Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
×
Here is an excerpt from my latest blog entry on annmonique.wordpress.com, check it out for full description and imaged.

"If you are familiar with the background of how I came to design my logo, you may also know that at the same time I designed Knot Woman I, I also used a different direction to come up with Knot Woman II.  See the little mental refresher to the left in figure 1.

At that time, I was more focused on my other Knot Woman but have always had this one in the back of my head.  Recently I've had a little extra time to learn more about the way the Scribes of the Book of Kells and similar Illustrative works did these amazingly intricate pieces.  I was inspired by the detail (an incredible amount of time) that went into these pages.  I also really love the bright colors they used.

Now that I finally have my studio set up and organized enough to work (one more dream come true checked off my list) I decided she would be the first piece I would work on in my new space..."
Inspired by Celtic Knot-work

I'd been thinking of trying to incorporate some knot-work into some of my figure sketches to carve into some of my larger wheel thrown ceramic pieces. Since my goal was to be able to pull 12 inches high or more I'd have plenty of room for some more detailed work. I've always been fascinated by Celtic illustration and was able to see a lot and learn a little more when we lived in England for 3 years.

My first attempt at creating a female figurative piece using Celtic Knots as inspiration. Stage one was one of many triangle knots commonly used. Stage Two  I added an additional twist to lengthen the figure and add a body section, like a traditional Celtic Knot the line flows over and under without being able to see a beginning or an end.

I used a different approach here in my second design, choosing instead to add the limbs of the figure to a traditional knot, this was inspired by the animal figures that have been found in Celtic Knot art where a part of the body is the knot itself and the other areas are drawn out from it. I'm looking forward to furthering this design in a relief carving on a ceramic piece where I'll be able to add more depth and lose the "stenciled" look.

Once I had a ceramic piece large enough for my liking, I went with the first Knot Woman to decorate it.  To see images of these check out my other journal at www.annmonique.wordpress.com

I have to say, it turned out even better than I'd hoped. The initial bisque firing developed a technical difficulty which accidentally caused the whole load to be fired to Cone 6 instead of the usual Cone 08. If you aren't familiar with ceramics firing temperatures, 08 would be like -8 on a number scale so if you can imagine just the different in -8 to 6 know that in firing temperature this does make a considerable difference in prepping the clay for glaze application.

Using a traditional glaze for stoneware in this case can sometimes be possible but isn't very reliable. It can also be potentially very messy since the glaze could potentially run right off the piece in the final firing and then create havoc on your piece, the kiln shelves, and any pieces unfortunate enough to be close by. Since this was a group studio kiln, I didn't feel comfortable enough to risk all that. Instead I chose to apply an Iron Wash and experiment with a brush on application and sponging off to get a faux texture design. I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of the piece once I was satisfied with the application of the wash. It would have been much easier to see the application results before the clay was darkened by the final firing.

So, as it turns out, I think traditional glazing would not have had as dramatic an effect for the look I was wanting and I am actually very glad the over-firing happened.

This is a prime example of a very Happy Accident!

Since I like her so much, I decided to make her my official Logo.  I created the basic outline from the initial sketch and have uploaded her everywhere I can plus stick her on my business cards.  Over all I'm very happy.
The title really says it all.  Yes, I'm a little whiny tonight.  Probably hormones on top of stress.  I am after all in therapy for a reason.  I need a decent work table for the studio I can hand build on until I have a wheel.  In the meantime I'll research where I can get things glazed and fired so when I finally am able to start a project I'll be able to finish it in a timely manner.  Anyone in the Tampa area know where I might be able to get that accomplished?
We are closer to getting settled into our new house and my son starts back to school next week.  Hopefully this means I'll have some extra time to get my studio finally set up.  

I love the fact that I had a stay at home job fall very conveniently into my lap, the extra money will help.  It has cut into my creative time but I'm confident that once I'm able to get into a regular routine again, I'll figure something out.

I've been taking notes on a project I started research on over 3 years ago and am finally going to get started.  "God's Choices" will be a combination of research, writing, basic illustrations and ceramic sculptures.  I'm thinking the best way to get it out there for people to see will be via its own blog, one "Chapter" at a time.

We'll see how that goes.

I also have a number of Drawing and Painting ideas in my sketches I'm looking forward to finally doing something with.
...IPad that is. Yes, I have finally become one of the IPad people. Although, true to my nature, I did not get one of the new IPad 2's. Instead I did what I usually do, and took advantage of stores wanting to get rid of their 1st gens to make way for the 2's and therefore got my 32G w 3G network capability for around $200 off the original price. I love it when there is an update in something Tech, the previous version is usually still just as capable for fitting my needs and they practically become free.

1st journey into ArtRage for IPad. Am just playing around right now to get a feel for the touch screen and how the tools work and what they do.

‎2nd try I used the Chalk tool instead of the Painting tool and messed around with the Palette Knife tool more for blending techniques.

I'm especially loving that I can "paint and draw" on the road without needing an entire studio packed into the back of our car just to experiment with some ideas in different media. On the road with the family right now. Literally traveling "From sea to shining sea" Well almost, Sea to Gulf of Mexico at least aka Washington State to the Gulf Coast of Florida. With any luck this will be the last Navy transfer we'll have to do before retirement and I'll be able to set up a permanent studio just the way I want it and start to produce work regularly. Here's to hoping!
So, you've found me at my new DA page.  I didn't like my other username but the only way to change it is to start a new one.  Since I haven't been using the site long I figured no time like the present. So now, as time permits, I will begin, uploading everything that is on my other profile and gallery, etc, to this one. Wish me luck!