Artist of the Week: Jessica Drenk

A few weeks ago my advanced 3D class asked about doing some slip casting and slip dipping. Morgan created ~100 paper origami tulips that she dipped in slip. Mallory found some old plaster molds and slip in her garage that she ended up casting a series of multiples with.

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Morgan’s work

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Mallory’s work

My students inspire me everyday.

From their work I offered up a slip dipping project to my Intro to 3D students. Actually I offered them two projects and they chose slip dipping. In my research I found an artist who I though the students would really enjoy seeing. Her name is Jessica Drenk.

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She is experimental in her work. She has dipped mop heads, q-tips, and toilet paper into both wax and slip.

Jessica Drenk was raised in Montana, where she developed an appreciation for the natural world that remains an important inspiration to her artwork today.  Tactile and textural, her sculptures highlight the chaos and beauty that can be found in simple materials. Drenk’s work is also influenced by systems of information and the impulse to develop an encyclopedic understanding of the world. 

Swab Skin Q-tips dipped in porcelain slip and fired 7″ long

Filter Skins coffee filters dipped in porcelain slip and fired 2″ tall, 4″ tall

Porcelain Skin I mop head dipped in porcelain slip and fired 4.5″ x 10″ x 5″

She has glued together thousands of pencils, only to carve away at the surface and create a smooth organic shape.

If you have questions about slip dipping please feel free to ask in the comments.

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Follow Amy Oliveri’s board Slip Dipping on Pinterest.

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6 responses to “Artist of the Week: Jessica Drenk

  1. Pingback: Slip Dip | artwitholiveri·

  2. I just stumbled upon your blog and LOVE the work you are doing! I would love to do this project with a Sculpture class and would love to know basically the whole process! Would that be possible? I have never done slip casting/dripping before and would love a bit more instruction on how these wonderful works were accomplished!

    • Do you have a local ceramic shop? I would contact them and see if you can purchase a box of casting slip. My students experimented with different materials, paper, plaster strips, natural materials, cardboard, plastic, etc. I would test out a variety of surfaces to see what works best for you and your students. If you have more questions please contact me! I would love to share my resources.

  3. I think that they have the casting slip at Blick and I can pick some up there. So, basically, you dip different things in the slip, let it dry and fire it? I can imagine amazing results. Any tips for dipping multiples? Or, and do’s or don’ts? Did you glaze them after the bisque fire?

    • I would recommend (if you have longer class periods) to dip 2-3 times. Wait until the piece is dry-ish, equivalent to a plastic/leatherhard consistency. If you can’t dip 2-3 times in a class period, keep the piece damp, wrapped in plastic. Just like with clay when a piece dries out too fast it can crack. I recommended that the students try not to get too much slip on their hands (too much waste) and we used a variety of tools for assisting in the dipping process. Some of the (more intricate) pieces fell apart in the kiln and were lost in transportation. A few of the successful pieces were glaze fired. One of my favorite pieces, a chunk of wood, had a really beautiful interior surface color (from the burn) and texture. I would love to experiment more with natural materials once we defrost from the winter.

  4. Hello! I m design student and looking for an appropriate technique for my final project. I thought of dipping orchid brunches with flowers in porcelain slip. The final outcome I imagine light and fragile but still firm. As these prices are going to be headpieces or models will carry it with their teeth. Do you think it’s a good material for my idea ? Thank you, Sergiy

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