Sandcastles – grains holding together for a moment

Its so close!

These pieces are made from powder loaded in plaster molds. How perfect the detail! How perfectly the kiln ran, no alarms! The kiln company, Paragon, (thank you kiln guru!) gave me advice on my kiln schedule and it was actually the source of all my grief with the controller. 

Of course theres still a distance to go – these have not fused together. Next time – higher temperature, longer hold time. The little marks poking out of the horses jaw are tool marks caused by me picking the wax out of the mold. So that technique needs to change.

Progress! Soon, amazing and super incredible glass casting! 

Its coming!

Glass Casting – so exciting!

OMG!! Look at that detail in the Bison!!

Sometimes I open the kiln and there is a little miracle. Something worked. I am utterly dancing. I can’t believe how beautiful the detail came out, how lovely the colors in the bison tile I just fired.

Yeah, OK, I know its cracked. Its really cracked. Its split and sundered and quite messed up. But thats just an annealing schedule failure – no problem! I know exactly what to do – lengthen the time the annealing takes. Excellent.

Its tantalizing me! The promise of a glowing glass piece is just dangling and Im reaching and it will happen.


Glass Casting – the good, the bad, and the great

These are the lovelies that evolved after the long process of casting from the clay originals in my previous post.

Three of these are my best pieces, and for each of them is another version of the same in a box somewhere, with damage from some part of the process.

If you look closely at the yellow figure on the upper right, you’ll see the mold split and glass poured thru during the casting. And while I have ground it off, the mold shifted so much that the forehead sits about a half inch out from where it should be. Much of the hair got broken in removing the mold. And there was a never more than one casting from that original, so sadly, that broken piece is all I have for all that work.

Glass Casting

Clay originals

I love glass casting.

I love the challenge, the promise, the glory of a satin, cats eye reflective, deep and living, translucent sculpture.

These are some clay originals. While all this information and promise is in each, only two of these became a glass reality. The other two have nothing to say for themselves now but these images. And while they were lovely, something about that destruction fuels me forward.

When I was a kid, riding in the backseat across country, with my sister beside me and my parents in the front, we stopped at a National Park Cave visitors center.

I remember standing at the top of the stairs that led into the depths. A cold damp wind flowed up from the dark and poured over me. I was DYING to go in there. Photos on the walls showed stalagmites and stalactites and it was magical and enticing. Due to travel pressures, we didn’t go in the cave. We had many hundreds of miles to travel and time was running out. There were not hours and hours to spend on an underground tour that day.

Years later, persistently haunted by that moment of standing at the top of those stairs, my husband and I visited a cave on every vacation we had. We visited them all over the United States. In a way, I was forever searching for that cave, that I had been robbed of as a child.

And so, today, when I lose a sculpture I’m so so painfully excited about, I find myself in those old shoes.

Yearning, rather than dissuaded. Excited rather than discouraged. Driven to complete this design I started, no matter how difficult or crazy. I hunger for the eden I glimpsed, dreamed of. I suppose all artists are sharks, seeking renewal, seeking new waters, unable to stop without suffocating. Its a good feeling, to be moving, to be searching with a promise of a garden at the end.

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