Critic's Corner (temp) Jim's Flagstones -

Critic's Corner (temp) Jim's Flagstones

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The Hobbyist
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Critic's Corner (temp) Jim's Flagstones

Postby The Hobbyist » Sat Mar 20, 2004 8:04 pm

If you have not read Brock's thread on criticism in Kiln-forming please do so first. This is posted here for a critique in the spirit of that discussion.

Here are two very recent pieces that are nearly the same design. It might be fun if you will also guess which one was done first.

All the glass, in both, is BE; french vanilla, woodland brown and teal green. It is just coincidental that the background is also green. The spaces are actually filled with green. Although the bottom layer is clear so that the design can be seen from below.

Please critique the work/design..................................Jim

Ball Mold
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"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion. " Steven Weinberg

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For what it's worth

Postby Valerie » Sat Mar 20, 2004 8:26 pm

Jim, I have no criticism to make what so ever, as it is more advanced than
what I have done. I love the way the center has turned out. On a personal taste level, I think the red or burgandy? does not do the center justice, or make it pop, But it is a well thought out piece. I am a linear thinker so it appeals to me. I like the precision in your work

Rebecca M.
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Postby Rebecca M. » Sat Mar 20, 2004 11:37 pm

I'll take a guess on the one you did 1st. The bowl?

I can't give a critique either, but I do like the colors and the lines especially in the bowl. I have a couple questions about some of the design elements.

1. The bowl has groupings of off-color vanilla. Was that intended or was the treatment you used to (I'm guessing) get a weathered cobblestone effect somehow color those portions differently?

2. The plate has a variation of squares within the more organic cobblestone design. Why did you feel it warranted this variation? Also I find interesting your angle of the same squares. What I mean is that you've made it horizontal. If the squares were presented so that they were vertical, I'd get a different 'feel'. More of a diagonal and up and for me more flowing. Right away if I turn my head to view the picture that way I get a feel of steps going up a rock wall.

3. This may be getting too specific, and into your own 'special effects' area, so I'll just ask a 'did you' question. Did you use silverstain to get the weathered effect? I tried that on some french vanilla by sifting and got something similar. Also tried some diluted copper sulfate crystals and they worked pretty good too. Whatever you've done there to get the weathered effect, I like it. A lot.

4. I have an inkling that this may not be what was intended for the 'Critics Corner'. In anyone's opinion would it be out of place for a newbie to make comments and ask questions that were not exactly a critique?

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Re: Critic's Corner (temp) Jim's Flagstones

Postby rodney » Sun Mar 21, 2004 2:38 am

[quote="Jim Wolverton"]If you have not read Brock's thread on criticism in Kiln-forming please do so first. This is posted here for a critique in the spirit of that discussion.


i read the critique thread,,,,so here goes,,

you need to sell your kiln and get a life

nah,,,i like the idea of using a puddle of dog vomit as the inspiration for your "work"

dont ja just love that sort of critique,,,,i like what you do and really like the way you sign out as the hobbyist,,,,for me its the person that does something for the love of it that makes it worthwhile,,,and ive always liked what you have done,,,but since you asked for it, ill give you some critique,,,,

the stones, for me, look too flat,,,,if you have an airbrush,,you can try just hitting the edges of all the stones, making sure to hit the same side on each one, this will give the thing some depth, as though light is striking the stones and causing little shadows, making it look like cobblestones/flagstone instead of linoleum, and the flagstone that ive seen doesnt look so "speckely",but has more of a carved look, some of the gradation that you are doing is going in the right direction, but i think, that keeping the variation inside each stone, gives it more of a real look,,,but the final say so is always yours, its you that knows what is best,,rodney

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Postby Brock » Sun Mar 21, 2004 11:00 am

Jim, you're certainly one of those people I mentioned, who are making incredibly fast progress. First, I'm going to guess you made the tray first, because the gaps between pieces in the tray are larger than in the bowl, and that type of detail improves with the doing. The flagstones in the bowl fit much closer.

What's going on at the top center right of the bowl? There appears to be a small triangular piece breaking the edge of the pattern. Is it a light flare, a mistake, or, "an overt attempt to break the rigid confines of an artificially imposed structure"?

(Anyone can do artspeak, just imagine yourself articulating in a plummy, upper class accent, and string together related phrases).

Anyway, I think these pieces show that you have an eye for detail, and I would continue to work in that vein. Accentuate existing strengths. I have no comment on colours, those are personal choices, and they're yours.

I also wonder about having 2 colours of stones in the bowl. Frankly, I think it works, as these stones in real life are not all one colour. Was there a reason they are grouped on colours? I would develop a body of work, a series, and see where it takes you. Brock
My memory is so good, I can't remember the last time I forgot something . . .

Don Burt
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Postby Don Burt » Sun Mar 21, 2004 11:12 am

They look well made. They exhibit control of the medium, which can sell me on a piece sometimes.

I like the pieces. But they wouldn't get my wallet out. I don't want to sound discouraging, and after all consider the source here: (I'm just a hobbyist, except I pretend to be a pro on weekends) so I'll state my point of view:

I don't find them very interesting. I don't percieve the conflict and resolution that I like to see in a dynamic piece.

I like glassy glass. I wouldn't guess that those pieces were glass. I would guess that they were ceramic with opaque glaze. Thats fine, but thats not my preference.

The patterns do what is expected across the entire surface, and the surface is an ordinary shape. The second one has a shape change in the middle of the path, thats nice. But the path goes across the center. There's no sense of time in either piece: There's a consistent rhythm of cobblestones, but no counter rhythm to give it a sense of time. Somewhere on Brock's thread there was talk of odd numbers. Odd numbers work in landscaping and graphic design. Three has an implied rhythm that four doesn't. The cobblestones with the variation from biomorphic to geometric start to have a rhythm, but stop at two.

The forms evoke cobblestones from a 90 degree birds-eye view. I like cobblestones just fine. but piece can have more than a single pictorial reference. Cobblestones can be taken further. Space can be other than 90 degree perspective.

The texture is fairly uniform. It seems appropriate, but again, its not an element of interest that it might be.

Thanks for sharing Jim. Hope my comments are taken as 'Don's problem's with enjoying my art' rather than mean-spirited.

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Postby AVLucky » Sun Mar 21, 2004 3:19 pm

Thanks for volunteering your work, Jim. These pieces are a great set to discuss.

First of all, I think the stones pattern is a very effective one, and I like that it's done with a limited palette. I prefer the use of frit in the square piece because it is much more unevenly distributed and gives more depth to the rock shapes, which is not happening so much in the round bowl.

Graphically, I prefer the placement and proportion of the light and dark in the round bowl. Keeping the lighter area off-center, and playing the inner curve off of the outer circle shape seems to create a better composition, making it more fluid. The square piece seems more static, and I think that's from the central placement and straight lines.

On a more personal preference level, I am kind of bothered by the abrupt shift between the active, textural look of the rocks, and the flatness of the background brown. I think I'd maybe like to see a more craggy edge to the rocks instead of a smooth one, or else a little frit on the brown--something to create a transition.

Again, thanks for providing the pics. I really enjoyed seeing them, and I hope this is the kind of feedback you're looking for.

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Postby camaro » Sun Mar 21, 2004 9:01 pm

Personally I like them both, but what the hay I'll try to critique. First of all to me they look like ceramic glazes. Where the beige is it appears to be a stippled or sponged effect. However I could be wrong.
I would say the bowl was the second project.
Bowl: I like the movement, in which the center takes the viewer from side to side. I would have liked more contrast, between the tiles and the solid mass.

Tray/Plate: Spacing is just a tad off, but you may have purposely planned it that way in order to bring chaos into the design. Again I would have liked a different color scheme, perhaps along the lines of Triadic colors.

Does this pass as good critisim? I was a painter before doing glass, so shoot me, I really got into it.

The Hobbyist
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Postby The Hobbyist » Tue Mar 23, 2004 8:18 pm

Correct Brock...the tray was first and the bowl second.

There is a little glare. That piece that seems to escape is just a reflection. Likewise the stippling/streaking on the brown. It is actually solid and smooth...and boring.

The tray has "manmade" square tiles among the flags to create tension between man and nature between the extremes of tranquility (brown) on the sides. (How's that for artspeak, Brock?) Actaully that was my intention, I abandoned it for the bowl because I thought it didn't work in the tray.

I had given serious thought to putting something into the large areas of brown on the bowl. I was at a loss as to what though and went with simplicity.

The differences in color for the flags is due to the glass striking. It all looked the same before it went in the kiln. Had I known they were different I would have done as Brock suggested and used the difference for effect. As it is it looks like a mistake, which it is.

The brown speckles are the same green frit used as grout. French vanilla reacts with it(and everything). In person this reaction produces a nice edging for the flags next to the green grout.

The work is still too stained glassy and realistic. I still tend toward cut, fit and fire. I like Don's thought about going for relief or changed perspectives. Chaos and conflict are a hard sell for a Mathman that likes precision and order.

Thanks to everyone for your time and trouble. I get the overall sense that they are OK but nothing spectacular.

I agree.................................Jim
"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion. " Steven Weinberg

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Postby Barbara Muth » Wed Mar 24, 2004 9:19 am

Jim, I have a thought about breaking up the monotony of the brown. I tackled a similar problem on a piece I made last spring. I had a vast expanse of an opaque olive colored curious glass and it was just too flat. I took some transparent green powder (may have been aventurine) and swooshed it over the glass with a brush. I actually spent quite a bit of time stippling and moving the powder around till I liked the movement of the powder. It was a pretty effective way to break up the green. I still wasn't happy with the piece when done, but I did like the green on green. Perhaps if I can get a decent photo of that piece I will post it for a critique. Another trick I have used to get a little texture going is to use one color of frit instead of sheet glass to create the variation in color in a solid. However, I think if you had too much going on in the brown, it would compete with the pathway.

Sandblasting just the brown and not taking it back to a high gloss by slumping lower and slower might also work.

I haven't much to say in the way of critiques because I haven't sat in on enough to know how to do them.

I like the tension and movement of your pathways. Had you posted the image elsewhere before? it looked familiar to me. I agree with Brock that this could be an interesting theme for you to explore. I would like to see you try this with the background in greens. But then I love green.

all my best to you,
Check out the glass manufacturer's recommended firing schedules...

Claudia Whitten
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Postby Claudia Whitten » Wed Mar 24, 2004 10:47 am

I would like to say that I don't think you should abandon the square tiles, I like them with the cobblestones. I could see a piece playing with all cobblestones and some square tiles.....Thanks for sharing, we all learn from this kind of critique.......Claudia
It's not the destination but the journey that feeds the soul.

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