Thursday, February 4, 2016


clay, glazes, oxides, ceramic watercolors, sawdust firing, & embellishments

I'm so excited to finally show off these amazing Rainsticks
 that my 2nd year clay students created.
They are simply marvelous.
The kids really got into the assignment and gave me everything they had.
Let's take a look.

Senior Sitara Puliyanda
(scale on this is about 30" tall)

It's all about the inside of the cylinders that make these sticks sound so magical.
Before they roll their slabs into a cylinder,
 they must attach short coils to the inside wall,
as well as make hundreds of very small clay balls.

Then they will roll those cylinders closed,
attach a base on the bottom and pour in their balls.

And finally attach another slab to close the top portion.
What is so interesting to me is how the kids figure out the physics of the placement of the coils.
Some put them in a straight line,
 others stagger them.

Sitara is planning such a large piece that she has to build hers in sections.
We see her piecing it together here.

Senior Celeste Zambrano is attaching her top piece.
And below we have seniors Klyne Madayag,
Efrain Quintero,
Eyrn Burnett and Celeste all finishing up.
The kids needed a lot of table space to construct these.

A close-up of Efrain putting on his final touches,
Below his finished sawdust fired piece.
He also brought in metallic rubbing compounds for accents along the arm.

Here is Klyne's finished Rainstick.
Note the castle walls at the top and the flag?
A bit hard to see due to the backdrop fabric.
If I remember correctly,
the kids felt that her's had the most beautiful sound as the balls came trickling down the tube.

Next is senior Sandhya Raghvan.
The surface of her cylinder came out so lovely and soft looking from the sawdust firing.
And I love the subtle movement throughout her cylinder.
She was looking for something special to put atop.
 I knew about this cool rock and gem store on the mountain,
so I bought several pretty hand blown marbles that she was able to chose from.

Here is Eyrn's Rainstick with her sweet butterfly on top.
The kids had the option to glaze or sawdust fire their sticks,
so Eryn first glazed hers then used nail polish to embellish with for a very cool look.

Here is Celeste's finished instrument.
I love that she incorporated nails into the side of her stick,
and that they got all charred from the firings.
And the spiders and webbing were the perfect accessories.

And lastly we come back to Sitara's Rainstick.
it was the most impressive for many reasons.
First off the scale. 
 It was almost larger then she was.  ha ha
And I adore the fact that the scale of the flowers are so much smaller then the piece itself
And the obvious,
 that she spent hours painstakingly painting on multiple glazes
 before we sent it thru the second firing. 
She also used wire to wrap around the stems of those tiny flowers on top of the stick
which I feel gives it a whimsical quality.
Some close-ups of all her labor.
If you are wondering if we have that many glaze colors,
we actually have 17,
 a goodly amount.
But we don't have red or purple,
 yet you are seeing them on Sitara's piece.
How she got those were with very expensive watercolors made for clay.
I get them at my clay supply place,
Aardvark Clay and Suppy in Santa Ana, Ca..
The kids brush them onto the bisqueware,
 then put transparent glaze over top.
Gives them more color choices but it is also very time consuming.
But as you can see,
totally worth the effort!

1 comment:

  1. Such ingenious constructions ... as you often do, you saved the best views for last. But what I most love is the diversity of forms from castle keep to strong arm, and spider's lair to rain forest jungle. I do so wish I could hear their music.