Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Horse Treasure Box - Part I

My nieces birthday was last week... she turned 9.  We had a lovely Skype session and I got tell her Happy Birthday from auntie in person.  My sister and I have been conspiring on an ultra special gift for her....thus the horse treasure box was born.  It will be late...but we put the notion in her head that something AMAZING was being made JUST. FOR. HER.  She was pretty excited, and doesn't know I'm the one making it.  As a result...I started playing around with carving relief tiles that are later assembled into a box...O.M.G.  I LOVE it!

Here's my process:
  • The images are etched/lightly drawn onto the tiles when they are slightly less firm than leather hard.  That way the clay doesn't stick as your carve it away.
  • After you've got the basic premiss outlined on your tiles...the fun begins.  Carving away the negative space!  I started with the obvious negative space, and carved about 1/8" down.  The tiles themselves are approximately 1/4" thick. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of depth to carve and make these suckers come alive.  I think I did a pretty good job.  *pats self on back*  My personal absolute FAVORITE is the Native inspired horse.  It looks even better all underglazed.
  • The next thing I did, was assemble all  of the individual tiles into the box.  I mitered all the edges, scored and slipped, then attached with gentle but firm pressure all along the edges. As I assembled the tiles, I reinforced the inside seams with a coil of clay. The coil of clay was smoothed into the tiles so it looks like a seamless join.   
  • Once joined, the accent under glazing began. The whole box didn't get detailed, just certain areas that I wanted to have control of for the details.  With glaze, sometimes you never know how it's going to run...so for detail work, I prefer to use under glazes and then just cover it with a clear topcoat to seal it all in and make it pretty. :)  At this stage, the tiles are still leather hard.  I also added/sculpted a tad bit, making the box even more 3-dimensional. One side was a unicorn...and I added
    some lilacs to it..so it looks like the unicorn is emerging from a field of lilacs.  I also added a few lilac buds to the Native horse tile.  A budding lilac flower is also on the top of the box, on the lid.  The lid has been carved down about 1/16" so when I glaze fire it, I can add some glass to the
    top. I'm going to try to create a tie-dye or camo type effect with the glass.  I'm going to use pink, purple, clear, and white colored glass and just scatter it all over in the depress and see how it comes out. I can't wait to try it!
  • And for now...that's it.  I'll leave you with a few more images (because there's obviously not enough in this post..hehehe)  of the under glazed tiles.  Can't wait to see how it all turns out.  Stay tuned for the glaze/finished product post soon to come!


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