This is a very special ceramics collection for me, now that I have started with more complex and unique pieces, moving away from my very much loved vases, dolls and mugs that you so happily adopted.
Everything begins with and idea. And my head is full of them, some are good, some are not, and then comes one that is so amazing that I must turn it into an art piece. that's when I get started sculpting with my clay, fueled by my love for the creations that will be, and aided by lots of coffee to get my creativity flowing.
And beginnings are delicate times indeed. The slightest doubt can destroy a piece when you work with wet clay, and you must trust in your skills to work. Once I get going, I could work for days at a time without a care in the world. Everything ceases to exist and only me and the clay matter, and I can stay well past midnight if no one drops by the studio to see how I am doing.
They say that art is a cruel and jealous lover, and I totally agree. I am consumed by the forces that compel me to create art and forgetting about the world around me. After these art attacks that make me create non-stop, I am left exhausted but with a beautiful collection of sculpted pieces. And that's when I must be the most careful.
Once the pieces are sculpted, they start to dry and become very fragile, and one must be extra careful when working with the finishing touches or risk destroying days, and sometimes weeks of work. And then, I need to leave them alone for a few extra days to dry evenly in their drying rack before they go trough their first trial by fire.
I carefully move them from the drying racks to the kiln, one by one they start going inside and I must look for the perfect place to place them and use the most of the space. the kiln is closed, the coils start to glow, first cherry red, then warm orange and finally a bright yellow as the temperature rises inside to more than 1200 Celsius (Around 2250 F) for eight hours to convert the humble mixture of clay earth and water into hardened ceramics.
I usually do this at night so I can awaken to a cooling kiln. I could not bare to stand waiting during the day to see how many pieces survived their fiery birth. So many things can go wrong, if my pieces are not dry enough, they can explode and ruin everything. If you chose the wrong clay chemistry, or overheat them by not choosing the right temperature, they will melt and your work will be destroyed.
Thankfully, this time everything went perfectly! the pieces came out of the first firing intact and ready to be decorated and glazed. And off I go with my creativity unleashed once again. They are much more easy to handle now, and the fun part begins.
I have to thing what to colors to use, what glaze combinations will look good on them and it's a challenging process. Did you know that most of the glazes in ceramics look absolutely nothing like their fired state? You need a good deal of imagination to see the finished piece, and visualize it with its final colors instead of the strange combinations you get when you apply the glazes before the second firing.
And into the kiln they go again. Now they have to withstand higher temperatures, for longer times than the first firing for the glazes to mature, grow color crystals, melt and produce the beautiful swirls of color and galaxies of dusty specks you see on my pieces. This time the total time from firing to cooling down takes 24 hours or more, so patience is key.
But the wait and the effort are worth it. When everything goes perfect, and the kiln gods are kind and smile on you, the results are beautiful. It is such a joy to see the finished work shine into the light.
Perfectly toned glazes, with just the right amount of dripping to emulate moss, mushrooms and ferns growing around each of the pieces.
If you are a creative soul, you share that feeling of seeing your ideas blossom into a perfect creation, just as you imagined, now being born into the world, with their unique personality imbued by your love and creative skills.
Each creation from this collection has a miniature fairy tale associated to it that I wrote specially for this show, each one has their adventures on the Danita Woodlands. Some of them rescue each other, other had their wishes of living in the forest fulfilled, and other protect the forest from harm.
I hope you like this collection, and that you get to adopt your favorite. They are very eager to find their forever homes and tell you all about their adventures in the Danita Woodlands.