JOY GAUSS - BLUE HOUSE STUDIO - CLAY ART - NEW ORLEANS



I GET AN IDEA AND IT BECOMES A SERIES OF PIECES AS I TRY TO WORK OUT MY THOUGHTS USING EARTHS CLAY MY HANDS AND HEART.  Each theme becomes a series that evolves or evaporates of its own momentum.  All are hand built originals and can not be duplicated.  I use an ancient Japanese firing process called Raku for the Bone Gang series - it adds additional interest with its contrast between color and rich matte black areas.  For Bright colors an oxidation firing.  Laissez le bon temps roulle with story pottery!


CREATING

Clay is wedged and divided then wheel thrown, altered or hand built to create my clay shapes.  Forms begin to tell their stories as they are sculpted, carved and imprinted  
Completed pieces are slowly dried then bisque fired in an electric kiln
removing all moisture, and melting the clay plates together.  

Pictures, patterns and areas will be detailed with underglazes then hand painted with  low fire glazes that will melt into colorful glass coatings during a second firing, either the  RAKU process or  an oxidation firing.

RAKU - I  fire in my garden using a ceramic fiber kiln  that I built.  This is a two phase process.  First, using propane gas fuel I build temperature while watching  through the windows until I see glazes blister, melt and finally shine.  Timing and temperature are crucial to achieve different glaze effects.


  Phase two,
I lift the bonnet and using tongs I remove each red hot piece to a bed of combustibles.  Smoke carbonizes raw clay and unglazed areas  adding a rich matte black.   Tiny black crackle patterns or thermal glaze fractures appear giving an aged look.

Each piece is cooled rinsed and polished.

This is my passion, creating a story on clay, painting it with  colorful glazes=glass and using fire and smoke to create original one of a kind clay art.




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