4″ x 4″ x 3/8″ Caribou, multiglaze, cone 6 oxidation, Cook Inlet glacier clay. Hand printed from a collagraph plate. Done in the x-ray style common to the coastal peoples of Alaska.
Sea mammals were the main food staple of my mother’s village of Point Hope, but caribou were important too. I like the old style parka were the caribou skin is worn so the fur is on the inside and the hide on the outside.
Ceramic shards have been escavated from Point Hope that show a ceramics tradition dating back about 5,000 years. The last Inupiaq to build ceramic pit fired pots died in the 1880’s and the tradition was lost. I couldn’t get into a native Alaskan arts sales event because the jurors told me my art wasn’t original to Alaska. The native heritage center had a talk with the jurors and after missing out for two years, they let me in. Crazy, I’m registered with the state as an Alaskan native artist, dig up and process my own local clay, and still run into people who say my art isn’t authentic. Oh well.
4″ x 4″ x 3/8″ red tipped maple leaf and seed pod. Cook Inlet glacial clay, slip, mason stains, cone 6 oxidation, high calcium clear glaze.
I collect the leaves at the off-leash dog park or the grounds at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The leaf is placed on a textured matte board with a firmed, slipped, slab of the local clay placed over the leaf and matte board. The sandwich is run through an old fashion etching press, the slab trimmed and the edges smoothed. Mason stains are applied in two applications before a cone 04 bisque fire. Small imperfections are fixed, if possible, and glaze is sprayed on, and the tile is re-fired at a higher cone 6 temperature, which makes the tile clay body nearly non absorptive.
Six-inch Maple leaf and seed pod impression on Cook Inlet glacier clay, white slip, brown spray and brush, mason stains, clear glaze, cone 6 oxidation.
Alaska doesn’t currently have maple trees or other hardwood trees. It did before the most resent glacial ice age, but the glaciers took out all of the state’s trees except the willow. Many trees have returned since the receding of the ice caps, though not the hardwoods, yet. Maples will grow if you plant them, just not propagate. This impression is from a leaf down the block where I live in Anchorage Alaska.
6″ x 6″ x 3/8″ on Cook Inlet clay, multiglazed, cone 6 oxidation
Owls will stare for the longest time and then just wink. I liked the owl in “Walk Well My Brother” that led the pilot to the young Inuit girl who had walked off into the Tundra to die, from untreated tuberculosis.
Four separate leaf impressions, each 4″ x 4″ x 3/8″ on Cook Inlet glacier clay with crystalline glazes. Cone 6 oxidation. I pick the leaves from the local dog park in Anchorage where I walk our American bull dog. The leaves are set on a square matte board and a firm, but still pliable, slab of clay is laid on top. Both are run through my old fashion etching press. It’s amazing how much detail the clay retains of the leaf, even the veins show up.
$30 per 4″ tile.