March 31, 2016

A Little More Horsing Around

For my last set of small horse statuettes, I used local raw clay from the Edisto River bed.  
To add some liveliness to the sculptures, I made a small grouping of them in various positions.  I kept them featureless and stream-lined, like  ancient Cycladic unearthed artifacts.  The coloring is very simple - just the raw clay and the smoke design from the fire.
statuettes I made from this material are quite small.  Each of them are only a few inches high.

Despite their size, this small set of horses did take a lot of time and effort to complete.  I roughed out each form, and let them dry overnight until they were leather hard.  I then carefully carved out the shapes, taking my time lest I break off a leg from all the tooling.  The carved forms were then sanded to refine them even mor

e after they had dried a second night and were bone dry.  In order to burnish the clay surface, I wet them down again and rubbed the surface with stones, small metal tools and plastic wrap.

In years past, I used to fire the raw clay in a pit fire but found that this method did not get the clay at a high enough temperature to vitrify well.  So like the rest of my recent pit fired works, these were bisque fired first for stability, then smoke fired for the nature made charcoal designs on the surface.
These and others like them will be on view tomorrow evening at Gallery West in Columbia.
I am hoping that someone will buy the set and keep this small herd together.

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