I didn’t want to call this piece birdbrain but everyone who saw it immediately called it that (and they were always pretty pleased with themselves for the pun) and eventually – well, just recently – I bowed to peer pressure. What really happened was that after I made the head, I was a little dissatisfied with its blandness so I put a bird in the head to give it more character and something to think about- and it was also a little tease of myself for making so many ceramic birds. I was thinking birds on the brain, not a brain the size of a bird’s.
It is made of Ivory paper clay which fires at cone 5 to a rich tan if glazed with our studio clear, but since that clear has some crackling, I used another clear in the HF series that doesn’t crackle but unfortunately turns the paper clay a rather unpleasant yellow. I tried several refirings to correct that yellow cast, finally putting on dry white matte, which gives it that ghostly effect which is so great at keeping the birds out of the lettuce and giving people a scare when they walk up the walkway past the garden, especially on a full moon night.
My friend Mary, who introduced me to the studio where I now work and who is a wonderful gardener among her many other accomplishments, posted a comment the other day about how her ceramic lizard was holding down the leaves around her cauliflower heads to keep them white. I had to go and see it today. Here is another picture of a head in the garden and then what it looks like with the ceramic lizard helping out.