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Forest Guardian

 

I live at the western most end of the Arroyo Seco and the Angeles National Forest. In 2009 the massive Station Fire in the Angeles National Forest came within two blocks of my home.  The damage to the forest and the animals that lived there continues to this day.  The deer, coyote, snakes, and raccoons have yet to return after all these years.  The smell of smoke persisted for a few months after the fire was extinguished and the ash dust drifted in the air like snowflakes whenever there was the slightest breeze.

Scorched and smoldering, but not destroyed were old, sturdy oaks.  Native trees and cactus, and animals that could burrow deep into the earth withstood the flames. 

At the same time as the Station Fire I was in the studio creating this piece.  She was made using an ancient method of layering clay coils one upon one another.  The coil method is risky because there can’t be a single air bubble anywhere between the lengths of coils or the bubble will expand and break apart in the firing process under the pressure of the extreme heat and the piece will explode. The leaves that form her hair were created individually and frame her face with wonderful texture and dimension. 

She is high fire glazed in Shino, which can range from creamy white to black – fully displayed on this piece.  The Shino was not applied with any specific intention for the final coloration, but when she emerged from the kiln it was clear that she was a spirit, a guardian for Angeles National Forest that survived the fire.  The Shino patterned and displayed itself magnificently. $2500.00

 

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