" Clay Slab"
In preparation for creating a ceramic relief wall mural, a clay slab is laid out after several preliminary sketches. Using two-color clay bodies helps visualize the composition and final glazing gradations.
After carving, modeling, and shaping, the composition emerges. Keeping the mural in the leather hard state was easy, for a large mass of clay acted as a hydrating reservoir. Covered with plastic ensured a damp box environment.
"Clay Head Portrait"
I modeled the portrait separately; my model, Laurel, kept falling asleep during the shaping; however, perseverance animated the clay, and the portrait emerged.
The head is composed of solid clay hollowed out, ensuing completion.
Due to differing clay body shrinkage, there was a heightened concern of cracking during drying. As a result, the clay drying proceeded very slowly, lasting over a month, and subsequently bisque fired.
A clear cone 6-8 semi-gloss glaze containing Mason stain coloring oxides achieved a brilliant outcome.
We have had excellent results with frost resistance using Standard sculpture clay bodies. The mural is hard-fired to cone 8.
"Preparation of Installation"
Our good neighbor Ron is at work removing the remnants of an older "Lady Clove Mural" in preparation for this mural installation. Unfortunately, the older mural disintegrated during the first frost years ago due to an unacceptable sculpture clay body.
It has taken over 27 years to replace.
The installation pressed on in consideration of impending frost. Unfortunately, due to haste, tiles kept falling.
The installation required 2000 lbs. of mortar.
The tiles were also challenging to stack because of insanity and beveled edges. Finally, cold weather reports arose, predicting frost within a matter of days.
"Relief Mural Completed"
The installation concluded in the nick of time, assuring the proper setting of the mortar. However, in our urgency, we granted the mural a life force of its own, letting it move as it liked. As a result, in an artistic outburst, the mural had the sun rise above the horizon with a befitting sense of majesty.
There is a stone wall enshrined with a ceramic art relief mural called "Lady Clove," which lies at the base of Platt Clove, a deep, mysterious ravine in the Catskill Mountains. She welcomes and beckons a safe return for hikers and cars traveling a narrow, two-lane road with a warm smile. The road climbs along the Clove's north wall to a region of cliffs and waterfalls with exceedingly complex and dangerous trails in an area known as Devil's Kitchen.
The stoneware relief mural is hand-carved from clays and fired at 2300 Fahrenheit with glazes containing bright metallic oxide colors.
P.O. Box 628 Catskill NY 12414
Tel: 1 845 246 0282
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