All posts by Joan Sowinski

Big Freeze OUT!

IMG_3448Hey there Clay fans! this winter is so cold, how cold is it? So cold that the mud, slipped off the wheel froze solid when it hit the floor!  Thats a tough crowd!

So… just a note to let all the clay fans know Im still alive and not kicking, its freezing out there.

I hope the New Year brings health, wealth and lots luck to everyone that ‘came as they were and left changed.

A Tree Outside

Ceramic artWhen I look out the windows of my old house, I see my trees, just standing there, well, actually they has gotten big over the 30 years I lived in this house. I surrounded my house with trees long ago for shade, how they endured! My little girls long gone from under and in them, I find,  a comfort in their forms, textures, shapes and shades and how the sunlight changes them hourly.  Then something fantastic happens inspiration rides my waves of working on a tree and I arise from the dead, once again.

RAKU under the STARS

I am so happy to bring to my clients..RAKU! What is RAKU?…..

Raku is a special effects glazing fire, that includes a reduction post firing process… oh, there’s more, lots more and the technical side is interesting… I would like to talk about the creative application for you my artists. IMG_5675As on this star, the velvety blacks and the silky whites truly a design delight. The silky white develops cracks that fill with carbon and become a visual feast! This star was cast from Porcelain slip and Rhodes White (dry glaze, mixed for each project) was applied where the white is, the black swirls were left naked and carbon from the RAKU gave the star its velvety black.

IMG_5623When the special Fiber Kiln reaches  temperature, easy up the walls and with tongs I reach in for the urn. Its hot and I need to carry it over to the canister. Usually I have one canister for every piece in the kiln.

I love this part, as I move away from the heat,  I see the glowing heart of my works.IMG_5660IMG_5667







Inside the canister I have flammable newspaper balls, thats where the beautiful blacks come from, carbon. After the paper starts burning, the top is placed on the can, Reduction of oxygen, volcanic changes with in the mineral based glazes,oxides, metallics, Gold, silver, copper… Pure magic folks!

Come as you are,

leave different than you were.