Monday, October 6, 2008

RAINBOW BRONZE






I finally cleaned my studio so I could get back to work full force.  I hate to admit it, but it was such a mess that I was having trouble keeping my focus!  It was so bad that I had a space that was about 18" square to work at on a 6' table!  Anyway, it's clean now and I can get back to work getting ready for the two shows that I have before the end of the year.  I have been working on bronze lately.  I tend to work in bronze for a week or two and then go back to silver.  The bronze can contaminate the silver, so it's wise to clean up your tools really well before making the switch.  So I tend to work on one at a time so I don't spend as much time cleaning up (which is obviously not my favorite thing!).  
I made these pieces yesterday and today and this is how they came out of the kiln.  I never stop being amazed at the range of colors that are possible with the bronze clay.  Too bad the colors are unpredictable.  These pieces haven't been tumbled or even cleaned yet, thus the little bits of carbon that are stuck in the crevices of some of the pieces!  When the pieces are cleaned up and brushed with a steel brush or tumbled a bit, some of the intensity of the colors will be muted, but they will still be beautiful.  
Lately, I've been carving my own molds, with some instruction from my Dad, who is a great wood carver.  I've been really interested in petroglyphs, cave paintings and other ancient forms for a long time.  Right now, my mind seems stuck in that area and the mold-carving has a kind of naive quality that seems to work really well for that kind of imagery.
BronzClay is messy, unpredictable, challenging to work with, takes a long time to fire and I love love love it!

3 comments:

Karen Elmquist said...

Hi Cris...these are soooo beautiful! I wish I could play with them in person, as I'm sure the pictures don't do them justice.

Cris Leonard said...

Thanks Karen! I wish you could come and play too. I miss you friend!

Gail said...

Your carvings look fantastic. Go Girl