Made from Feeneys buff raku clay, these little owls were hand-built.
Pinch pots were used for the bodies. The feathers and wings were formed separately and attached using an old toothbrush to roughen the surface. The face was patterned using pottery tools, then the eyes, beak and feet were added.
The speckled surface showing through the glaze gives the fired pottery a rough stone-like appearance.
The vase and small sculptured wizard (both pictured in the slideshow) were hand built using Feeneys white raku clay. My first exposure to Raku-firing occurred during pottery classes at the Potters workshop at East Gosford (on the Central Coast of New South Wales), where these pots were made.
The vase was created using slabs of rolled out clay, which were joined, patterned and decorated. The top of the vase was made on a pottery wheel, then shaped to fit the rectangular vase and attached to form the neck. The handles were made from extruded, shaped lengths of clay.
As my first attempt, I was very relieved when this vase survived the extreme Raku-firing.
Showing the variety of colours which Raku-firing can produce – when reduction occurs – the wizard-like figure was assembled using rolled slabs of clay. The slabs used to form the coat were rolled in ball clay to cause the crackled pattern (which are visible on the sleeve). Two pinch pots were made and joined together to assemble the head, extruded clay was used for the beard.
Using small brushes for fine detail, these watercolour paintings were intended for use in greeting cards.
The ‘View from the window’ was painted in four sections, to suit a shaped card.
The ‘White flower’ was painted using washes, leaving a section of unpainted paper to highlight the flower.
The above watercolour of a cat relaxing in the branches of a tree, was painted for use in greeting cards.
This small grey cat was painted with watercolour and acrylic paint and then detailed using watercolour pencils.
Looking as though it is staring out from the picture, this grey cat was painted using watercolour paint and watercolour pencils.
These raku-fired penguins were made during a sculpture workshop at the Central Coast Potters Society at East Gosford.
Formed from pinch pots – using white raku clay – they were shaped and featured using various pottery tools. The figures were bisque fired, then part-glazed and fired in a Raku Kiln followed by enhancement in a reduction chamber.
This emperor penguin was painted using watercolour for a series of greeting cards.
Emperor penguins spend their entire lives in Antarctica – the earth’s southernmost continent. They are the largest of the world’s penguin species and stand almost four feet tall and weigh 70 to 90 pounds. They have a grey/black back and a white belly, with orange markings behind their eyes and at the top of the chest.
These watercolour frogs are all painted on 100% cotton watercolour paper. One was inspired from a photograph I took of a green tree frog who visited our back verandah, while some are just whimsical caricatures.
These small owls – made from Keane white raku clay – were burnished, part glazed and raku-fired. Being small, they were formed from a solid ball of clay, then shaped and patterned using various pottery tools. Holes were pierced into the base of the formed owls to reduce cracking as the clay dried.
The burnished effect was created by smoothing in a circular motion, using the back of a spoon. The owls were then dried, bisque fired, part clear-glazed and raku-fired.
Immediately after removing them from the gas fired raku kiln, they were placed in a lidded bin, lined with combustible material (newspaper and sawdust). This causes post firing reduction and blackens the clay and crackles the glazed areas.
This bronze glazed owl, was made during a workshop at the Central Coast Potters Society at East Gosford. It was raku-fired during one of the potters annual open days, which usually includes a pit fire and raku firing. One of my favourite owls, it usually remains safely inside but was photographed in the garden near some ferns and a bird of paradise plant.
- Positioned near a cardamon and some ferns, this three tier pagoda has been glazed and Raku-fired.
- A small glazed and Raku-fired pagoda near our pond.
- A glazed Raku-fired freeform rock pagoda.
Carved from a block of hebel, these owls and pagodas were made during a sculpture workshop.
Hebel, a lightweight building product made from autoclaved aerated concrete, is very easy to carve using saws, chisels, surform files and gouging tools. Off white in colour, these sculptures which weather over time, can be painted or coloured with oxides.
Starting with a block of hebel, which measures about 200mm x 200mm x 600mm, it is best to mark out your design roughly with chalk. Begin carving carefully, sawing away unneeded areas first and then using smaller tools for the finer details. A lot of dust will be released when working on your project, so always wear a mask and safety glasses.