Thursday, February 11, 2010
WINDOW OF THE GODDESS/ A Figurative Ceramic Wallpiece Painted With Natural Ash Paint
by Eric Whollem
filtered wood ash in acrylic emulsion on white clay
Photo copyright by the artist.
Light and shadow are basic in appreciation of bas relief
sculpture. This wallpiece was colorized with some of my
own homemade paints.
I usually paint my ceramics after firing, as few naturally
occuring pigments adhere to clay in the high temperatures
of a kiln. The pigment would have to be high in kaolin,
or clay, for it to fire on successfully.
In Peruvian ceramics most pots and sculptures were
traditionally painted with earth paints after firing, then
I did find one blue-gray pigment that worked in raku
firing, producing a rough texture, black and pitted like
the surface of the moon. But finding such pigments in
nature is, of course, fortuitious.
Ash paint was among the first of paints historically to
be applied to ceramics. The ash paint on this piece
came from a cast iron wood stove that I used to heat