2010 Art's Alive! Emerging Artist work

LaConner's annual Art's Alive! event is held in November.  In 2010, I was invited to participate as one of five emerging artists in the Maple Hall exhibition.  The following images are the pieces that I included in this show, and a little information about them all.
 

Three Bowl Study – 2010


The three bowls displayed together with the “Above and Below” theme of dragonfly hovering above the water (inside of bowl) and sockeye swimming in water (outside of bowl) were all constructed with the same technique. They are made from a slab slump molded over a bowl form. The design detail is applied / carved on the surfaces of the molded clay. The pieces are under-glazed where desired and bisque fired to Cone 05 (1888 degrees F).


Each bowl was then finished with a different technique:

 
 

Raku – the pink / copper tone Raku piece was done with a “copper raku” glaze applied, the piece brought to 1800 degrees F, and then removed from the kiln while red-hot and placed into a covered chamber containing combustible material to go through the reduction (reduced oxygen atmosphere) process. The iridescence of this glaze was produced through the reduction process. Raku is a visually exciting process to watch, and the results are always varied.


(SOLD)

 

Pit Fire – the carbonized / subtle finish of the pit fire piece is achieved through a low fire process where carbon materials (wood fiber) and metallic powders are ignited with the bisque ware in a pit. The pit is covered and the firing left to proceed for about seven hours. The subtle pinks and burgundies and smoky black colors are the result of this method. Note the faint impressions of vegetation on the surface of the bowl. The bowl was wrapped with leaves before it was placed in the pit. Again, the results are always varied.

(SOLD)

Electric Kiln Fire – the electric kiln produces the most predictable results. The individual colors on the dragonfly, salmon and bowl surface are produced by applying glazes with predictable final colors. The glaze matures at Cone 6, about 2232 degrees F. The surface is a food safe, hard, glassy gloss with the particular glazes chosen for this bowl.


(SOLD)


Raku Dragonfly White Crackle Vase - 2010


This vase was constructed from a slab wrapped around a cylindrical mold. The dragonfly / cattail motif was applied to the leather hard surface of the vase, under-glazes applied in blues, greens, and blacks, then bisque fired to Cone 05 (1888 degrees F).


The Raku glaze “white crackle” was applied over the inner and outer surface of the vase before firing to 1800 degrees F. The piece is removed from the kiln while it is red hot, and allowed to air cool for a few minutes, which encourages the glaze to “crackle”. The piece is then placed into a metal container which also holds a combustible material (paper in this case) and covered. The paper catches fire from the heat of the vase, and, by covering the container, a reduction atmosphere is created (reduced oxygen). The cracks in the glaze are permanently coated with carbon smoke, highlighting the “crackle” appearance of the glaze. This piece is not waterproof or food safe due to the cracks in the glaze.

 

Raku Dragonfly large bowl - 2009


The large bowl was formed with a slab over a slump mold to form the basic shape. The irregular rim gives the bowl a free-form feel. The relief design of the dragonfly in a wetland inside the bowl, and flying dragonflies on the outside of the bowl is applied and carved while the clay is in the “leather hard” stage. The bowl is first bisque fired to Cone 05 (1888 degrees F) and then fired in the Raku process. The size of this bowl is unusual for Raku – it is very difficult to create a Raku bowl this large. The extreme shock to the piece going from 1800 degrees to ambient temperature in a matter of minutes (10 to 20), rather than hours as in an electric kiln fire, often leads to breakage, especially with larger pieces.

The glaze on this piece is copper based, much like the smaller Raku bowl in the Three Bowl Study, but with slightly different chemicals. The effect is radically different, although much of the difference is also due to the particulars of the firing. Anything can happen with Raku!


 

Sockeye Series” bowls - 2010

These bowls are formed with a slab and slump mold. The difference from the Raku Dragonfly large bowl is that these bowls were formed on the INSIDE of the mold, not over the outside of the mold. A paper lining on the mold helped to release the mold, and also gave the outside of the bowl a “crinkled” surface, adding to its visual and textural interest. The salmon encircling the rims of both bowls are actually cut into the rim. The two sides of the salmon are joined on the bowl, and the fish is actually partially hollow. Air holes are required to allow superheated air to escape the body of the fish during the firing process. Without those small holes, the fish could explode from steam build-up.

The bowls are bisque fired with red and black under-glaze to Cone 05 (1888 degrees F). They are then glazed with various colored glazes and fired in the electric kiln to Cone 6 (about 2332 degrees F). The blue glaze appears to be multiple glazes, but it is actually one glaze that the artist developed from base ingredients and colorants. Slight variations in the thickness of the application, vertical vs. horizontal vs. textured vs. curved surfaces, and even placement in the kiln help to create the blue / green variations in the final appearance of the glaze. Cone 6 glaze firing finishes the piece to be food safe and durable.

                           (SOLD)

 
 
 


 
 

Above and Below” large bowl - 2010


The technique used to make this bowl was the same as for the Three Bowl Study, only on a larger scale. The theme is of dragonflies hovering above the water (inside of bowl) and sockeye swimming in water (outside of bowl). The bowl is made from a slab slump molded over a bowl form. The design detail is applied / carved on the surfaces of the molded clay. The bowl is under-glazed with red, black, and blue colors and bisque fired to Cone 05 (1888 degrees F).

The glaze is finished in the electric kiln, which produces the most predictable results. The individual colors on the dragonfly, salmon and bowl surface are produced by applying glazes with predictable final colors. The glaze matures at Cone 6, about 2332 degrees F. The surface is a food safe, hard, glassy gloss with the particular glazes chosen for this bowl.

(SOLD)

Freestanding Sockeye Salmon - 2010


The freestanding sockeye salmon are formed with a press mold. The artist made the mold by carving two relief fish (one for each side) from modeling clay and then pouring a plaster mold. The two sides of the fish are joined together and textured. They are then under-glazed and bisque fired to Cone 05 (1888 degrees F). The final firing is with the electric kiln, to Cone 6 (about 2332 degrees F).


Up Stream III – 2010 Wall Art


The underwater scene of sockeye salmon migration is one embedded in the Northwest experience. The piece is made from hand formed tiles, each individually shaped to form a jigsaw puzzle that creates the image of a stream bed and flowing water. The salmon are formed “free-form” into the background tiles, or as add-on sculptural elements using a press mold for the basic shape. The individual fish are textured and under-glazed by hand, individually, then bisque fired to Cone 05 (1888 degrees F).

The glaze process for these pieces is complex. The use of under-glaze enhances the color saturation and depth of each piece. The rocks and stream are coated with glazes the artist has developed personally from base ingredients and colorants. As part of the glaze process, the artist adds bits of recycled glass in various colors to the rocks and water to add translucency and depth to the piece. Each piece is then individually fired again to Cone 6 (about 2332 degrees F).

The artist’s husband hand crafts a fine grain Douglas Fir frame for each wall mounted piece. The tiles are mounted onto cement board built into the frame, grouted, and then the additional sculptural pieces are attached with a strong epoxy glue.




 
 

UnderSea Encounter – 2008 Wall Art


The underwater scene of Dungeness crab among sea grasses is familiar to me as I spend many summer afternoons on the water “crabbing” with friends around Samish Island.. The piece is made from hand formed tiles, each individually shaped to form contours that highlights water currents and the sea floor. The crab are formed “free-form”, along with the sea grasses and other sea creatures that inhabit the Northwest waters. All tiles and sculptural pieces are are textured and under-glazed by hand, individually, then bisque fired to Cone 05 (1888 degrees F). Custom glazes are added with recycled glass for additional depth, and fired to Cone 6 (2232 degrees F). The piece is self framing with a boarder of tiles matching the raised center tiles.


Great Blue – 2008 Wall Art


The wetland scene of a great blue heron in marsh is a common sight in Skagit County, and a favorite of the artist. This piece is made from hand formed background tiles, each individually shaped to form a jigsaw puzzle that creates the image of a small wetland among fields under blue sky. The heron, cattails, rocks and dragonfly are formed separately as individual components. Each piece is bisque fired to Cone 05 (1888 degrees F).

The glaze process utilizes colored clay slips applied before the bisque fire for added color saturation. The final glazes were all mixed by the artist from base ingredients, using a color palette that compliments the natural scene.

Recycled glass is added to some of the pieces for the final firing to give added depth and transparency to the finished work. The pieces are fired to Cone 6 (2332 degrees F).

The Douglas Fir frame (made by the artist's husband) is custom built for the piece. The tiles are mounted onto cement board built into the frame, grouted, and then the additional sculptural pieces are attached with a strong epoxy glue.

                                                                                                                                              (SOLD)

 





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