This summer I made a bunch of closed-in vases.
Last summer I made a bunch of sculptures that I gilded with imitation gold leaf. The entire studio, shop-vac and dog were covered in specks of gold for several months. The more surfaces I covered, the handier I became, learning clever tricks like rubbing the gilder's brush against the back of my head, creating static which then picked up the leaves like magic. That golden summer clearly left me with an itch for gilding. As I looked at the transparently-glazed porcelain vases I couldn't help but think they would benefit from a little gold.
This time round, I used genuine gold leaf which surprisingly has not increased in price from last year. The real stuff does not require sealing - it does not tarnish - and unlike my approach to making sculptures, I try to only use natural materials when making pottery, thus no petroleum-based sealant. The closer to the Earth, the better.
I call this pair of vases Sun and Dove. The dove-like shape of the latter and its pale grayness led me to its name. I packed it up in a box two weeks ago and sent it to my mom for her birthday along with a perfume that smells of tuberose and some cream that erases wrinkles. She thanked me for the presents and remarked that the vase was beautiful. 'If you make the bottom of it a little smoother, it'll look really Korean' (i.e. good). She's Korean. When I told her that the rim was gilded in genuine gold she reacted with a 'wooooowww', pronounced slowly and breathily as though I had just told her that my dog learned how to play the piano.
I am currently making more closed-in objects to be ornamented with golden discs which will eventually assemble with the sun vase. I pair the sun and the dove because there was a pub in Camberwell my friend Lisa took me to the first year I lived in London called The Sun and Doves. I always liked its name, thought it had a nice atmosphere and made a mental note to go there regularly. I only managed to go once. Maybe twice