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Topic: Three seashells for one final summer moment (pic heavy)  (Read 6208 times)
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« on: September 08, 2011 07:19:58 PM »

Apologies now for the not so great pictures: I am stuck with my cell phone only at the moment!

I've been taking a raku pottery class for a few years now and I find that my art is always inspired by what's around me.  These three shells are pinch pots that were made after a trip to the Jersey Shore and hours of scouring the beach with my kids.
For those who are not familiar with raku pottery, it's main difference from regular stoneware/ceramics is that a raku piece is pulled out of the hot kiln (causing the glaze to crackle) and placed in a bed of newspapers, sawdust ... flammable items ... and that fire is squelched so that the smoke permeates the clay creating the darken finish.

These specific shells were given a slightly different treatment by not glazing, but by applying terra sig in the greenware stage and various treatments during or just after the final firing.  And my brain is failing me for names so excuse any typoes or hiccups!)

Horse and human hair created the squiggles with a very small amount of sawdust for inside smoking.

This shell was spattered with ferric chloride for the orange spots and the black lines were drawn in with a feather.

Our class tried a new technique where different organic materials are placed around the pottery and then it is fired in a closed container.  The organics burn off in the kiln and the resulting colors that comes from them are beautiful. Honestly, it's hard to see the various levels of greys into yellows and whites.

And yes, it's always amazing to my 7yo that he can hear the ocean in a shell.

Enjoy those last moments of summer (or the start of them, depending on where you are!)
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2011 08:09:24 PM »

I totally thought these were real shells!! Beautiful! They are also much bigger than I thought in the first few pictures!
I am a little jealous I have to admit because I took four years of pottery in HS and never once got to try out Raku. It makes me sad and I miss it terribly.  Cry
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011 08:10:22 PM by angelofthelastday » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2011 06:02:39 AM »

These are so amazing.  I didn't realize how big they were either until the pic with your son.  Love, Love, Love!!

« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2011 10:34:10 AM »

I didn't think they were that big until everyone started commenting.... sorry for not putting in a size reference!
I've got a few more of these that are still wet that have to be finished.  They are kind of addicting to make Smiley

Thank you all for the kind words, this is one of my first projects posted here (aside from swap stuff!)  Maybe I'll have to start coming out of my shell.. hahaha.  ok, enough of cracking myself up...

Thanks again!
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2011 03:12:54 AM »

I think they're very cool! I love the patterns on them. (Also - was I the only one that thought it was going to be a Demolition Man reference?)
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2011 05:32:30 PM »

These are lovely!  Raku is so much fun, the unpredictabililty of it is the best part, and the results are usually amazing.  I made a GIANT (16-18 in?) shell once as a project, though it cracked a bit. Ooh, you make me want to get back to pottery.  Just beautiful!

I'm a medium aged procrastinator, with a room full of craft supplies! 

I've got a wist and a pinterest: http://www.wists.com/cute_anarchy 
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2011 07:10:10 PM »

(little voice yelling from inside) you know you want to....yes, pottery....do it....do it.....

I hope you do get back into it and post pics on here Smiley
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