COLLABORATING WITH POLISTES

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2017

COLLABORATING WITH POLISTES is all about integrating different forms of paper into a sculptural piece. The top portion is a paper wasp nest (genus Polistes) which I found in a Koosa Dogwood tree when the leaves came down last October. The wasps made the paper by mixing plant material and saliva. The base portion is hand built and Raku fired paper clay. I made the paper clay by mixing rehydrated scrap clay and recycled newspapers. Both the wasps and I shaped our portions to meet our particular needs. No wasps were harmed in the making of COLLABORATING WITH POLISTES. 30” x 18” x 10”

 

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MASTER WITH ACOLYTES

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2017

MASTER WITH ACOLYTES is part of my summer exploration of the use of “Hooded Figures”. MASTER WITH ACOLYTES is a small ensemble which uses the same glaze on the individual figures to express what is common and unites them and the differences in scale to divide them and set the relationship between them. Hand built and raku fired paper clay. 11’ x 9” x 6”

THE WORRIED MAN

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2017

THE WORRIED MAN, another individual piece in my “Hooded Figures” series, gets its title from the expression on its face and from a line (“It takes a worried man…”) in a Kingston Trio song that happened to be playing when I was finishing it. Just seemed appropriate. Hand built and raku fired paper clay. 7” x 3” 2 ½”.

 

Chrystalis

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2017

CHRYSTALIS, hand built with extruded elements from stoneware and raku fired, gets its title from the combination of two words: chrysalis and crystal. Normally used in reference to one of the life stages of a butterfly, the definition of chrysalis includes “anything in a formative or undeveloped state” a concept represented here by the dark, rough textured, unglazed and amorphous base portion of CHRYSTALIS. In contrast, the top portion, the crystals, is highly formed, smooth, geometrically shaped, glazed and glossy. CHRYSTALIS is all about combining these two disparate concepts in a single image (and then successfully firing it). 7 ½ “ x  10” x 8 ½”

 

 

THE BOYS IN THE HOODS

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2017

THE BOYS IN THE HOODS is part of my summer exploration of “Hooded Figures” but was intended to be an ensemble piece from the beginning. As an ensemble piece, it also differs from the individual figures such as WATCHER OF THE NIGHT, by having been titled before completion and perhaps being a little more light-hearted. It’s a piece I spoke to rather than the other way around. Hand built and raku fired paper clay mounted on MDF. 6” x 9 ½” x 4”

 

HARBINGER

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2017

HARBINGER, the third individual piece in the Hooded Figure series, like WATCHER OF THE NIGHT and PROPHET, was titled after completion. To me there is an ambiguity to the piece, an awareness that something is going to happen, but an uncertainty of what that will be. A harbinger may presage good or ill, hence the title. Hand built and raku fired paper clay. 7 ½” x 4” x 3

 

PROPHET

© JOHN FANSMITH 2017

PROPHET, like WATCHER OF THE NIGHT and HARBINGER, is part of my summer flirtation with Hooded Figures. The title to PROPHET was not planned but rather my first reaction to the completed piece – the facial expression and “body language” expressing my mental image of what a Prophet would, or should, look like. Hand built and raku fired paper clay. 6 ½” x 2” x 2”.