Tuesday, October 20, 2009
As those of you know who follow my work, I like unusual projects and subject matter. I have in the past introduced you to some of my digital alterations that collage my photographs with vintage work by artists and scientist like Ernst Haeckle, DaVinci, Galileo, etc.
This image of a Gorgon's Head is a collage of several elements. Not knowing when to leave well enough alone...I thought I would try to bring it to three dimension in clay. And to take it even further to try to raku the piece. I love a challenge...the more remote success, the better I like the project!
After weeks of drying, then firing to bisque, it took me several more weeks to get up the nerve to glaze and do the raku firing. Those who raku know every piece stands a better chance NOT to do what you want it to do. It will crack, or the glaze not reach temperature and bubble, or if it stands the quick firing and extraction from the more than 1800 degree kiln into the 70 degree air, your tongs may chip it, or crack it...or worse still you drop it.
When in reduction...timing is critical to expose to the air again to get the colors you want...then you only have moments to freeze those colors by dousing with water. Another chance for the piece to crack.
I love raku! I love the process, the danger, the final piece... either small like my raku pendants, or large like this Gorgon's Head. This is to date my largest raku piece. Definitely my most detailed and ornate raku piece.
Though not exactly as colorful as I would have liked...she is definitely a keeper!
Now that she exists in the real world...I must make a home for her. Not until I looked into her eyes did I see this. I wonder where this adventure will lead me? I lay awake at nights trying to sort out how to protect her with out diminishing her over all presence. I think I have it figured out...so check back in a few weeks to see how this will end.
You know that if you look into a Gorgon's eyes...you will turn to stone...oh, the places this leads my imagination!!!
Only her eyes are not clay. I left a hole in the back of the piece ititally for hanging...but my imaginaion runs wild with possibilities to have those fire red eyes gaze back at you. I am a novice at electrical wiring...but this posses another challenge that I may take up. She measures 13 x 10x 3 1/2 inches.
Can you imagine opening the lid of an ancient box, covered in bones turned to stone...with warnings not to disturb...curiosity getting the best of you...and when you ease open the lid...in the darkness the Gorgon's red eyes lazer back at you?
Now only if skill can match imagination...I will have a true Curiosity for you to look at! Wish me luck!!!
Posted by Dorcas Midkiff at 7:18 PM