Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mystery Mushroom Solved!

Well, I finally found out how my mystery mushroom came to be.

I hosted a private studio tour for the students of the McGroarty Arts Center about 2 months ago and the organizer of the tour, Michelle, left her gift for me as a token of appreciation when she came to the house.  She actually made the mushroom during the paper clay workshop I conducted over there, and I recalled seeing her working on it.

So, now, I can sleep at night knowing the souce of this adorable mushroom. It certainly was well hidden in my garden or  I have to be more observant of things popping up. Maybe, I just have to do more yard work !!

Thanks, Michelle.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mystery Mushroom

This week I found a ceramic mushroom underneath the Japanese Black Pine in my front garden.

I have no idea who left it there or how long it has been there. What's more interesting was that it was made by some one, glazed and high fired. Did that someone knew I do ceramics? Was it one of my neighbors' kids?

It was actually quite well made and rather large for a mushroom.  On the bottom, it had some glazing notation. Iron Oxide was used for the gill area of the cap and for the spots on top of the cap. The "CuR", I believe stands for Copper Red.

I thought I'd post it here since it is ceramic related. To whoever gave his/her mushroom a new home in my garden, a very big and happy "Thank You" to you!

Maybe I'll make some more mushrooms to keep this one company!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Steel, steel and more steel

My latest piece, "You Never Forget Your First Love."

Completed just a few days ago. The original concept, design sketches, and idea are several years old. I started work on the pod this year and was finally able to put everything together.

The pod is Gault 10 paper clay. This is my standard paper clay for my sculpture pieces. Fired to Cone 10 reduction with Van Gilders flashing slip and black iron oxide stain. I enhanced the surface with an acrylic pearlescent wash. The studio lights really bring out the shine in this treatment. The heart inside the box is finished with a hand rubbed copper leaf paint.

When you have a piece like this, the question is how to mount and display the work.

The support rod is 3/8" dia. stainless steel and the base is a really heavy, high carbon steel plate. The base has to be heavy enough to support this pod which about 32 inches high. My friend, James, who's a machinist, supplied me with these scrap steel pieces.

The barbed wire is from my family's house in Penang. It was put up by my dad way back in the 70's in our garden as fencing. It has weathered into a texture and color I really like and I used up all the barbed wire I brought back. I think it was almost 40 feet of it, if not more.

To me, ceramics blends itself very nicely with other materials and I use them to make the piece and tell the story.

41"H x 11" W  x 11"D