Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

   DOGGIE BAG
   

Doggie Bag is a ceramic work in the form of a blue take-out container from which a Chihuahua emerges.

  • Take-out box built of stoneware paperclay. Its hollow form was enclosed with a flat top layer and covered with extruded “noodles,” leaving openings for lid and spout.
  • Hollowed-out head of Chihuahua sculpted of stoneware clay served as the teapot’s spout. Details of the head were carved after the clay was somewhat dried.
  • Replica of fortune cookie for lid was made with a thin slab of stoneware paperclay. This delicate item was added last.
  • Handles made of extruded stoneware paperclay.
  • Construction sequence:  First fired to cone 06. Detailed underglazes hand-painted for the puppy and air-brushed for the take-out box. Lettered fortune strip was also hand-painted with black underglazes. Clear glaze was applied to the handles. Refired to cone 6. Silver luster applied to give handles a metallic sheen. Fired again to cone 018.
  • Size: 10” x 7” x 6”.  Date: 2006.
  • Clay Art and Craft Museum, Houston, TX.
  • Sold.

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Creative Process

Creative process illustrated.

   This whimsical piece is fashioned entirely of stoneware paperclay. It is a functional teapot, consisting of a typical Chinese take-out container with clay “wire” handles. The container is open. Emerging from within is a tiny puppy surrounded by noodles. A fortune cookie serves as the teapot’s lid, while the dog’s snout is its spout. The surface detail work is achieved by image transfer air-brushing of fabric pattern. The fortune reads “It’s a dog eat dog world.”

   Designing this piece proved to be challenging with regard to stability and strength. I was particularly concerned about whether the thin clay handle would be strong enough to support the weight of the piece. Doubling the extruded clay used to make the faux-wire handle was an obvious solution for enhancing its strength. I also fashioned one of the flaps to bend downward and serve thereby as a kind of second handle for the vessel. But best of all was that as the work progressed, it became clear that the paperclay stoneware medium made it possible to create a piece that was both thin-walled and deceptively light in weight, yet had great strength at the same time.

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Detailed Views

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