Let the Beauty of what you Love be what you Do...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Favorite Piece Ever... & Other Clay Stuff :)

Polar Bear~ Hand Coiled & Shaped, Ann's Soda Clay Body, Cone 10 Soda Fired,
 Satin Mint Green Modified Glaze.
Dimensions: 13" Long, 9" High, 6" Wide

I had built this bear a few weeks ago & it was one of the last of my pieces to go into the kiln. While I will generally find something that I don't like about whatever it is I'm making, when I finished building this piece, I absolutely fell in love with it. The posture, form, & shape of the bear all came together in terms of what I have been working towards. Now, you know that can all change when you do your glaze work... I have had many a piece that I have ruined with funky glazing. Fortunately, I had been testing this glaze (Yup~ Satin Mint!) in my Glaze Calc Class for the last half of the semester at least... on various clay bodies & with different variations & additions of color, so I had at least a general idea of how the glaze would look. I've included several views so you can see the glaze effects form different angles.

Click to enlarge any image for greater detail :)

I was really beyond ecstatic with the results! The guys that loaded the kiln had placed it facing the Soda... so the blueish crystal effect on his nose & foot are a result of that placement & the reaction of the soda & the glaze. While soda firing can be unpredictable, I think sometimes that is the beauty of it... and I don't think it could have worked out any more perfectly in this case!
It is my piece de resistance! Everything else I got of the kiln seemed to pale in comparison, and I had A LOT of stuff in the final firing. I will not bore you with it all, but will share a few things. I tried to do a series of bowls/cups with the dark brown clay in attempt to achieve the same results I did here. No such luck! I used the same clay body, same glaze, and same firing technique.

The two above were about the closest I got to the effect I was looking for.

But check this out- and I am not kidding you! The inner glaze on the bowls above are the same glaze on the inside, same clay body... and were in the exact same kiln!

Same thing with this bowl! This tells me two things- this particular glaze & the soda fire combination yield very unpredictable results!

This was one of my last bowls of the semester- the shape is not great, but I love the glaze... it's the Ronbeck Blue that was developed in my glaze calc class- over Bailey's Red.

This was the inside of another bowl w/ the Ronbeck Blue... I didn't have time to photograph it properly... off it went to it's new home in Seattle w/ my best friend who was here visiting.


This was the bear that I had made for a friend at work. It was supposed to turn out with that coppery somewhat iridescent finish... but It came out more of an oilslick finish. I can live with it... though it is no Satin Mint Green!

These were some of the series of little bears that I had made... I was actually going for the oilslick finish on these. These are not glazed- the effect is simply from the clay body & the soda fire. I did not photograph them all, as they would not all fit on my little background paper. I've enjoyed making them, but I think for future sculptural clay work, my plan is to keep working on the larger Polar Bear form. It's been a great semester & I feel like I've learned a lot. Though I am a little sad to see it end, I'm also looking forward to having more time to get out & about & do some of the other things I love. 
Happy May Everyone... and thanks for visiting!


Ms. Becky said...

I'm absotively floored by the beauty here - the grace of the bear, the lines, and yes the color of the glaze. He's amazing when enlarged, and I'm happy that I was able to enlarge. Lately Blogger hasn't been giving me that option when I click on photos. And...I'm in love with that blue bowl. Wow. It is so "Santa Fe". It's been pure joy watching your journey - from a novice student to that hint of being the "master". I'm blown away. It shows me that persistence, hard work, and nurturing the creative spirit truly does produce something so satisfying, it's beyond words really.
You did good. Really good. Congratulations. I'm applauding.

happy day to you Becks.

Jennifer Tetlow said...

Such beautiful results for the white bear - what a muzzle!

Kate said...

You have learned so much! You are sometimes too self-critical of your work...I always see more beauty than you do at times. These pieces are super fantastic, and you should indeed be proud of the bear. I have learned a good deal from your posting also. Carry on, Becky! You now deserve a bit of a rest to relax and enjoy that beautiful area of NM. Have a great week-end. Any hiking?

Angela Recada said...

Your work is absolutely gorgeous! Bears and bowls, I love them all.

Randy said...

I have to agree with Kate, you work is absolutely amazing Becky. I hope your taking more clay classes next semester. I am so ready for a break but looking forward to the next semester. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Barb said...

Hi Becky, I'm catching up with you and am amazed at the work you've produced. The "satin mint" bear is alive with form and texture. I love it, too. The clay, glazes, and firing are so unpredictable. I've learned so much from your work this semester. Thank you! Hope you can enjoy spring there in Sante Fe.

marianne said...

first bear is so wonderful! the glaze is perfect for the shape- no wonder you are so pleased! you should be! the rest of the pieces are beautiful too- the blue especially. i am in awe of your srtidtry with clay- can't wait to see where it goes!

John Brisson said...

Yup...your new bear is gorgeous!!


Annie said...

Becky, I LOVE this bear! Everything about it. All the bowls and bears are wonderful, but this guy is stunning.
I am not coming around much because my computer is so slow, it took 15 minutes to come here and leave a message!xoxo

~Babs said...

Hi Becky,
I've enjoyed very much getting caught up here. Your work has always been a delight that just becomes more so!
It looks like Santa Fe is being good to you, and I'm glad.

Tammie Lee said...

i can see why you are in love with your 'favorite piece ever'! Bravo. Practice brings results, eh! Congratulations. And you know if you ever want to sell your art.... bears are wonderfully desirable, people love bears!
everything looks wonderful.

clairz said...

I LOVE the bear, but I have to say that the first bowl photo literally took my breath away. It must be awesome in "person."