Friday, July 04, 2008

Here are a couple of "critters" I made in ceramics. I was soliciting gift ideas. One resulted in Fairy House for the cousins (actually made 2 and kept one for our tiny garden). Mom asked for "critters". My first attempt was the little gator guy shown here. He is about my hand span long (altho he is curved a bit). He lost a bit of his lower jaw in the first firing. I took him out to Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park one day for a photo shoot before I gave him away. It was close to noon and sunny and warm. Many asian couples/friends were out for walks. What particularly cracked me up is that about 4 individuals stopped when I was photographing him and asked me what kind he was. What kind of what? I was wondering... I said he was pottery but guess one guys grasp of English was less than stellar as he followed up by asking how big he was going to grow... I mean - come on! The gator was very well received by my classmates and my teacher. The glazes we use are really rather mysterious in their outcomes very often. This guy got some "traditional" glazes underneath topped with some raku specific (melt at lower temps) glazes on top. I quite liked how his coloring came out and it was pretty much what I was aiming for (green) which was somewhat unusual - phew! Mom saw his photo before getting him as a present. I imagine she likes him fine altho she didn't say too much.

Critter #2 is fish with fish in his mouth (look closely). One of his fins (left as you look at him) fell off in firing #1 but I have it to glue back on. More unfortunately he suffered some serious breakage on the way home from the photo shoot. I have some hopes of repairing him - my teacher says elmers works wonders for these things. My teacher particularly liked fish - especially my use of commercial and raku glazing. I think he was painted with yellow under glaze for part of him and topped with "oil spot" - a glaze I thought I really liked - until I got back a box I made for Aidan (another request) and realized that it can be a bit ghastly. Here it is OK.

I made a niftly little turtle I was rather fond of. Unfortunately my teacher managed to drop it when loading it in the kiln for final firing. He ended up in 5 pieces and the tail is AWOL altogether and he is missing a bit of his front lip that made him look a bit fierce - but the shell totally was in the fire or something and achieved almost total copper luster and is quite cool so I will try my hand at using elmer's glue on him as well. It is actually rather remarkable that teacher Dennis doesn't drop more stuff. I'll include a pic of him too. He uses really long tongs and big fat stiff gloves. Here is a pic of Dennis taking out one of my pieces - a little ring holder thing.

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