Thursday, March 21, 2019

Reitz Ranch

Here I am standing in front of the large wood burning kiln at Reitz Ranch. This was the former home and studio of the well known ceramic artist Don Reitz.
 I was fortunate to have known Don, in the casual way that clay artists see each other and talk shop.We both lived in the Verde valley for a long time and our paths would cross. He was a very funny man and really liked conversation. I took a workshop from him years ago, and as the wheel was turning, Don was talking.Neither stopped for long. He liked to work Big.He was probably best known for his salt and wood firings.Hence these kilns. 
He can be credited as taking ceramics from the  world of craft into fine art, along with his peers, such as  Paul Soldner, Peter Voulkas, Dora DeLarios, and Michael Frimkess. I knew the latter two artists from my days in Venice, California.
Now Don's legend lives on. Another ceramicist, Sheryl Leigh Devault and her husband, Ted, have bought the ranch and intend to continue the world of clay to those who are interested. I feel Don would like this concept.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Goddess Figure

Here we have my latest Goddess figure, all smooth and sensuous. She stands about 14 inches tall, including her lovely hair. 
I have always been drawn to the female form. Working with clay,  I prefer a certain abstraction in my  design. Everything does not have to be exactly like our bodies, and everyone is unique, to be sure. It is the concept and the different imagery with which I like to work.
This lovely lady is made from my preferred  clay body, porcelain.That is especially useful  when it comes time to burnish her to a fine sheen. I use horsehair for her decoration, and made a little beaded necklace for adornment.
The  first firing is in my regular kiln. Lastly comes the pit firing, using  wood to fire. The results are full of  surprises. I am happy with the play of dark and light browns; the bronze tones; the hint of metallic flashing here and there . She's a Goddess, and  she does what she wants!