Monday, August 26, 2013

Autumn Inspiration: Silk Road

So it's been about 2 years since I've written! I kept meaning to write, but was kind of in a stagnant place in my life and I wasn't really inspired to write so it was probably for the best that I didn't. However with the change of seasons, I'm feeling the urge again! 

 Autumn is my favorite season.  Summers in Florida are extremely oppressive for for a pale person of northern European ancestry. I blister in the sun and the heat practically makes me melt. I feel like I start to come alive again every September when the heat of summer begins to succumb to the nip of an autumn breeze. 

This year, it seems, the trend is "The Silk Road".  I learned from my Elitesixteen teammate and fellow Etsy shop owner, Jenn of  Palimpsestic that the theme encompasses the ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean Sea, including India, Morocco, Egypt, Mongolia, Perisa and Turkey.  I've always been especially fascinated with India and Morocco so I'm very excited about this trend! 

'The Stone Trader' by palimpsestic

Seafaring Earrings Gemstone ...

Wooden Elephants

crystal and mineral stone co...

All Natural Bath Salts in Re...

SALE old swords / vintage sp...

90's Ethnic Woven Rush C...

Said and Done Necklace

Black and White Circles Desi...

vintage nesting basket bowls


Sunstone Necklace - Orange I...

Camel totem- saffron

Mens Bracelet, Burnt Sienna ...

Earthenware rattle

Porcelain Bronzy Droplets Bl...

elephant figurine- tranquil ...

Above is a collection curated by Jenn that really showcases what this theme is all about!

I began to think about how I could incorporate this theme into my own artwork and began brainstorming.  I had already been experimenting with making large porcelain silk moths so this seemed like a fun way to combine the themes.  Although I love butterflies and plan my gardening around their life cycle needs, I get especially excited about moths. Probably because they aren't as easy to spot considering my favorites wait until dark to become active.  Once I made my husband stop the car so could rescue one that I saw laying in the road, an enormous polyphemus moth. The other night I had to drive through the National Forest at night and I could see dozens flying over the road, illuminated by my headlights.  That very evening I went home and began to brainstorm about how to create my own version of the giant moth. 

You might imagine that a moth might be tricky to create in clay and you would be right! Before the first firing the piece is extremely fragile and I've had quite a few that did not survive.  I decided that I would enjoy creating my own version of a moth rather than trying to duplicate nature so I've had a great time experimenting with glazes and textures in my moths. 

This is my favorite moth so far (though I love them all). I created a special template for the wings and cut each piece by hand. I sculpt the body from solid porcelain and the antennae are created with feathers. I love this combination of glazes! The red is a blend of several glazes that react together so I never know exactly what I'll get. I've used a table cloth for the texture on the lower wings, it makes me think of Moroccan tile.  This piece has a copper wire hanger on the underside. 

I am greatly looking forward to exploring this trend some more! 

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