Lighting situation not so good in the wee hours of 4:00 a.m. We got up
early to go down to the beach and watch the lunar eclipse. No fog and no breeze (yippee!) Just the copper moon, roaring ocean, bright stars above and love by my side. What more could one desire?
Starting off 2018 by making owls. This winter season, we had Great Horned Owls nesting in the old ravens' nest. Early, before sunrise, we could hear their hooting. Love calls. Not sure if they were successful as the nest is about 80' up and even with binoculars hard to see.
Trying out different commercial clay bodies. I am actually liking a red sculpture mix Toki from Leslie's Ceramics. Builds up quickly, holds its shape and has a soft smoothing, harmonious quality.
not finished yet
The owls are Hagi Porcelain and B-mix with grog. The B-mix with grog is not the best for carving. It is more a pottery clay. Better to press in texture when leather-hard. The Hagi is nicer for carving, but I want to build a 24" tall owl next and don't think it will hold up. Trying to get a nice mix, a balance.
The stumps are bases for garden totems, but somehow B-Mix owl landed on it. I am making more totems this year just for my garden (for the deer to admire ;) and one for a charity event in spring. I am enjoying making the forms, mainly ovals, spheres and cylinders. They are blank canvases at the moment. The more I make, the more I want to stack and re-stack. Then I want to carve and texture and stamp. Now I want to make more complex forms.
We love to hike over to the beach and stack rocks. Concentration needed. Careful consideration. Patience. Keep an eye on the ocean. A give and take. It is all the matter of balance.
balancing rocks on MacKerricher beach
You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
I am working with Frost Porcelain that fires white at cone 5. It continues to entice me with its translucence charm and white porcelain smile. It is a shameless, taunting clay. Prone to s-cracks, it likes to try out any other letters in the alphabet to keep things frustrating and unique. It needs s l o w and careful drying. Timing is everything. Even firing needs careful attention. In a sense, it is an adventure for me. Filled with danger and daring. To use such a clay with so many negatives and yet...when it comes out the kiln, shiny bright with no s-cracks...it charms all over again...and makes me ready for another adventure...
looking out the studio window
Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that,
Beauty surrounds me. Seeds that sat in the dry and parched earth had their long drink and now cover the trails with a profusion of pinks, blues, reds, purples, yellow and white flowers. From tiny to large, from native to escapees, invasive or not, the coastal hills are verdant green with willful grasses and tenacious flowers. It is hard to do any clay work. My eyes just want to take it all in and keep it in my heart, this truth before me.
The first three photos are wall hangings---wheel-thrown bases and then free-handed painting using terra sigillata and clay ink. Inspired by the enchanting forget-me-nots that are everywhere here, I decided to do these quickly and simply. Forget-me-nots are not native, but rascally run-aways and considered only mildly invasive. Their hairy seeds catch rides on anything that brushes against them and travel to new locations. Once they settle in it takes two years before they bloom. They like dapple sunlight found in the redwood forest here, mixed in with the ferns and wild geraniums they make the trails look as if tended by a master gardener.