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

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Alternative Firing Workshop, Reglazing, Student Art Show & lots of Great News!!

Pardon my lack of blogging lately... life has been busy as usual & I've placed the blog on the back burner, but I just wanted to get in a "catch up" post before taking a little break for the summer. Below are a few images from the Saggar Fire Workshop I took at the Community College in May. Our clay club brought in Lee Akins, a wonderfully talented local ceramicist to do a full day workshop on Alternative Firing techniques. (click on his name above to see his amazing work!) We all brought in a few bisqued pieces to work with & fire. With this technique, you take bisqueware brush on Iron Chloride, along with various combustibles such as coffee grounds, wood chips, banana peels, dried tea bags, copper wire salt & so forth.
I had never done anything like this, so I tried a combo of the above ingredients on 1 medium & 2 smaller bears.

All the ingredients are held close to the pieces by wrapping them in aluminum foil, which are then placed in the Raku Kiln for firing.

The pieces are then brought up to a temp of roughly 1360 degrees & left overnight to cool.

Excited classmates pulling pieces from Raku Kiln

Below are the 2 small bears after firing, which I quite liked.

The results on the medium bear I was not so crazy about... I just didn't feel the technique fit the form... it felt too harsh to me.

So, always up for a little experimentation, I reglazed the piece using the Satin Mint Modified glaze & it was Salt Fired to Cone 11 in the Soda Kiln.

I thought the results were much more pleasing the 2nd time around. It retained some of the effects from the Saggar Fire, but added a less harsh tonal variations, as well as gaining the crystallization effects around the face of the piece.
But the BIG NEWS of the Semester is this!! I had entered the piece below (you may remember this piece from this post, or this post) in the Annual Student Art Show. It's a juried show, so I was pleased of course, just to get in. 

"The Guardian"

 The Best News, however, was that not only did I get in, but I won Best in Show for Ceramics (which means I also got a gift certificate to New Mexico Clay- Yay!) AND I was this years recipient of the Dean's Purchase Award!!! 

This means that the College not only bought my piece, but it will become part of the permanent art collection at Santa Fe Community College! I could not have asked for a better end to wonderful semester! This semester was full of "firsts" for me... my first ceramic sale at the Red Dot Gallery, (I still don't know who purchased that piece, but if they should stumble upon my blog I am sending out a huge thank you for your interest in my work!!) my first group show, and, needless to say, my first Dean's Purchase Award! 
(This also gave me the encouragement & positive feedback I needed to keep going with the clay. I have to say, it hard sometimes to be a middle aged art student! I have often wondered what the heck I am doing... while other's my age are working for retirement, during the semester I am essentially working just enough to pay the rent & support my clay endeavors!) 
Anyhow, here are a few more shots from the Visual Arts Gallery at SFCC~ the show will be up through summer, so if you get a chance, stop on by.

I'm also pleased to announce that the piece below (my first of the Semester) has also been selected to be in the Summer show at the Red Dot Gallery on Canyon Road. The show will open at the beginning of July & run through August... 

"Waiting on the World to Change"

so if you're in town & find yourself wandering up Canyon Road, stop on by as well!

*On a side note, it is likely that I won't be blogging much this summer as I try to work as much as possible to save up for the Fall Semester, as well as spend time with family... so I wish you all a VERY HAPPY SUMMER SEASON!!


Annie said...

Becky, You know I am thrilled for you! All well deserved, your bears are wonderful and I love the new firing method! A lot like what I do with rust and tea sans the heat.
Have a wonderful trip!

Barb said...

I'm sorry, but I have to shout - YEA, BECKY! What great news in this post. I was wondering how things are going. I can only imagine how pleased you were by that judging and also with the prize. I like that new technique on the small bears but really like your second working of the larger piece. Have a great summer, Becky. Play when you don't have to work.

John Brisson said...

Way to go Becky!!!

Tammie Lee said...


your bears are SO wonderful! I can see why you won. I am so happy for you!

wishing you an awesome summer.

Kate said...

What wonderful honors! I'll be in Santa Fe from July 5-31 so I can see both pieces and intend to do it as soon as I arrive. Then we need to get together toward the end of July with Randy, Todd and another blogger from Albuquerque. I am absolutely thrilled about your last semester work and honors. I need to buy one of your micaceous pots! Do you have a casserole type?

clairz said...

We've been on the road where we didn't always have the internet, so I am late in commenting. Congratulations on all the recognition! You deserve it! As always, you give me a bit of insight as to the great quantities of work that go into wonderful art. Oh, how I love your bears. My goal is to see them in person at some point. Next time we go north we will be sure to stop and see the SFCC art collection. So pleased for you, Becky.