Due to major back issues, I was forced to leave my twenty-five year retail management career and have had a very difficult time finding work. So, I decided to return to school and obtain a bachelor's degree. For the fine art credit course, I had enrolled in my first ceramics class and immediately fell in love working with clay and set up my home studio soon after.
Please inquire if you would like me to create a special piece for you!
It starts with a lump of unformed clay.
Either I use a wheel thrown vessel to sculpt an attachment to or sculpt a project on its own. To begin my sculpture, I have to connect with what I am creating. A little hard to explain - I am unable to sculpt an object that I do not connect with.
After getting an idea of what I want to do, I begin the process. When it's 'right', it is almost as if it just appears in the clay. When it's wrong, it doesn't work and I end up scrapping it all together. one the sculpture is completely dry, I bisque fire it at cone 04. Then, once cooled to room temperature, I dip it in my Mason Stain slip mixture. After rinsing and wire brushing off the high points (the low points and crevices retain the stain to emphasize the texture), the sculpture is dipped in a cone 04 clear glaze. I fire the final piece at cone 02.
A variation I use is when the scupture calls for color. On these pieces, I underpaint colored underglazes on the greenware. Then, I proceed exactly as I would an unpainted sculpture (above).
Thank you for reading!
Susan Marquardt (Pottery Marq)