January 22, 2016

Horsing Around

An exciting exhibition devoted to artistic interpretations of the equine form will open at Gallery West in Columbia, South Carolina on March 26, 2016.  I was graciously offered an opportunity to take part.  I’ll have a number of works on paper at the show and thought that I would create some small sculptures out of local clay as well. Although the exhibition does not open for another two months, my ceramic pit fired sculptures require so many steps that getting started early is a must.  Generally, I model a very roughed out form at first.  I then let these ceramic statuettes dry until leather hard ( too hard to bend but still soft enough to carve).  These are carved to better define a form and to add details.  For these forms I studied the horse sculptures from the Chinese Tang and Han dynasties as well as the horses of Persian miniatures.  Both of these tend to emphasize the most aesthetic parts of a horse; the long slender neck, the well muscled body, and the long legs.  Making the legs long and thin, the head small, and the tail stylized was a challenge in clay.  So many thin projecting parts just beg to separate or break off.  For this reason I’ll probably do a collection of eight to ten statuettes and two larger sculptures just to ensure having a set of at least five statuettes and one larger sculpture.
The images I’ve posted here are the semi-carved roughed out forms.  I will be adding to these during the upcoming weeks.  Sanding and polishing will follow, a bisque firing, then a final pit-firing.  God willing, they will be ready by March. 

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