Silent eyes

Tap Roots

Receding Crosses  (18" x 12"  x 8")

Finally got to see these on the wall.  I never know what they really look like until nearly finished and I can put them up.  As these two are fresh out of their final firing, I quickly took some photos and packed them.  Off they went with 20 other companions.  I generally feed off of the last pieces completed.  There might be something about how the glaze pooled or crawl.  Or the emotive quality of how a certain color against another starts a need to explore that little bit of essence and push it further. 

Tap Roots started with an idea of using terra cotta clay and porcelain clay together.  I wanted to mainly used oxides stains and leave large areas of unglazed ceramic.  The white roots are porcelain which were removed and fired at cone 6.  The remaining piece is made of terra cotta clay so fired only to cone 1.  After the firings, the porcelain root tips were glued in using some 04 glaze clear. Next  RIO/Frit3134 wash.  The white was made from the dried porcelain that I ran a wet brush over and then applied.  There is some rutile wash on the lips.  Finally the tree stumps were worked on with 1) stains then 2) crawl glaze finally 3) details with black ceramic ink.

For me, terra cotta symbolizes ancestry, common ground, honesty; porcelain represents purity, truth. In this piece I wanted a feeling of something rooted and so deep. That although human life seems alienated and cut off from wild nature there are these roots still seeking water and nourishment. The whitewash heart around the face represents the love/hate relationship that we have with nature.

Receding Crosses was the last head I made.  When I began this one I had just finished Tap Roots.  This one needed to feel more playful with a quiet power.  I wanted to cut into the clay and show deliberate marks.  I needed the lines to show this feeling of barbed wired fences cutting off a snowy field.  The deliberate heart coloring on the face (the rest remains gray) warms the piece and is more inviting.  There is a quiet beauty, a quiet history of this landscape, of the march of time, in its few and select remaining evergreen trees .  The smaller iris eye is what I call the silent i


  1. These pieces are wonderful and it's fascinating to hear their stories. I love hearing about your processes too.

  2. Hello Judy--Thank you! Writing about the process of particular piece gives it a history---a biography of sorts for me. It helps when I need to write an artist's statement which I always dread!


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