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

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Bears, Kiln Magic & The Best News Ever!!!

Though I meant to get these posted in December- time seriously got away from me! It was crazy busy at the end of the semester... getting things fired, photographing work, critiques, moving out of the studio & then driving home to spend time w/ family for the holidays & then right back to work & starting up new classes... whew! A whirlwind of activity, but finally here they are- the 8 salt fired bears from last semester's continuing Polar Series.
(posted from lighter to darker rather than in numerical order of how I built them)

#1 below is one of my faves.

 Polar Bear # 1
H: 14"  W: 11"  D: 21.5"
Ann's Soda Cone 10 Clay Body- Salt Fired to Cone 11

Alternate View

 Polar Bear # 2
H: 15"  W: 17.5" D: 16"
Ann's Soda Cone 10 Clay Body- Salt Fired to Cone 11

Alternate View- my fave angle :)

Polar Bear # 3
H: 15"  W: 13"  D 18 "
Ann's Soda Cone 10 Clay Body- Salt Fired to Cone 11

Alternate View 1

Alternate View 2

Polar Bear # 5
H: 16.5"  W:16" D 15"
Laguna Sculpture Cone 10 Clay Body- Salt Fired to Cone 9 Oxidation

Alternate View 1

Alternate View 2
Alternate View 3

# 6 below quickly outranked #1 as my all time fave when it came out of the kiln. This glaze + this clay body + salt firing, in my humble opinion, produces the most amazing results! Click twice on any image to enlarge to see the effects of this Kiln Magic in greater detail.
Polar Bear # 6
H: 14.5"  W: 16"  D: 21.5"
Death Valley Red Cone 10 Clay Body- Salt Fired to Cone 11



Polar Bear # 4
H: 16.5"  W: 16"  D: 19"
Laguna Dark Brown Cone 10 Clay Body- Salt Fired to Cone 11

Alternate View

Polar Bear # 7
H: 15"  W: 13.5"  D: 23.5"
Laguna Dark Brown Cone 10 Clay Body- Salt Fired Cone 10

Alternate View
Polar Bear # 8
H: 15.5"  W:13" D: 26"
Death Valley Red Cone 10 Clay Body- Salt fired to Cone 11

glaze detail 1

glaze detail 2
The glaze detail on # 6 above only goes to show you... if you love a glaze enough, it truly will love you back!! 
Below is my studio at the end of the semester... all cleaned up & turned into an impromptu photo studio using natural light, as my apartment is far too dark to photograph in.

And below, the bears out of the studio & in the classroom during critiques.

"The Last Great Migration" (Prototype)

My reflections on this past semester are mostly positive. While I am not crazy about every single piece, I am crazy about at least half of them, which is good!
 (I used the same glaze & firing methods on each piece above, changing only the clay bodies to move in gradation from variations of white/gray to black to symbolize the Polar Bear as a messenger for the environmental challenges we face.)
 I love this glaze, I love hand building these forms & I love salt/soda firing!!! Though I did get a little clay obsessed between the bears & the micaceous pottery... quite frankly, I would have done much, much more if I didn't have to do things like sleep & work! I think the obsession comes in part from not having my own studio... I feel like when I am taking classes, I need to squeeze in as much studio time as I possibly can, in order to maximize my learning & growth in the wild world of ceramics!
On that note, I am super excited about sharing
THE Best News Ever!!!
One of my pieces has been accepted into
The 6th Annual Juried Exhibition
"Beyond the Brickyard"
at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana!
I am totally honored to have my work included in such an amazing exhibit, at such an amazing place, with such an amazing group of ceramic artists.
The show opens next weekend, so if you're in the area... go!
If you cannot make it, the exhibit will also be online Feb 3rd, so be sure to check it out!


DirtKicker Pottery said...

Congrats Becky! I'm so excited for you :)
Your Bears are just beautiful.
The heart in the glaze is amazing. What a lovely surprise.

clairz said...

What wonderful news! I can't wait to hear what happens next to you and your beautiful bears. Congratulations, Becky!

Barb said...

This is great news, Becky!! Yippee for you and the bears. I do love the glaze on #6. My own little Mica Bear is settling in nicely. Unfortunately, my 16 month old grandson loves it so much, I had to move it while he's with us to a safer environment! It's now watching me type from the kitchen counter.

John Brisson said...

All of the bears are super and great news on the show.

Tammie Lee said...

that is wonderful news!!!
I am so happy for you, but then again it makes common sense. I feel you could become 'known' for your bears and make an excellent income from them! It could turn into your lifetime offering. are you selling them yet? They are gorgeous!
I want to know when you do ;-)

Annie said...

Hi Becky, I miss you! Congrats!!!!!
So excited for you to be in the show!
I love all the bears, but 6 and 8 are my favorites.

Lisa researching kiln firing said...

I adore the Laguna dark brown clay polar bear. Simply beautiful.

marianne said...

love them all, agree wholeheartedly about number 6! and big congrats on getting into the show- that's a big deal. looking forward to more adventures in clay-