Ellen Silberlicht

Ellen Silberlicht
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving break.....final day!

Long days in the studio but it is all worthwhile. I get my balance back in balance when I do my own work. It's important to take the time whenever I can get a block of time. Looking forward to Xmas vacation.

It's always interesting to see what comes out in clay each time I spend time in my studio. This walrus just appeared...but then it was feeling very empty in the other areas....so I added the walruses. I tried to add a flipper...but I felt it wasn't readable as a flipper.

And then came the seals.....just looking for a place to hang out for a while.

These penguins are a playful bunch....looking for adventure.

And this Iguana just seemed to grow with the pot. He thinks it's his job to guard it!

After the hours in my studio, re-balanced... I'm ready to go back to school...until the next break...hard to believe it's only three weeks!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving break....at it again

I had high hopes for this Thanksgiving break...but it doesn't feel as though I have enough time....time, you wonder...for what...you work in your studio and get things done as you can. Yes, but one has goals you know....and my goal was to make 10 new pots this break.

This is what I have so far. I had a slow start...and some things didn't work out.....but in the end...it became a very bear day.
These first images are of the sleeping bear which is on one side....and the two polar bears are on the other side. After throwing the pot...I actually threw it down on the table. A new challenge. I'm not convinced the sleeping bear looks like a bear....but really....it is!

And I did want to make another lion. I think the lion is one of my more abstract pieces and I wanted to try it again. Just in case someone else liked it also.

And then I tried a few ideas on this pot and they just weren't working as I had envisioned....so I thought I would keep with the polar bear theme and have one coming out of the frozen waters while one looked on.

And then after at the end of the day.....this one finally came together. I think he really looks like I felt.....just wanted to relax and glad I was done.
Tomorrow is another day!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rakued....the entire group!

After a long weekend....they have all been fired!
Here are the results......
I underglazed the eye of the bird for a subtle difference.

I underglazed the stripe of the clownfish and the eyes along with the lips for the subtle change. The areas all reduced...but not as dark as the raw clay, giving a little more interest to the overall piece.

The frog was enhanced with majolica glazes. I didn't know how it would come out...but I felt the frog would be too black if I had just fired it. So, I added a touch of color...toes are nectarine, the dots on his back are blue and purple, and his eyes are red with black centers with the swirly branch being lime green...my favorite color...at least one of them.
It worked...the majolica glaze gives it just enough umph!

I was very excited about this lion....when I made it and then seeing it come out of the firing. The teeth were underglazed for a subtle difference and I love how abstract the whole pot is. I think this is one of my favorite pieces.

 I was thinking to make the spots red to go with the pot...and then I thought black on black could be really nice. I really like how it turned out!

Remember the earlier octopus pot that I had said shattered into several pieces but I glued it together and took a photo of it and fixed the cracks in photoshop? Well, this is the real McCoy. It's all in one piece!
 The ram's horns were underglazed for a subtle difference along with his eye. I'm surprised the horns survived the firing...actually, I'm thrilled they all survived! Raku is a process that has a high loss factor. The kiln gods were with me today!
And the last one is the sea turtles with the sting ray. This was fired and then sprayed with ferric which gives it the brown to yellows.

All in all...I think I had a successful weekend!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's been raining all week......

Looking forward to the weekend...I do believe I will be doing a lot of rakuing and fast firing as soon as the weather clears. Right now we are under a flash flood warning....no raku until I see clear skies!
I'll post photos as soon as I get them fired!

Monday, September 20, 2010

News Flash...this just out!

My ostrich jar has been chosen to be shown at the Suraci Gallery at Marywood University. The opening will be October 23. Pretty exciting!

And I have also been informed that one of my elephant jars will be published in a book out this spring titled 500 Raku.  I don't remember which one they chose...but one of these will be in there!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor day weekend comes to a close.

I don't know what others do with their spare time...but mine is spent in my studio...working as hard as I can to get my ideas out of my head and into the clay. I always like to challenge myself, try new things and grow...as much as possible. This leads to many pots!
Yes, I do have the disease....I have the need to create. If I don't accomplish something each day, I feel as though I haven't achieved. Too bad I can't work in my studio every day!
This piece is titled Under the Sea with sea turtles and a sting ray.

Here's another view with the stingray.

I'll try an octopus again...the past images of the octopus, similar to this one cracked in a dozen pieces...so now, I am using the proper clay.

My husband says you can never have tooooo many elephants...and so........

The ram is a piece I envisioned a few weeks ago...but didn't get around to working on this until now.

I'm anxious to see how this eagle pot fires...what is raw clay will be black...unless I glaze a few places...and the yellow will be contrasting the black.

And the last pot of Labor Day weekend is the lizard. Now they will dry in my studio from 2-3 weeks....and then they will be bisqued and ready to raku.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

hard at it.....

And so.....those pots each took on a personality of their own. I first wanted to re-create those pieces that just didn't make it before.
I'm excited about this roaring lion....it will be fired so the clay turns black and the orange stain should look great against the black clay.

September begins

Now that I have returned to school, my progress will be much slower. My goals are to create 4 new pieces a month. That is certainly doable....I think. We'll see how it goes!
This is where I began this morning. Using encapsulated stains for the colors.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Older work which lead me to where I am working today.

The process is all very interesting. What I do in the past builds into my current works. So, I thought I would share with you my most recent past, related work so you can see the growth and development of it all.
After traveling to South Africa and going on a photo safari, these pieces suggesting an animal in a primitive form developed very easily. I used wax resist for the jar's decoration. These are raku fired.

Some raku glazes are more like fuming if you put them on lightly. I really like the matte surface and how it changed colors. Reminds me of a dancing flame.

                                                                  Raku Giraffe Jar

                               They say when an elephant's trunk is up it will give you good luck!

The ostrich's head is poking out on the inside of the lid. Makes me laugh. This piece was chosen for a show at Marywood this fall...I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Just a bit more.......

This is how the pot turned out after the lizard abandoned ship!

This photo was taken when each pot was full of promise!

from Lake Tahoe

Elephants are my husband's favorite animal....so I make them with him in mind.
This one was made in Lake Tahoe.

And this octopus piece lives on in photos only.  I pulled it from the kiln and sprayed it as it cooled, and then set it aside to work on the other pieces. At the end of the day I went to pick it up and it had shattered into several pieces. I liked it so much I brought it home to piece together for inspiration...and I was able to mend all the seams in photoshop to make it look whole! Oh, the wonders of technology....now you can't believe anything you see anymore!

Now I have my work cut out for me.....wish me luck!

Summer work

These are photos of new work I made after returning from my Lake Tahoe workshop with Randy Brodnax and Don Ellis....two great potters who entertained as well as educated us, sharing their love of pottery, foods, and fun. Some of these pieces didn't make it through the process...due to my choice of clay....I just couldn't wait for the right stuff when I returned. So, some are just photos...and some live on....and I've learned a lot through the process.
Now I will just need to find the time since school begins in just one week!
I am inspired and motivated and have plenty of clay to make things happen. So....these are some of the pieces.

This one didn't make it.....glad I took a photo of it as it was drying.

This elephant has found a good home. Love the new owners, what a great couple!

And this frog just didn't make it....wrong clay...couldn't take the heat!
The lizard bit the dust but the pot survived..so now it looks like a dark planet!
This octopus was made out of a dark clay and I used a white slip to add to the texture. Because I had figured out that the clay couldn't take the heat...I fired it in an electric kiln. I like how it looks raw better than the glaze on it. So...I'm posting this photo.