I’ve designed my first mass-produced artistic product: 12 original pen and ink drawings of dogs in various states of excitement by yours truly! Most of the credit goes to Carolyn, who took the dog photos that furnished my illustrations, arranged those illustrations in a calendar and on greeting cards, and also took product photos. We’ve named our artist collective Camelot Collective and created an Etsy store to ship the calendar, greeting cards, pins, prints and Raku ware in time for the holidays.
I become an Arti$t
I am excited to have an online store to get feedback on my latest pen and ink work. Of everything I’ve drawn thus far, I think the dog portraits have the broadest appeal.
The other nice thing about switching to pen and ink drawings is that I can create them from my desk.
Carolyn wrote up a great description of the Raku pots we made with Zach and Lisa in the fall. We brought the clay and Zach and Lisa generously helped us use their special glaze and blazing hot kiln.
Raku is a type of traditional Japanese pottery, where the pieces are removed from the kiln while still glowing hot and allowed to cool out in the open.
We fire our pots in small batches in a specialized Raku kiln at temperatures around 1800° F. We remove our pots from the kiln while they are still white-hot, and transfer them to a bed of newspaper. The papers instantly catch fire from the heat of the pots. After several seconds, we deprive the fire of oxygen using additional paper. Since fire requires a continuous source of oxygen, the fire draws oxygen out of the glaze in the areas of the pot which are smothered by the paper. The copper in our specialized Raku glaze produces different colors: the abundance of oxygen leads to green and blue, while a lack of oxygen leads to metallic orange. Finally, we add cool water to pause the chemical reaction, which produces beautiful and unique variations in color.