I have an assignment. I participate with a group of local artists that pick a word and then create. This time the word is crow. Crow huh, hmmm...what do you think of when I say crow? Typically one might think of a squawking black bird. That's exactly what I thought. Let me push that image aside and think deeper... Now I'm thinking of a group of black birds. At this point one might question whether or not one has much of an imagination ; )
O.k. what does a crow mean to me? A crow means an annoying bird that on more than one occasion has had me running out my backdoor to my gardens screaming like a mad woman. Why? Because the family of crows in my neighborhood like to sit in the trees above my garden and harass the other birds. Now I've never been one to tolerate bullies, so I will go to any cost of personal humiliation to protect my sweet adorable garden songbirds.
I've been known to grab a pot and pan, dash outside banging them together, creating a noise so loud it echoes off the mountains, to being that "woman"; you know, the barefoot pajama'd (is that even a word, pajama'd?) lady screaming "leave my birds alone". WHAT?! You don't know her? Please allow me to introduce you to her, "Hi, it's me Judy" ; )
So, back to crow...the meaning of a crow for me is an annoying bird.
How do I create something that depicts a crow yet defines my feelings towards them too? I need something to frighten a crow...let's see...FRIGHTEN a crow? What possibly could do that if a crazy pajama'd Judy can't? It has to be really scary. I mean truly scary... hmmm... crow... hmmm... scary... HEYYY, I have an idea ; ). I will make a scarecrow to put in my garden.
O.k., o.k. it's not too far a stretch, but I thought it would be fun to make one. I made him from clay. I sculpted my scarecrow, I bisque fired him in my kiln & now I am glazing him. See him there amongst his Garden Spirit friends.
What glazes to choose? Do I want him dark? Earthy? Comical, no of course not. I want him scary of course.
To create the feel I want I'm going to underglaze the face part with a reddish brown and black, then wipe it off. This way the glaze will collect in all the crevices and create some drama and dimension.
I want Mr. Scarecrow to have different surface finishes. By only underglazing his "flesh" part it will be a matt finish. The rest I'm using conventional glazes in a variety of earthy colors. It always amazes me that the color of the glaze in most cases looks nothing like the finished fired product.
Tomorrow we fire the kiln here at Lot 5 and Friday will be the big reveal...then we'll see if he scares those darn crows! If not I may have to get myself a pair of pretty p.j.'s so I don't scare the neighbors ; )