For more than five years I have been developing methods to make the images in my head! Its taken the discovery of the right clay bodies, mediums, materials, equipment and techniques to make my sketchbooks come alive. At last all the elements have come together!
I found an excellent porcelain clay body for transparency and painting. After much experimentation I use a map gas torch for the copper work and recently added a butane torch to my studios to produce more minute and delicate flowers and stems. And finally, I have figured out the best ways to apply the china paints, thru sanding and layers. Its been very long trek!
Using these methods I have prepared a series of wildflower sculptures to follow closely on the heels of the Tulips Imaginarium series. Miniature pansies, violets, daisies and grasses are being put together in little 4-8 inch stems with hand cut copper leaves the size of your fingernail! Its been a delight and a huge challenge.
Because there is a lot of sanding in painting biscuit ware (or unglazed ware as I call it) there is a fine balance to sculpting the flowers fine enough to be translucent but strong enough to endure up to 6 sandings throughout the many firings. The pansies and violets, no bigger than 3/4 inch total were the finest petals to sculpt so far.
These sculptures are like Botanical drawings in Porcelain including many 'nature companions'.