Saggar Technique

 

I make buffalos as a way to honor my mother. The buffalo serves as a symbol for my attachment to a courageous woman who taught me about possibilities across the horizon.

 

Each buffalo is handformed with low fire white clay. When dry, I brush on 2 coats of    terra sigilatta, a smooth clay slip . The buffaloes are nestled inside a clay box (a saggar) along with a variety of organic materials - sawdust and salt marsh hay - which have been saturated with various metal oxides.

 

During the several  hour firing, the fuming of the oxides combines with the smoke from the burning combustibles to create a range of colors and effects. There is no glaze, but the color is permanent. 

 

Every piece is one of a kind. For a final touch, I hand polish with protective wax.

Buffalos

 

Imagine,
Massive, shaggy shapes,
Millions of them,
Spreading across the plains,
Dark flanks,
The churning of dust,
A wall of black fire

Sears the horizon,
The ground is trembling,
Feel the roar,
The heaving breath,
The pounding hearts
That surge within us.

              Buffalos in  process

             In my Vermont studio