For 2016 I challenged myself to make a vessel each week. This did not go according to plan, as you can see by the 19 (not 52) thumbnails below.
The first problem was that it often took more than one week to complete a project and it began to feel like a failure if I didn’t manage to finish in time for my blog post. The longer a project took to finish, the harder it was to continue working on it. I still have an incomplete vase/sculpture looming at me from the shelf.
Grotto Bottle WIP by Cate van Alphen
Another problem I had was that my definition was quite broad so it took me some time each week to decide what to work on. (As opposed to my successful 2015 challenge where each week was more defined e.g. week 10 – yellow beads).
My definition of a vessel includes anything rigid you can put something into; so in addition to the obvious bowls, bottles and vases I hope to include decorative boxes, miniature teapots, inros, lockets or even poison rings.
Finally, I chose the challenge because it was difficult. I have a collection of glass jars that I hoard because it seems a shame to throw them away, but I never seem to get round to decorating them. I had hoped that after forcing myself to make a few it would become easier and enjoyable. After all, back in 2012 making earrings was pretty terrifying but I joined in with the 52 Earrings challenge and I have since made hundreds of earrings. Unfortunately for the amount of time I have to clay at the moment this was just too far out of my comfort zone, and I ended up not making anything at all.
One thing I was really pleased about making this year was another polymer clay painting.
“The Road Home” by Cate van Alphen
It is a 10cm x 10cm tile that I made for the FIMO 50 World Project which brought together work by hundreds of artists from around the world. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to see the real thing, but I think I can spot my painting there on the globe.