Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

A different “front” versus “back” question.

Posted by C Scheftic on 2011/05/20

To me, this piece (“Bronze Drape #2”) is clearly fully reversible. On the “convex” side, you can see where the bronze clay was casually “draped” into an interesting form. On the other side, a texture covers any cavities. Either side could be worn towards the front.

The “drape” side was polished to a nice satin finish.

The “texture” side was left as it came from the kiln: the colors are just what this piece decided it wanted to have (as maker, I have no control over that) and, though they are not guaranteed to stay the same over time, they could well remain like this for quite a while.

So here’s the question for this one: Do I leave the texture-side alone, or do I polish it? If I leave it alone, I can’t guarantee how long that finish will last. If I polish it, it will lose all the colors and end up a monochrome just like the “drape” side: that decreases the variations, both now and over time, but does produce something that is more stable over the long run.

Now, if I were keeping this piece for myself, I know what I’d do: I’d keep the “rustic” look for now knowing that, if/when it did change in a way I didn’t like, I could always just polish it then. (Or put it back in the kiln to see if any nice colors might reappear on a subsequent firing: something that is totally unpredictable.)

But I don’t intend to keep it: it’s going up for sale in a couple weeks. (By which I mean, a gallery will be trying to sell it on my behalf, so I won’t be able to “explain” the finish myself.) I’m still tempted to leave it like this, but I could be talked into polishing it if you thought that would be a significantly better approach here.

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