Tag Archives: pendants

In Celebration of Lost Days

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Productivity is amazingly important to art and to creating a new business, but there is no way to be “on” all the time.  The last couple of days in the studio we have been taking things nice and slow.  Taking care of things on the farm, taking care of family and chatting a bit.  Gabe also dedicated a day to a drawing on his desk, he calls this a doodle… He’s planning to wipe it off this week.

I’m including this here because I think it says something fundamental about art.  Working in ceramic, we art merchants of permanence in a way.  The work will surely break one day, but those pieces have the potential to outlast our culture.  It can be daunting and for me at least gives a responsibility to be a fairly strict self editor.

Considering the Woman of Dolni Vestonice, it becomes clear why.

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This tiny ceramic object (about 4 inches high) is among the first ceramic objects in the world.  Made around 26,000 BP, she was excavated in a site in Eastern Europe and is a symbol for western prehistoric culture.  Much of what we know about her is speculation, because she has outlived nearly every other trace of culture from the area where she was found.

So then what about a day spent on work never intended to last?  One of the things I love most about this drawing is its placement on the old desk.  The scared paint comes through the graphite and adds a layer of thought and possibility that is often lost in a drawing on paper. And what about preplanning?  This is speculation of course but I imagine that this work was not fully conceived when he began, more like a jazz composition than a concerto. So that as the piece developed he was able to add detail that seemed interesting at the time, but was under no pressure to make something that he would have to look at for the rest of his life.  (This blog post defeats that a bit, sorry)

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Another point that I think is relevant to make here is his effort and concentration on this work.  Truly, Gabe is good at what he does and has spent years practicing his skills in drawing, so it may be overstating things to say he went all out, but he certainly didn’t go half way here.  This impermanent thing got his full attention that day.  This is why this desk doodle deserves this attention.  What did this exercise serve?  Who knows, maybe nothing will come of it, but we never really know.  So often our best ideas and greatest accomplishments come from a little down time.

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We did have a bit of production though.  These bits are from the last firing, you will notice the black spots here .  These are achieved by using an iron oxide bearing spray paint.  We are still in the testing phase here, but can see a great potential.  The next step is to see how they decal.

Bits and Pieces

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Gabe worked on glazing some pendants for firing this week and it seemed like a great invitation to write a bit about them and the process involved.  The pendants are the back bone of the Foxy-Wolff project.  Our intention is to make beautiful, affordable jewelry for every day wear.  The pieces are glazed in a range of colors and decaled with 16 different images.  IMG_4351

This is a display of the pendants at a recent holiday trunk show we did for another businesses open house.  It is a pretty good representation of color range, and many of the images are shown as well.  After two years of research and development, we have the rules and process fairly dialed.

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In the begging of the project we played around quite a bit with clay bodies, glazes and materials for generating images.  We knew we would eventually use decals, but the printer was too expensive and we didn’t want to wait to begin.  Out early best case scenario was black underglaze pencil on Laguna’s Babu porcelain.  While we always intended to fire to cone 6, the cone 10 porcelain gave us the best white.  It was also something that I had a bit of so we could proceed without having to make an order.  Once the image was drawn on the bisque the pieces were glazed with a clear and fired.  39752-0

We were not so systematic about size on the early pieces because the images were generated individually and could suit a range of sizes and weights.  We still have a few of these very early pieces in mix, which is wonderful for showing another technique, though these are a bit more expensive as Gabe put a massive amount of time into each tiny piece.

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In the early days we were very divided in the work we did for the project, I made things and gabe decorated, glazing has always been done together as it is so much work.  In the photos above you can see a couple examples of the bits before their first firing.  Now we are both pretty fully engaged in all aspects of production though Gabe still renders all the drawings. This allows the work to feel cohesive, and provides a sense of identity for the pieces with so many different image choices.  Drawn decal images are not the only choices though, we are still developing stamped images that will better work with glazes that either don’t show the decal or recolor to badly in decal firing.  Above you can see the only finished design, a relief version of the “Hail” image.  Each piece begins with a specific gram weight so that the pre sized decals will work with minimal alteration.

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Following the first bisque firing we glaze the pieces and prep them for the kiln.  These “towers” were designed to allow the fully glazed pieces to hang in firing and maximize kiln space by pushing the pendants into the vertical space. IMG_3182

After firing the pieces receive their decal.  Each one is hand cut and applied to the glaze surface then allowed to dry.  They are then reloaded on the the towers and fired again.IMG_3270 

After the third firing, they are ready to have the hardware applied and be worn.  Here I am wearing two of the “Storm” swirls.  If you are interested in purchasing pendants, please contact us through information provided on the About link.  Each necklace sells for 15.00 dollars plus shipping if necessary.