Revisiting a recent topic, we return to the Ceramics Apse.
Finished in 1973, this apse (quarter-of-a-sphere shaped structure) has been home to Arcosanti’s ceramic artists ever since.
Due to its passive solar architecture features, this workspace is outdoors. Therefore, the artists can perch across the deck, carving amidst the plaster molds and vats of slip (milkshake-consistency clay water mix) that are their supplies.
Colleen Reckow, Ceramics Artist, is at work carving a silt-cast ceramic bell.
Using a three-pronged knife, she makes primary incisions that guide her subsequent cuts.
Arcosanti ceramicists learn what is colloquially referred to as “The Soleri Image Alphabet” to steer their designs. Essentially, this is a series of carving shapes that, over the years, has enabled the varying artists to create a consistent style among the bells.
The time invested in the carving of each bell varies not only by artist but also by size of bell. There are between thirty and forty shapes of ceramic bells, each style forged by Paolo Soleri, hence the Soleri Bell.
As Colleen finishes her silt bell carving, she explains that this bell must reach leather-hardness, and then it can be fired in the kiln. And so, our report continues …