Working with the guidance of artist, Deborah Bridges, who creates phenomenal figurative sculptures in clay, I have taken up the endeavor to bring the images from my paintings into 3-d.
After many experiments with different clay bodies and mineral test tiles, I am creating these images through the process of pit firing. I dug a small pit into one of our raised beds for easy access. Then I built an enclosed space around this pit with fire bricks, stacking them to keep heat inside but a bit of air to breathe. I collected various materials from our surrounding forests for fuel. I waited for cold rainy days to set-in and prepared the pit along with the bisque clay figurines. I added different layers of combustibles under, around, and over each sculpture to encourage variations in the burn process. The fire was kindled. It burned all day, smoking nicely after I placed a metal cover over the top. It smoked throughout the night into the wee morning hours when only heat from the lower part of the pit still felt warm. Then carefully each figure was removed. Aww, the thrill of it all! Such magic!