Away from this blog so long I hardly remembered how to get into it. Today my best excuses for not posting hold no weight. You see, I started a marketing campaign I call Adopt An Earthling. I’ll give you all the details in just a little bit.
A problem I seem to be having with creating in clay is that I own more ceramics then I have room for. The obvious solution is to get rid of some. Parting with creations is difficult on many levels. For one there is just letting go of something you’ve labored on, call it separation anxiety if you will. Then there’s the problem of marketing; that’s an art in itself. Other grounds for keeping work is that your best work a sold/gone and you have nothing to show.
My idea here is to select one series of work and send it forth into the universe. Rather than via craft shows, galleries and retail shops I shall market them myself on the Internet. To start An Adopt An Earthling Program I’ll initiate The Earthling of the Day. I really should find names for them but I’ll leave that to their future guardians. Who knows someday they may write home.
Tying the above paragraphs together I can work on my blog and my creativity at the same time. Looking at all the energy it took to write up a description of my work and translated to webpage code, I can and will just duplicate what I’m doing for the postings in my web store and auction sites to use it here. It’s all part of clay, right? So here goes, the first of many to come.
The face is modeled in clay from numerous facial photographs I keep in the studio for just this purpose. Every Earthling is created to be an individual, however it is designed to be no one in particular. Any similarity between this sculpture and anyone you know is purely coincidence. Surface textures on the vestments of this series of sculptures entitled The Earthlings is just one of numerous design elements defining them. Another distinguishing feature of the Earthlings are the skirt and bodice. They range in size from 5 inches to 5 feet for now, that could change anytime I deem it necessary.
The above photo-montage attempts to show this sculpture from all angles. It gives one some idea for the intricacies of my work. However the photographs does the work no justice. It was photographed in normal daylight under a shade tree against a shiny black paper foil background. Every effort to help you visualize work as if it were in your hands is made here. If there’s something further I can do just let me know and I’ll give it a try if possible.
This sculpture has been pit fired; that is a method of firing that gives distinct markings and a variety of hues, most of which are irreproducible. It makes it looks like a relic, that was my intention by using this primitive firing technique; perhaps it was just an excuse to build a fire but i do enjoy it so. I will describe more on this technique later.
The bodice is embellished with a botanical relief along with some slip trailed accents, note the ribbing on the side. Detailed image shows the branching pattern of a anise herb type plant; if examined closely you can even see the texture of the fabric I rolled the clay out on.
The luster on the glass eyes has almost a mirror surface; brings vitality to our relic, don’t you think? I employ the glass eyes in many of my works.
Looking at the base reveals the piece is quite hollow. The bottom has been sanded smooth so it won’t scratch the furniture. I imagine these pieces are picked up and examined quite closely from time to time.
This particular Earthling is just under 10 inches in height making it near the smallest that I make. A dollar bill is always exactly 6 inches long, so for scale is your Earthling been posed next to a crisp greenback and a few of its cousins. Next to the buck one has a better perception of size, detail and color of this work, even though I think the comparison is a little trite. The Earthlings in the background displays diversity of individuals within this series.
For many years I pit-fired in a 3-foot hole I had dug in the backyard. Using organic fuels such as wood chips/shavings, leaves, paper shredding, well-dried horse apples… this fuel would be lit from the top and allowed to smolder under a covering of sheet metal for some 48 plus hours. The carbon from the fuel impregnated the clay to form distinct shading effects as you view here. Even though I still call it pit firing, nowadays because of the encroachment of subdivisions, I no longer fire in a pit but use a 55-gallon drum or my fireplace. I plan to put a video of this up on my blog come this fall.
To be certain of the durability and quality of the artwork I initially fire it to 1800°F/1000°C, in a conventional kiln before pit firing