Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cosmic Relics Series...

 When I was a little boy, I would stare up into the night sky and imagine swirling nebulas and exploding stars.  This interested in the interstellar was encouraged by growing up near the heart of the Space Program.  I remember standing outside lining up along the chain-link fence with my classmates.  We held our hands up to shield our eyes against the sun.  Our calves and the arms reddened as we watched the shuttles take off, a streak of light and a pillar of smoke.

 Later on, my attention drifted earthward and found purchase in mythology and ancient civilizations. I was fascinated with the unearthed crusty artifacts... particularly the jewelry and talismans.  I developed this series to marry those childhood curiosities.

 The rustic components are formed by hand in porcelain, fired, and then hand-glazed with a matte velour glaze.  After everything is fired again, the pieces are tumbled to bring out the details and enhance the silky-satin feel.  The pieces are then stained with permanent inks, detailed with opalescent paints and pigments, and touched up with colored wax and Gilder's Paste.  I tried to achieve iridescent effects found on Ancient Roman glass and raku-fired ceramics.  I wanted to capture the shimmer of butterfly wings and the flash of fish scales.  I built up layers of color.  I sealed them with spray fixatives and heat, but like all ephemeral patinas, depending on the wear and usage of the components, the finish might come off.  I did a couple of scrub tests and things seemed to hold up pretty well, but I wouldn't feel right if I didn't include that disclaimer.

 All the pieces in this series are handmade and even though all of them were made during the same work session, they are all slightly different unique.  They are done in a "rustic" fashion, meaning that there are glaze drips, ink smears, worn spots (from tumbling) and slightly uneven and irregular shapes.  I've purposely tried to give them an organic vibe.  I'd like to think that these little "imperfections" give the pieces lots of character and charm!

If you're interested in seeing all the beads in the Cosmic Relics Series, CLICK HERE.  I've listed 25 lots including all the pieces from this post.  I'm really pleased with the way they turned out.  Originally, I wasn't going to add the additional layers of color, but I'm glad I did!  It gives the pieces much more depth and mystery!

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