To take a break from the bookmarks and to show you something I am actually working on, here is one of my wall hanging vessels from a few years back that I am redoing. This is the first stage: threading. We’ll see how much layering I’ll do. You can see I’m starting to build a decent thickness in the upper right of the detail shot. The string hanging down has the needle on it right now, but in the end there will be many strings hanging down like that with seed beads on the ends. So goes the idea at the moment. It’s a good piece to work on late at night when I’m too tired to really think and when I’m finished for the night, I just hang it back on the wall!
On May 29th I tried pit firing ceramics for the first time down at the family farm. It was during an annual family celebration, so we made a thing of it. A few of the cleaned-up, waxed pieces can be seen in the next blog below.
Here are a few of my favorite results from my first attempt at pit firing ceramics. As experiments, they are all fairly small, the longest of these is about six inches. Not everything came out on the first try, but the best ones almost look like stones. I hope to have some images of the pit firing event itself soonish. For context, these “shells” (they are hollow or cup-like) are intended to be the bases of sorts for felting sculpture. Or so the idea currently stands…
Process: All pieces are slip-cast earthenware. Various surface techniques, such as burnishing, buffing, oiling, and terra siglatta were used in the greenware stage. They were then bisque fired in an electric kiln. Some pieces then received additional surface work. For the pit firing, various chemicals were added on and near the pieces for coloration, including rock salt, red iron oxide, copper carbonate, manganese dioxide, and cobalt oxide. The speckling in these pieces are a result of the various chemicals.