Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dead Wood

Dead Tree
8.75 h x 7 w inches

Several months ago I posted about my exploration of faux bois, or false wood. Following are the results of that work with wood sculptures fired to Cone 10 using slips, oxides, washes, and stains for colorants.

Burnt Tree Vase
8 h x 4 w inches including extended branch

Hollow Burnt Log
9 h x 3 w inches

I discovered something interesting about the four burnt logs below. If I tap one on the other each makes a different tone. Now I'd like to fire some rolled pieces of different widths and lengths with a hole in the top of each so I can string them as chimes. I can call them tree chimes or log chimes, maybe branch chimes, I'm getting silly, I'd better finish up this post. Anyway making things with clay is so much fun; every day I learn something new.

Four Burnt Logs
11, 11, 10, and 9 inches long by 1/2 inch wide each

The first piece of furled bark sculpture I made from porcelain. It is still in my studio waiting to be bisque fired. I got carried away and made that particular bark sculpture ever so thin. Now that is is dry, it is even more thin, actually paper thin. I am afraid to move it. After bisque I'll have to carry it to a kiln which can do Cone 10. Of course, it is the most powerful of all the pieces, I hope I can bring it to fruition. Following are bark sculptures I made from stoneware using stains for colorants.

Peeling Bark One
7 x 3.5 inches and 6 x 2.5 inches

Peeling Bark Two
6 x 3 inches and 5.5 x 2.5 inches

Peeling Bark Three
11 x 4.25 inches plus 3 inch piece

I am happy with all of the faux bois pieces I've made so far. I'm now thinking of making living tree sculptures, not bonsai, but ceramic. Instead of a flower today, I've shown you the peeling bark of a eucalyptus tree. There's more to come, so stop in again soon.


  1. Linda, You make it interesting, dead wood. I don't may much attention to it. Seems like a shell of what was to me? I'd be interested in the living tree sculpture though hummmm

  2. oh, you made such beautiful things!

  3. Wow, your wood looks so real!! I especially love the black pieces. You live in a great area for the observation of Nature. I enjoy seeing your great images -Fun.

  4. Beautiful work! And best of luck firing the thin pieces as they are really interesting. Drop in on our art & craft discussion forum sometime. We have tons of info on cement-based Faux Bois there that you might find interesting and we'd love to see more of your work there sometime. www.

  5. Sorry 'bout that. I didn't finish the URL for the discussion group...

  6. Hi Mary, thanks for stopping in. I think any trees, logs, branches or even bark are so beautiful. And the trees provide habitat for all the wild creatures. I love the sculptural quality of the wood and it is fun to make their likeness in clay.

    Hi Gary, thanks a lot.

    Hi Cindy, thanks, they are much nicer in person than on the screen. These are patterned after what would be seen after a forest fire. It might be nice if I can make some of the same shapes and show them as living to show the contrast between what a forest looks like while it is alive and then when it has burnt. I hate to see forests burn.

    Hi Donald, thanks for stopping in and for the link. I will definitely stop in to your group and have a look around. I had read about concrete faux bois years ago and was actually thinking of making some faux bois in concrete but never got around to it. Now that I am engrossed in clay, I guess that is the next best thing. I have an interesting bird bath made of concrete I will have to post here one of these days. It's kind of neat because I had the same bird bath at my last house and left it in the garden there and then I was lucky enough to find it again for this garden. See you soon.

  7. Very cool, Linda - I love the faux bois sculptures - very organic looking. I used to collect drift wood when we lived in Maine - a stray piece would catch my attention and just beg to be kept.

    One of the potters at the Colorado Potters Guild brought some faux wood slab platters he made that were pretty cool. He didn't glaze in traditional sense - they just had oxides and such rubbed into them.

  8. Hi Cynthia, thanks, I too have a huge pile of driftwood. I have been trying to use it up little by little, but the pile doesn't seem to go down.

    Would love to see those platters. Could they be functional if they only had oxides rubbed on them and no glaze? My bark sculptures have stains rubbed on them and no glaze, but they are just decorative, but I like the matt look of them and wouldn't mind doing some plates and bowls like that.


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