Copper Flowers in Raku Vases

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My primary hobby is working with ceramics by making both wheel-thrown and hand-built sculptures.  Once I learned of raku glazing, I was instantly amazed by the process and unique effect of the technique.  Raku is a Japanese pottery method that uses glazes high in metallic oxides, such as copper oxide, to create spontaneous metallic colors.  The glazed pottery pieces are quickly heated in a kiln to roughly 1800°F and then removed and placed in fire-proof containers filled with paper, sawdust or other combustible materials.  Once the combustible materials are ignited by the hot piece of pottery, the oxides in the glazes are reduced back to their metallic state and brilliant copper, silver, blue, green and countless other colors are created.  Because this glazing technique can only be used for decorative wares (the glazes are not food-safe), I often accent the vases with copper wires of various sizes to create different compositions.  I was instantly inspired by the 1/8" Diamond Copper Mesh in the Ring of Fire Artist Challenge to create flowers out of copper to accentuate the metallic colors in the glaze. I researched the structure of lilies, daisies, roses, lilies of the valley and dogwoods and attempted to eternally recreate them using an assortment of copper meshes, screens and foils.

Ring Of Fire Contest 2010 entry
Item Used: Metal Mesh


Wednesday, June 30, 2010
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