sprucestsculpture sprucesculptures2

I started the new year with a great walk up the hill in the fog to the ridge road above Berkeley, and passed these sculptures as I often do, but this morning they seemed to call to me to take their pictures. Most of them are bigger than life although the gargoyle-like lady on the top is about 4 feet high. I don’t know anything about the artist, except that he or she (I’m guessing it is a she) has been working in clay for a long time. The exuberance of these pieces always gives me a smile and more energy to keep puffing up the hill.

swirlymajolicabowl1 underglazedmajolica

I tried to get a jump on 2009 by making New Year’s resolutions early. I resolved to stay on one idea or theme for awhile. To get used to thinking in this way, I posted the resolutions both in my car and also my kitchen (either because I have a poor memory or a resistance to authority even if it is my own!) So, to practice thematic working, I did 2 bowls with a similar design over majolica. The one on top has been fired (cone 5) and the bottom one has been painted but not yet fired. Now that I look at the photo, I see I need to adjust the colors in the center.

There are so many possibilities with clay and glazes that I am struggling with the idea of staying with one theme for awhile (and how long is a while, anyway?). I am going to continue to use majolica glaze, but the “majolica glaze ” category could be so huge – majolica on bowls, heads, lamp bases, boxes, etc. Should I limit myself to doing 2 categories and using only majolica glazes?

And then there are the low fire majolicas to explore. David Gamble has a great demonstration of painting with majolica glazes. You can see what he does at CeramicArtsDaily.org.

I have started some test tiles using his techniques, but I need to improve my rate of big tiles lost to cracking during firing before investing hours into a painting. I hope that slower cooling after firing will help, but I am also going to construct my tiles with a frame around them to raise them up from the kiln shelf.

Clearly, even if I choose to do only heads and tiles with majolica glazes, there will be so many directions to go that I am going to have to really refine my intended limitations. But maybe I don’t have to do it today. After all, it’s only the first day of the new year.


2 responses to “

  1. How long is a while anyway? Maybe short? I’ve been struck by your versatility — though for a while you did many many birds you did them in many different formats. Maybe you will do heads the same way-with many formats. You suggested heads with textures today during our visit. I’m all for it. I say if it’s boring move on. But then I’m not a good model for perfecting things. When will your dog whistle be up for sale???? mary b

  2. These are beautiful. There’s an interesting optical illusion with the bottom bowl–it looks like the center is coming forward as if there was another bowl upside down in the middle. When I clicked on the image and saw it larger I could see it’s just the design. I love that statue at the top of the page. How cool!

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