form
I also tried a few other shapes without the hood-looking addition, but am not feeling as drawn to these designs. The cut into the side feels a little shapeless and just looks like a general hole, rather than a feature of the design. It could look different when they are fired.

I understand the need or want to fit your hand or fingers in the jar to scoop out the salt, and all of the forms passed in that regard. The first prototype with the more round opening seemed more welcoming and less likely to have a sharp edge compared to the other shape.

Two different prototypes for the salt pig
I'm torn about which shape I enjoy more. I'm leaning toward the one made with two parts, but perhaps making it a little shorter, or making the opening more oval. What do you think?

In other notes, the fondness for the mug-like salt pigs has led to an interesting development in a lidded jar form:
New development in the studio
Stay tuned for more on that!


Dennis Allen said...

I'm not nuts about the big flange. It kind of reminds me of a diver's helmet.What if you took the basic bottle form and cut a horizontal slit and inch from the bottom and pushed the clay in, like a chicken waterer? You could put a lot of salt in it, it would keep most of it covered and self feed.

Liberty Stoneware said...

Interesting suggestion, I can picture it, but I would wonder how to clean it out! I may try the basic bottle form and do it a little shorter with an oval (horizontal) opening, less wide open and round. Now that you said "diver's helmet" that is all I see...