Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Plate 07 - Drollery II

Plate 7 is another experiment in shading using a drollery image. This one is from Les Heures de Croy (the Croy Hours) currently in the collection of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna. I found a wonderful art blog which had posted a number of drollery images from the Croy hours ( The blog author had scanned the drollery’s from a book, Codices Illustres. As I have been having trouble to properly trace the previous drollery back to its manuscript I thought I’d try one of these instead (Figure 2). I picked this one for two simple reasons: I wanted to use blue (needing to take home the glaze for a different project) and I wanted to use some of the remaining yellow/brown from the previous drollery. This little guy seemed perfect.

Figure 1: The vines used as inspiration. (San Marino, Huntington Library, HM 1100, f. 13, John on Patmos)

As the intent of this piece is to practice shading in different colours with the glazes I coloured in the back of the image with a 6B greylead and then traced the image onto the plate. Happily, the greylead burns off in the kiln. This meant I could maintain the proportions of the original image rather than having to freehand it like the last drollery. Having completed the drollery I decided the plate needed spiffing up a little. Though I sort of consider plate 6 and 7 to be a set, I didn’t want to do the same vines as I’d get board very quickly. So I cruised some images of illumination and found the perfect thing (Figure 1) and freehanded in onto the plate. In the before firing shot you can see the mess of greylead I left behind trying to get it right. At a loss for how to complete it, I took an idea from one of the Deruta plates and repeated the face of the drollery at the top of the page.
Figure 2: The Croy drollery
Figure 3: My attempt
Figure 4: The plate – pre firing. The greylead is visible
Figure 5: After firing. The colours become stronger and shading more evident.

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