Saturday, 15 August 2015

Ceramic 46 - Amor vincit Omnia

 Dish featuring Man in Armour, Louvre Museum

This project was started for two reasons. First, I wanted to give a gift to my friends Angel and Matt to celebrate their first wedding anniversary (I wasn't able to attend the wedding). The secondary reason is I'm building up to Project 50 and I needed some practice with shading and human features. So I thought I'd achieve two goals with one serving platter and make them a 16th century style mailoica dish.

I started this project by trying to find plates that featured a couple. There are many plates from Deruta which feature a single female surrounded by a thick decorative border (1). For the most part the central image is circular but there are a few square ones as well (2). Some plates don't have a border, instead they generally depict complicated allegorical scenes (3). I did find one that appeared to have a couple making out and I decided it wasn't the right vibe for this project (4). Couples tend to appear on ewers (5) and drug jars more often than plates. This may be because the circular nature of the plate restricts the layout and can result in strange foreshortening.


Plates created in the early 16th century tend to feature blue and yellow colours. Dark reds and turquoises were introduced in the mid to late 16th century. Portraits tend to be monotone with a secondary colour added to the garments or head wear. Given my habitual use of blue recently, I decided to use a dark red and a dark gold similar to those created in the mid-16th century (6).


For decoration I was mostly inspired by the plate pictured at the top of this post. I have it in my Italian Ceramics Pinterest collection but haven't been able to find out the museum number. I like it's monotone portrait and blank scroll pattern. I used the acanthus leaf from the Man in Armour dish, and then replicated a common geometric fill pattern that appears on a number of dishes (7).

I spent a long time trolling facebook trying to find a good picture of the two of them as a couple however every single picture had odd shade or head angle on one of them. I decided to combine two pictures instead.

As you can see in the above image, I've tried to use shading where appropriate. There is more shading than can be seen here. It will be revealed when this gets fired. I'm not sure if the faint shading will work and I really hope Angels lips become more realistic once fired! 

Success! I'm really glad much of the shading came out well and I love the arch pattern fill.

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