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Double Salmon

Six-inch Double Salmon, $85
Collagraph print on Cook Inlet clay, cone 6 oxidation
Multiglazed with background of Tenmoko gold over a strontium carbonate base glaze.

Salmon fishing is a huge industry in Alaska as are other types of fishing. On researching the salmon, I found out that it is descended from European river trout. Cool. It looks like any other fish, silvery, at sea, but once it hits fresh water to spawn, it turns red, green, and it’s teeth get all snagly. My blood pressure was trending upward with age and my doctor recommended eating salmon once a week, and sure enough, by blood pressure went down. Now each summer we stock up on fresh salmon in the freezer to last through the winter. It’s cheaper to buy whole fish during the height of the season and have it cut up, filleted, and vacuum sealed in meal sized portions.

I read “Four Fish” by Paul Greenberg and worry about the fisheries. Today, I’m not against farm fishing because there are not enough wild fish to feed the world’s population. I’ve even taken a liking to tilapia, a fresh water vegetarian fish that’s been farmed since ancient Egyptian times. And it doesn’t require other fish to be used as feed as some of the other farmed fish do.

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Sedna with Two Part Glaze

Inuit goddess of the sea, Sedna

Sedna, collagraph print on Cook Inlet clay, double glaze application, 8″ x 8″, $145

The summer selling season is finally over! I was selling tiles at the outdoor Anchorage weekend market, inside the Anchorage Museum, outside at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, and at other arts and crafts fairs. There wasn’t time to keep up the posts here at this WordPress blog. In April, me and my girlfriend used airline miles to go to Portugal to visit the largest tile museum in the world in Lisbon, and we added a side trip to Barcelona to look at Gaudi stuff. Prices were very reasonble, outside of the big cities, I don’t think we spent more than $50 a night for hotels. Portugal is nearly covered in tiles! Since coming back, I’ve been searching for decent coffee, because the small cups of coffee that the Portugese make is the best coffee that I have ever tasted. Doppio is the closest that I’ve come to a decent cup here in Anchorage. There was about eight-feet of snow on the ground in Anchorage when we left and it was all gone when we got back.

Anyway, The Sedna tile has an undercoat of two different strontium carbonate glazes covered with my regular glazes, so that the result is a reduction fired surface, but fired in an electric kiln. Ceramics Monthly had an article by Steven Hill early this year describing the process. I like it. I went to a NCECA (National Council of Educators in Ceramic Arts…I think) conference in April in Seattle and saw some bowls with the glaze treatment by Mr. Hill and they were cool.

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6″ Copper Plate Etching on Clay

Tile on the left and copper plate etching/engraving on the right. Click on the copper plate image to see a better quality scan.

The copper plate is an engraving that is used to print onto the clay. I have a large etching press that I use to print on the clay like if it were paper. I don’t have a problem with the clay curling during firing since I make my own clay body and have added stuff to the clay body to counter the tendence of flat tiles to warp and crack.

The image on the right of the tile is a white whale, the center is a half man half seal, and on the left is a swan turning into a salmon. The three are samples of Alaska native art that were once drawn on the bottom of wood food bowls or on skins.