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Object Runway 2011, Anchorage, Alaska

Object Runway 2011, paper coat

What can I say. I got People’s Choice Award for my coat construction in this years Object Runway show. I can’t make tiles all the time. It was nice to do something a bit different while the tile business is slow during the winter. I cut out small animal designs and lined the bottom edge, like the way old time parkas had your area or family designs along the bottom. The coat is made from etching paper, 140 lb cotton paper, sewn together from a design that I got at a Joann store, a former project runway design. The paper is coated with gesso, acrylic medium, and inked in burnt umber, with most of the color wiped off to give it some surface texture. The buttons are made from the local glacial clay from the inlet and fired like two days before the show and quickly sewn on. It was a fun night. My model, Moriah Walker, was beautiful and helped sell the design. I’ll post a picture of the backside when I can, it has a x-ray style, double seal cut out in red.

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6″ Musk Ox

Musk Ox
6" Musk Ox

6″ x 6″ x 3/8″ Musk Ox, $75
Collagraph print on Cook Inlet glacial clay, multiglaze, cone 6 oxidation.
There’s a musk ox farm in Palmer, north of Anchorage, and there are musk ox at the Anchorage zoo. The wool is collected from musk ox and is made into really warm items like scarves and hats, it’s called kiviut and it is super expensive. My iphone dictionary says musk ox are in Canada and Greenland, but we have them in Alaska too.

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6″ Loon

Loon
Loon

6″ x 6″ x 3/8″ Loon, $75
Collagraph printed on Cook Inlet Glacial clay, multiglazed, cone 6 oxidation.
Our black spruce, called bog spruce are kind of thin looking and occasionally, a branch will jut out at the top. A loon use to nest on a lake where I walk my dog, but the increase in the number of dog walkers has driven it away. Good thing there are plenty of other waterfowl and beavers still in the lake. Did I mention that the lake is like in the center of town, and that I see moose there several times a week also. Ok, maybe I’m bragging now, but I love Anchorage.

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Halibut Man

A Shaman in his animal spirit form
6″ x 6″ x 3/8″ Halibut Man, $75
X-ray style shaman in his animal spirit form, the halibut.
Collagraph print onto Cook Inlet glacial clay and oxidation fired to cone 6. I use mat boards with cut out designs to impress images into clay, a raised inked line is waxed and acts as a separator to the different glazes.

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Loon

Loon
4" Loon

4″ x 4″ x 3/8″ Loon, collagraph print on Cook Inlet glacial clay, multiglaze cone 6 oxidation.

Read up on the loon while designing the tile. Old time Inupiaqs would put a loon skull in a persons grave because it was thought to be a spirit guide. Found out the loon is one of the more ancient birds and is the only bird to still have some solid bones. The Alaska Geographic publication on prehistoric animals that once lived in Alaska shows an ancestor of the loon on the water living along side dinosaurs.

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Caribou

Caribou

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.

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Red Tipped Maple Leaf

4" Red Tipped Maple Leaf and Seed Pod

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.
$30

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.

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Raven (four-inch, facing left)

Raven

Raven, facing left, 4″ x 4″ x 0.4″, multiglazed, cone 6 oxidation, Cook Inlet glacier clay.
$35

Used a nice creme breaking red for the background. Ravens are one of Anchorage’s winter birds and are fun to watch. They hang around the taller buildings and play in the updrafts.

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Maple Leaf

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.

$70