Artifact Series

Meteorites

These intimate raku objects are only 4″. They are eggshell thin experiments in once firing and paper clay properties.

I wanted to experiment with paper clay and see how far I could push it. Paper clay, when it contains enough paper fibers, shrinks very little when it dries and can be re-wet and mended fairly easily.

For this project, I created small paper shapes and layered them with paper-clay slip and raku glazes.  Once each layer was dry I tore back some of the layers to reveal the layers underneath then once fired them using Americanized Raku techniques.

I lost several pieces because of Raku’s rather violent nature and these pieces are eggshell thin and quite fragile. These are the survivors of that experiment.

Orbital Debri

These are a continuation in my paper-clay layering experiments. Unlike the meteorites (the predecessor to this project). These pieces were fired multiple times. They are also twice the size of the meteorites; ranging in size from a 8 to 9 1/2 inches.

The layers are representative of the passage of time and how the presence of nature and man continually layer over each other in a struggle for dominance. The erosion of the pieces represent the impermanence of all things. That even in its downfall and imperfection things can be beautiful.

The yellow piece (titled ‘3′) is stabilized with epoxy (injected between the ceramic layers after firing) and some areas are brightened with acrylic paint.

The use of numbers on these pieces is meant to evoke curiosity or memory from the viewer.
Its a reminder of Man’s need to categorize, name and own things. Yet it is overtaken by erosion and eventually forgotten, leaving only curious remnants of man’s passing.

The blue piece (titled ‘001’) has very vague numbering that is simply a ghostly impression barely covered over by blue glaze.

Stray Fragments

These small objects follow the same construction process of my Meteorites; but their surface treatment is different.

One of my favorite images is of a old wall in Turkey. The layers on it have been reveled by time. You can see a fancy plaster relief, broken tile, layers of paint, and weathered and cracked stucco. Its a contrast of colors, textures and, and materials that make up one beautiful and complex object.

Layered processes used to create this effect: Slip trailing, raku, smoking, colored clay bodies, under-glazes, sanding, photocopy under-glaze transfer, wax resist and sgraffito, and more.

I have been contemplating my reasons for creating such intimate objects. Its not just the speed at which smaller items can potentially be created. Some of my little works have taken as long, or longer, to create as larger works. I feel their size and fragility convey a precarious & precious nature; an intimacy that larger works can lack. Instead of boldly announcing their presence with gigantic scale, small things sit peacefully or timidly; easily becoming a part of the environment. When they are noticed they draw you in gently for contemplation instead of forcing it upon you.

These pieces are passive witnesses and victims of time and the daily chaos that man creates in his wake.

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