Thursday, January 19, 2012

Something Old, Something New...

When we were kids, we used to go out to Sebastian Inlet so that my mom could go fishing with her friends.  I was too little to go out on the jetty; if I fell in, either I'd die by drowning or being dashed against the rocks by the rough Atlantic.  They set out five-gallon buckets in a row with nylon cord strung up between and I wasn't allowed to cross that point.  Instead, I spent time combing the beaches for shells and rocks with holes in them.  I loved them before I knew what they were.  Some people call them hag stones or witch stones; wearing them would give protection and looking through them could reveal hidden identities or peer into the world of Faerie.  Cynthia and Sheila helped me make a necklace with the stones I collected with some of the nylon cord.  I called it my "necklace of power" and pretended that I understood the language of mermaids and fishes when I wore it.

Years later, I am revisiting this form.  I love the organic shapes and the stringing versatility of the pieces.  I've made them out of porcelain and they have a magical, musical quality to them.  I'm curious as to how this will translate into my work and how I'll finish them off.  I thought about throwing them in the tumbler for a silky, matte texture... much like those original stones.  Maybe glaze them with a clear glaze?  Or finish them off with some wax?  I am smitten with the bone-like quality of the white porcelain.  Or maybe coat them in PMC slip and fire them again?  I don't know exactly what I'm going to do with these pieces, but I feel very, very good about them.

12 comments:

gretchen said...

before reading what you wrote, i thought maybe these were something organic, from the sea or maybe even lotus root... they are seriously cool!

SueBeads said...

Cool Andrew! I didn't know you did porcelain too. Is it like working with ceramic (clay?)?

Gina Chalfant said...

I love these. Nice work Andrew. I hope that one of the things that you decide to do with them is to sell them!

Alisa said...

Were these made of Decore two-part clay? They look very cool. Alisa

Alice said...

I love reading about past memories and how they spark an idea years later. These are wonderful and remind me of the tops of lotus pods.

baba paul said...

LOVE these! Which porcelain are you using and what are you firing to? I've been researching but haven't bought clay yet. Been a long time since I worked with clay and I used to work with earthenware but I'm dying to work with porcelain!

Kathy Van Kleeck said...

Ooooohh, unglazed porcelain is a most seductive material! That's what got me into clay in the first place. I say NO GLAZE! Maybe tea or walnut ink stained with wax.

Kathy Van Kleeck said...

Silly me - forgot to say, these are fabulous!

Andrew Thornton said...

Here is the Wikipedia entry about porcelain. It'll explain it far better than I can: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porcelain

I quite like using it. It requires a high temperature kiln, which was one of the reasons that I didn't work with it for so long, but I really enjoy the smoothness of the porcelain. I've heard it described as working with "cream cheese" and they weren't wrong.

Cynthia got me this hunk of clay, which has made many, many, many things... she picked it up at Highwater Clays in Asheville! http://www.highwaterclays.com/

Heidi said...

I love them! I can't wait to see what you do - I like the PMC idea, but I'm sure whatever you wind up doing, it'll be great :)

Ornamental Style said...

Sebastian Inlet as in Florida?! I'm just up the road in Melbourne. Too cool!

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