March 4, 2016

The Cat Came Back

A large sculptural  rattle in the shape of a cat that I made from an experimental clay started disintegrating after firing.  I tried to save it at first, but then decided that he probably was not salvageable.  But I could not quite bring myself to break him up, bag him up and toss him away.  As a sculpture with eyes, ears and an open mouth that seemed to be begging for mercy, something moved me to allow a friend to take him off my hands.  Apparently he is still slowly disintegrating on her bookshelf.
I did like the primitive look of the rattle so I made it again, one third the original size and with a clay that I had previously used successfully.  I put the same white terra sigillata glaze on the sculpture, burnished it and added some oxide stains.  Letting the smoke of the pit fire have its own will, the sculpture was finished with grey and black swirls, imparting an antiquing effect. Restitution for the foolishness of using an untested clay in a previous incarnation of this form.

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