Sunday, November 22, 2015

Lush Life

A new piece off to the Patricia Rovzar Gallery for the group December Show. "Lush Life", ceramic and copper, 12x8x3".

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Making & Attaching Copper Antlers

I am loving antlers on many of my ceramic figures lately. There is a suggestion of wildness that I like about them. So I thought I'd show my way of attaching them to my ceramic figures, since it is a pretty simple process.

First I cut 10 gauge copper wire and lay it over an antler sketch I made.

Then I braze the wire segments together and use a belt sander to grind the ends to points.

Then I slide a small copper tube (or 10 gauge wire) through the holes that I made in the ceramic figure. The holes were made when the clay was wet, then the piece was fired.

Then I anneal a small copper strip and drill holes in the ends so that the small copper tube will slide through. Before brazing the tube to the strip I round the corners off with my sanding belt and fit it to the ceramic head.

When I braze the rod ends to the small copper strip, I take my time and heat the strip up slowly. I also hold the oxyacetylene torch flame a good 5-6 inches away and focus it only on the copper strip. The fired ceramic can take a lot of heat, but hitting it with a direct flame can make it crack and or chip, so one has to be careful. Many times if the copper area I'm brazing seems too small, I'll hold up a 'protective' scrap of copper sheet to keep the flame from hitting the ceramic directly. So I braze both sides of the copper rod and then while the small copper strip is still hot, I carefully braze the antlers on top. Then I let it cool and use my belt sander to grind down the extra copper tube hanging out.

I may or may not clean off the fire scale, depending on how I like it, and then seal it with a boot waterproofing wax/oil.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Kevin Snipes - Big Inspiration

In my mind Kevin Snipes is the king of the mishima ceramic technique! The rich layering of color and his delicious line quality. More of his work can be viewed here. He is a huge inspiration.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Ceramic Direction

I've been experimenting to make the technique of 'mishima' work for me in my ceramics. Basically where one scratches the surface of a fully dried greenware piece and then paints the engraved areas in with an underglaze. Excess underglaze is then scraped off with a metal ceramic scraper, leaving only the line work. I've been loving it! Seems a lot of my doodles can be transferred to the clay this way. Here's pictures of some of my pieces so far.

This one has been fired and the contrast of the writing gets enhanced.

These 3 above have yet to be fired, still in the greenware stage. Metal pieces will get added after the firing. The third piece down just has some metal pieces set on top - I was exploring ideas of what to do with it. I'm excited to see what they look like after the firing!