Monday, December 24, 2012

Green Man: Summer

Green Man - Summer: Jose Vasquez
In creating the Four Seasons Green Men and Women, I had decided I wanted to use various faces to make up the series, faces representing different genders, different cultural background and different ages. I opted to use the cast of Jose Vasquez for Summer. Jose was one of my friend Jeanne Galloway's stock brokers who bravely allowed us to make a cast of his face. I like working with Jose's face because, although his features are very, very strong (as compared to the delicacy of Tia's features), they are, once again, completely balanced, from a strong brow and full, sensual lips to a unique aquiline nose, helped along by a stint as a bouncer.

Jose's face is, like many men's faces, much larger than Tia's so it could handle larger masses easily. I opted to use leaves from the Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor) for the Summer Green Man, with less deeply-cut lobes. In order to distinguish it from the other faces, I used a deeper green and added small, immature clay acorns.

Detail of Acorns
I follow the same process as for the Spring mask in terms of preparing the piece - casting; placing holes; applying branches; selecting, fabricating and applying leaves. To create the acorns, I roll out a rather thin slab of clay and, using a half-inch round Kemper Klay Kutter, cut out an odd number of circles, which I roll into balls. I lay a piece of burlap over the rest of the slab and roll it in to make some texture, then cut out an equal number of "caps" using a half-inch rosette Kemper Klay Kutter. Scoring and slipping the underside of the "caps", I secure them to each of the acorns, pushing the outer edges of the rosettes down securely. I then score and slip one section of each of the caps and attach them to the mask at the ends of the branches. I also sometimes include a ladybug on these pieces as well, as they are "seasonally appropriate".

Once bisque fired, I glaze the piece in the same manner as the Spring mask, with the exception that I use Green-Ivy (a deeper green) for the leaves and for the (immature) acorns, staining the caps with the same Burnt Umber used for the branches. The piece is fired as usual, the wire attached and it's ready to go!

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