Tuesday, August 26, 2014

In the pink with Rutile Sun

Dahlias in bloom at the Mendocino County Botanical Gardens-photo by CDR

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Anais Nin 


Inspired by sea anemones, dahlias and grasses.  Guided by the Anais Nin quote.

I took a risk on this piece.  I glazed it with a satin white.  My intent was to leave it all unglazed.  I rarely glaze an entire sculptural piece.  I mainly use terra sigs or engobes with small areas of shiny glazes.  Lots of color.  Lots of texture.  However, it needed a hard glaze to insure that the tendrils stayed put.

Reluctant at first, I began to open up to the process of brushing on layers of white satin glaze. While it dried I stained a terra cotta figure laying next to it with rutile. I returned to this piece and forgot I had a brush full of rutile in my hand. One stroke onto the white surface without thinking. Oh no!  Now I wasn't going to wipe it off and start again. I didn't have the time. After a few anxious moments, I went with it.  


When I opened the kiln I thought of sunshine and my grassy meadow drying out in the summer heat.  I was surprised by the intensity of the yellows.  Just a little Rutile, Mason Stain 6440 and Red Art slip mixed with some white satin glaze. Peachy salmon tones here and there from the Red Art, goldenrod yellow from the Rutile.  Bright, confident  primary yellows peeking out.  All this from a mistake--a little mishap and a decision to go with it.  

trial wall pieces done with colored porcelain clay, terra cotta and basalt clay, stoneware

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Embracing my inner clay

You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.
What mood is that?
Last-minute panic.

 Calvin and Hobbes
Bill Watterson

Some days I think I am giving up clay. I can go a long time thinking about it. Planning for it. Agonizing over it.  Dreaming about it.  Having a deadline changes everything. Next thing I know I am rolling coils. Embracing my inner clay. What's a person to do?

12" x 5" x 3"
Ceramic, terra sigillata, texture glazes, oxide stains, 24k gold leaf

See her in person at the Pence Gallery in Davis, California
preview and silent bidding begins
 August 30-September 20, 2014
(they will take a bid via phone and ship, too)

detail of back

Artists don’t get down to work until the pain of working is exceeded by the pain of not working.
sculptor Stephen De Staebler

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Finding a Home in Clay

This piece originally had a squirrel, but I had a dream about a fox.  In the early morning I made this little fox and replaced the squirrel. Then I had to replace the head.  The face didn't look right.  Didn't feel right. New arms were made.  It was necessary.  Only the original torso/legs remained.  I saved the discarded arms, head and squirrel in a damp box.  I still have something in mind for them.  It was just I had to do this. I had to get this one done now I thought.  It was a last minute piece. 

As Fox Stories dried on the deck I noticed the pattern of dappled light.  It looked as though there were clouds and blue skies across the torso. I wanted to capture a sense of time and place. Of a summer day, of woods and fields.  Of home and connection. 

Fox Stories 
(from series: Seeking Shelter, Finding Home)
 12" x 5" x 3"
Ceramic, multi-fired
terra sigillata, slips, glazes, round head iron pins

The person who bought this piece told me what inspired her to take Fox Stories home.  She had seen a news clip about a woman who found a pup in a nearby wooded area.  This woman thought it was a dog abandoned, hurt and left to starve.  She took it home and gave it care.  Fed this orphan food and love.  Turns out it was not a dog after all, but a fox!  This news clip interested the art lover.  When she saw Fox Stories she had to have it. She felt a connection. I told her about how this piece came about, its story of making and how it changed.  How a fox came to me in a dream. Two stories and a little fox.  One of needing shelter and another of finding home.

wild asters and sea grasses

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