Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spirit Bird

One day I was making some bowls and platters from slabs of stoneware clay. I had some leftover pieces of clay lying on the table. I thought I'd relax a bit before cleaning up my work area and use the pieces of clay. I started to pinch the clay together without thinking. I found the clay formed a point at the front and so I joined the back and made a bowl shape. I didn't even use slip since I was just fooling around with some scrap pieces of clay. I just kept pinching the pieces together. I looked at the form and thought I should add some eyes, so I cut them out. Then I thought I should add an adornment at the back. Then I stood back and saw what looked like a nose or a beak was pointing down, so I added the last piece of clay as a small foot.

Here is Spirit Bird, 5.75 h x 5 w inches. I like looking at this ceramic sculpture. Gazing into the eyes, I feel a curiosity. I see wisdom and sadness. I found the perfect gazing height for looking into the eyes while seated is about the top of my computer screen. So I'd like to elevate Spirit Bird and the height needs to be about 14.5 inches tall for gazing from a chair.

I thought I could elevate the sculpture by sliding the foot over a piece of wood. The foot is about an inch deep but not a regular shape because it was pinched together. Perhaps I could whittle a piece of wood the the same shape as the interior of the foot and then slide Spirit Bird over the wood. Maybe I could stain a piece of salvaged wood or a branch, attach the end to the foot and then have a larger block of wood at the bottom to stabilize it. Like this modern furniture designer, Paul Evans metal sculpture is elevated, but the post would be slightly thicker and so would the pedestal.

What do you think about elevating this piece? How could I go about it? Does anyone have any experience attaching wood to ceramics?


  1. Very fun, Linda - I love playing around with no expectations. I think that's how some of my better ideas come about.

    I think Spirit Bird would be excellent elevated. Do you know any metal smiths/welders? Or does your school have a metal's program because I think this would look awesome mounted on a metal rod.

    Or like anything else, I think you could look on You Tube for video tutorials for joining metal - get a torch, some flux and voila you're good to go. If you added a spot for a hole in the base of the sculpture (account for shrinkage) you could epoxy a metal rod into the base of the sculpture - and if you didn't want a metal base, you could skip the welding and just epoxy into a wood stand.

  2. Hi Cynthia, After I posted this I drew what Spirit Bird would look like with a wood post and I think you are correct a metal post would be better as it is thinnner. I do know someone who could help, Ed, the guy who built my slab roller is very handy, I'm going to talk to him next week. Thanks.

  3. Linda, What a wonderful departure.. I love the bird!!! Looks like when you are playing.. cleaning up unleash some major forces. Keep at it. Joan T Off Center Productions.

  4. Hi Joan, nice to hear from you again. I am so happy when I have time for exploration. Am making a note to myself to do more of it.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment