|Lace Crosses: T (L-R): Ironstone, Vert Lustre;|
B (L-R): Indigo Float, Saturation Gold, Chun Plum
I was raised Episcopalian, going to church at St. Columba Parish (now dissolved) in Detroit and was very involved in the church for some time, singing in the choir in participating in many of the youth activities. I developed a greater knowledge and awareness of Christian theology during my Art History Classes at Michigan State University - during specific periods of western art, the church was a significant patron of the arts and religious themes were an important part of the iconography. It was also at Michigan State that I became close friends with my friend Marilyn, whose Jewish family welcomed me like a youngest daughter. During my two years in Singapore, my husband's Buddhist family shared their religious traditions with me, as well was the Muslim and Hindu people with I worked and came to know as acquaintances and friends. As a result, although I may not "connect" with the specific observances of any or all of these faiths, I have found a kernel of truth, a thread that connects them all in my spiritual universe.
|Lace Crosses: T (L-R): Textured Turquoise, Frosted Melon;|
B (L-R): Blue Rutile, Lustrous Jade, Pearl White
|Cross - Ironstone|
|Stars of David: T (L-R): Indigo Float,|
Lustrous Jade; B (L-R): Pearl Blue,
Saturation Gold, Chun Plum
|Stars of David: T (L-R): Textured|
Turquoise, Frosted Melon;
B (L-R): Vert Lustre, Blue Rutile,
Once dry, the pieces are sanded to remove any rough edges (remembering that a sharp edge only becomes sharper when glazed) and bisque fired. After firing, I rinse to remove any dust, then wax the back of the cross, leaving a margin to take the glaze around the edge to the back. This leaves a space for engraving. Using glazing tongs to hold the pieces at the bottom, I pour glaze over the four arms and then place them squarely on a large stilt to dry.
|Star of David, Pearl Blue|
Once glaze fired, I used leather lace, cut to nine inches, folded in half and with an overhand knot and then threaded through the hole with a lark's-head knot, so the pieces could hang. I know many artists make these sorts of pieces with a wire hanger in the back but I'm not comfortable with that on two counts: the piece cannot hang flat to the wall very well; and there is a higher risk of failure. The leather lace allows the piece to hang flat and can easily be replaced if something should happen to it.
Having had success with red stoneware Crosses finished with dramatic reactive glazes, I decided to make some in white stoneware with Pearl White, which would be appropriate for baptism, first communion or a wedding. Then I decided to to try some Stars of David, again, using the center of the lace for the center of the star. These were also very successful. All are available at several galleries throughout Michigan. I would like to investigate other motifs but I'm not certain they would adapt as successfully to the lace texture.