I have been thinking about how our human Gods are made. It seems to begin with a thought or concept that stick in the mind, creating a momentum of its own through constant reinforcement.
I’m thinking about how the power of thought appear in crowd situations. If you watch a demonstration, for instance, it is interesting to see how a group can create an atmosphere so intense that some are compelled to acts of violence and random destruction they would never normally dream of . I’m thinking about the recent student fee demonstration in London, for example, when a young guy dropped a fire extinguisher onto a crowd many feet below. The collective mind takes over in those situations. It is almost as though people become bigger, stronger and bolder when bolstered by the group dynamic. But then the demonstration is over and the mood deflates.
The same must be true when Gods are created. Except in this case we have a continuity in the group when led in worship by a priest/ess or guru. A God/ess is created to explain the primal force of creation, for instance – or thunder, rain or spring. The worship of these deities is upheld through ceremonies and rituals over centuries, and the power of these collected thoughts create a momentum of its own. Over the years the myths change; Inannas young husband, Dimuzu, destined to die and then rise again for the good of the land, gives way to a new myth about the virgin born King. And so on. But behind it all lies a need to personify and communicate with our creator, I think.
So, I have been busy creating some ceramic House Gods on my own ! I was inspired by the Roman Gods Lares and Penates. In Rome, each family had their own set of personal Gods to safe guard against house fire, ill health, redundancy and bad luck.
My House God sculptures are altogether more frivolous. They are made of smoke fired and glazed ceramics and they’re between 7-10” tall.
And here is the moment some of them are born out of a smoke firing bin
And this is another blue sculpture; she is not smoke fired, but has little flecks of gold amongst the blue glaze.
You’ll find a wonderful display of Easter presents; smoke fired ceramics, life size cattle portraits, enigmatic paintings,
stylish knitwear alongside exquisite hand-made jewellery – all for sale at attractive prices.
And, with every purchase, you will be entered into our free raffle to win an original art work.
Opening times during Easter 2010
April 3rd, 10th, 11th Open 11am – 5pm
April 4th, 5th Open 11am – 4pm
To see more please go to the Hot House website at www.hastingshothouses.co.uk .
Angels are everywhere. In the air, water, stone; you can even see them rising like fiery sparks from a bonfire. This is an angel of storm clouds…She is made from smoke fired ceramics and will be on show during my Hastings Hot House Open Studio 1-9th of August.
This particular House God is keen on remote controls of all kinds. Charge him up with good intent and you will never loose your control behind the sofa again. Smoke fired ceramics.
Please scroll down the page to see more Gods, torsos, mood critters and other delights.
With smoke firing you never know what end result you are going to get.
There are so many variables. For example, saw dust burns a lot slower than wood shavings. It matters what size holes you have drilled in the side of your smoke chamber ( in my case, dustbin).
was glazed with the same glaze and oxides as this one…
and this one. The one difference is the amount of soot I added to the saw dust and the way I packed the wood shavings and saw dust around the torso. I have found that copper oxide will turn bright red under very strong reduction so I try to starve the atmosphere inside the smoke chambers of oxygen. To learn more about smoke firing, and get a chance to experiment and play, you are welcome to join my ceramic and smokefiring workshops in Hastings.
Please scroll down the page to see more posts on smoke firing, body casting and other ceramic techniques.
I spent the weekend smoke firing, or barrelling my ceramic torsos.
This is a bisque fired and glazed torso.
Which I placed in a galvanized dustbin and covered with dry leaves, straw and sawdust. You can see some of my dead headed hydrangeas in there, too!
Then comes the fun bit!
And the next morning the bins are cool enough to open…
Two very differnt creatures emerge…
And this is one of the torsos, cleaned up and ready to go. I am still shocked by its transformation.
If you like to join a smoke firing workshop, please contact me via my website www.annakeiller.co.uk. or email me.
To see earlier posts on life casting and clay workshops please scroll down the page.