Stephen J. Arias

This is my first time participating in an Art Elements Blog Hop.  I was intrigued by the theme of foliage since that has been my theme for most of the years I have been making ceramic beads.  I usually make a mold from plants and use it as the basis for pendants, toggle clasps and cabochons.  I always hand paint on the colored glazes and almost never use underglazes. The photo above is a sample of pendants in my usual way of making.

For some time I have been thinking about other ways of making leaves and flowers.  I have a collection of dried leaves that have fallen off a rubber plant I have in the house. I love their graceful flow and lyrical lines and form. 

                                    My dried dead leaves collection

 I decided I wanted to hand build my leaves and flowers. These leaves (pictured above) and some Victorian botanical drawings were my inspiration.  I limited my tools to using an orange wood cuticle stick for makings the markings  on the leaves. My clay body was a white stoneware clay which I fire to cone 5 (a bit above 2100 degrees F.)  I began small but as time went on my leaves got bigger and bigger.

Hand built ceramic leaves still wet.

A larger hand built leaf

Bisque ware leaf  fired one time

Some hand built flowers in the foreground  fired once

When it came to glazing what I made I was a bit stymied at first.  I decided to try some underglazes which I don’t usually like because they are so stiff.  But I wanted all those markings to show up through the other glazes I used.  So I tried out a black and a blue.  I was not unhappy with the result.

A hand built flower surrounded by wild cone flower textured  beads.  The black underglaze came through nicely I think.

a large hollow bead surrounded by 2 cabochons  Wild Grass texture  Again I used the black underglaze -2 coats- and then wiped it off and added colored glazes to the wiped off areas.

           Here is a collection of the leaves and 1 hand built flower glazed

            And another view of the leaves.

What am I going to do with all of these creations?  I plan to use them in some of my free form peyote stitch jewelry.  And some I have placed in my Etsy shop.

This has been a great experience for me to be in this blog hop.
Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you will visit all the other participants in this blog hop listed below.

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