Friday, November 7, 2008
Vintage Beauty Monster, an introduction
the first, Wicked Lady Miss K
Here are the first of my Vintage Beauty Monster ceramic dead flower vases. I started this series last year, ideas conceived based on a group show of the same name that i was putting together at a gallery in Pasadena. I had to let the show go due to a move and some troubling times, but the name and idea stuck with me. It was from there that a few random occurrences transpired that influenced the creation of the series you see here. It started with inspiration that came when i saw the unadulterated glazed version of the vase at the ceramics studio i fire at. This beauty was from a vintage discontinued mold. The bust vase was so simple and eloquent. What really sold it for me was the hairdo, styled after the late 50's or early 60's, reminding me of both vixens from Hammer films and the beautiful comedians from Laugh In. From there i got visions of her done up as the classic monsters and sci-fi creatures from the period and earlier. Also need to throw in two other moments that helped breathe life into this series. I saw a blonde female vintage bust vase at a retro makeup store, one from the 60's, that had fired on gold. All this coincided with purchasing vintage hairdo magazines from the same period to give as a gift to a friend who is a hairstylist.
Lady Stein #1
Creatures like this were the ones i grew up loving, and was hoping to make when i got into "hollywood." My vision of hollywood, spurned on by older horror films and early printings of makeup how to books, was long gone when i got into the business. But here is a chance for me to create these classic characters. Making these lovely monsters brings me back to my early childhood attempts at doing makeup, reading through Dick Smith's Monster Makeup and Richard Corson's Stage Makeup with classic Universal horror films playing in the background.
All these pieces are one of a kind. Unlike most of my other ceramic work, this original greenware comes from a production mold for the hobbyist( I sculpt and mold most of the stuff I make.) Using this vintage form as a base for my creations flexes the part of my brain that loves making art from found objects, and brings me back to my mischievous youth interest in painting and inking magazine covers to turn beauty to monster. From the pour out of the old mold, I hand detail the greenware, making each unique. I also mix my own underglaze colors, and glaze colors, without keeping notes or stocks of the colors, therefore insuring that each time something new is coming to the table, even when creating a number of the same character. Each of these beauty monsters then has either platinum or yellow gold accents that are fired on. The process is time consuming, and generally requires a minimum of three firings to complete. The insides are just as interesting, using various mixtures of "crystal" glazes that create wonderful effects that can not be duplicated by hand painted glazing alone.
So that gives you the background, fast forward to the last week of October when I finally set up an Etsy store and listed Zombie Lady #1. Listing her was a bit of an issue at home as my wife has laid claim to each of them as they are finished. This undead blonde was up and sold in time to make it to her new home in Washington by Halloween.
Zombie Lady #1 photo by Greg Burmann
***** on Nov.8th, around 6pm i will be putting up Lady Stein #1 for sale in my etsy store, here is the web address junkhauler.etsy.com