Tag Archives: sculpture

Bacchus /Dionysus Greenman

A new Greenman has made it through the fires.  It’s been awhile since I’ve made one and I started this guy in September when I picked a variety of grape leaves.  They must be used fresh unlike oak leaves that last for years.

Detail of Bacchus

Detail of Bacchus

Bacchus is the Roman god of wine and Dionysus is the Greek god of wine.  I like wine too.  So I combined the Greenman  with a couple of gods and voila!!

The addition of grapes & curlicues completes the references to the fruit of the vine.  I finished this piece with a spray of various green stains that are fired on at stoneware temperatures.  Ready to hang indoors or outside.

To read more about the process of building a green man see the Women of Appalachia post.

Women of Appalachia

Scarred Woman

Scarred Woman

This work was recently juried into the fifth Women of Appalachia Art Exhibit on display in the Multicultural Center Art Gallery, Baker Center, Ohio University.  The exhibit runs through December 10  Then I believe it moves on to Chillicothe, OH.

There will be two events with spoken word and musical work performed on Nov 1 and Nov 7 details at  www.womenofappalachia.com

“Scarred Woman” above epitomizes the Appalachian woman who has been through the fire and may be marked by life but not broken.  The resilience and creativity that my friends and neighbors bring to every day life is truly inspiring. DSC_0008_4

Paw Paw Green Man Sun

Paw Paw Green Man Sun

Paw Paw Green Man is also in the show hanging beside his sister.

The process for making my green men and women are basic hand building techniques.  I start with a large lump of clay and form a shallow oval bowl shape about the size of a face.  This is pretty thick and the sides are 2-3 inches tall.  When the clay is ready, and this is crucial, it’s time to start pushing, pressing, shaving and adding clay to form a face.  The clay needs to be pretty pliable for the first roughing in but not so soft as to collapse.

I use some photos of faces and my own face to get the proportions and I usually go large as the clay shrinks in the fire.  I only need to do eyes, nose and mouth because the edges of the face are covered with leaves.

It takes a few days of a few hours each to finish the face.  The clay is kept in a plastic bag so it will dry slowly.  This allows for finer finishing at the end.

The leaves are cut from slabs of clay, using real leaves.  A large Green Man can take up to 36 leaves.

The assembly has to be done on the kiln shelf as the bone dry piece is very fragile.  After the piece is completely dry it is bisque fired, if it survives I either spray on stains for a soft finish or dip into glaze for a shiny finish.  It is then fired again to a much higher temperature.

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SNEAK PEEK AT NEW WORK

slumped glass "silica -based Life Forms; Flower"

slumped glass in a clay base
“Silica Based Life Form” Flower

Here are a few pictures of my new work.  I started experimenting with slumped glass a little over a year ago.  It all came about because Meigs county OH no longer recycles glass of any kind and the powers that be will not even entertain the thought of a bottle bill.  Being an avid recycler since the early 70’s I literally could not throw out something so easily recyclable.

After viewing an online how to video I realized I could create my own clay molds to slump the glass.  I grabbed all the bisque ware I had, broke up a bunch of bottles filled my “molds” and started firing.

Naturally nothing worked out the way I planned (if that ever happens I will be pretty sure I’m dead) but the results were very interesting and spurred me on to continue the experimentation.  I quickly learned that the edges are razor sharp, invested in a variety of gloves, and carried on.  A few people have suggested that I should soften the edges but quite frankly that is my favorite part.

detail photo of sharp edges from "In the Eye of the Storm"

detail photo of sharp edges from
“In the Eye of the Storm”

Eventually I decided to mount the slumped glass in clay bases.  I use either a white stoneware or a beautiful dark red/brown clay with black specks called Nelsonville Pottery clay by Columbus Clay Co to recreate the starbrick clay used to make bricks that are still in use today in Nelsonville’s streets and sidewalks.  The work quickly took on the look of trees, flowers and fish.  I plan to exhibit my “Silica based Life Forms” in the window of Starbrick Clay Art Studio at the September Final Friday in Nelsonville on September 27.  It will remain up for a month, if you’re in the area check it out, if you’re not it’s worth the trip

 Silica Based Life Form Trees

Silica Based Life Form
Trees

 

 

Silica Based Life Form Fish

Silica Based Life Form
Fish