After several months with my nose alternately buried in ceramics and sculpting books, or covered with a mask to avoid breathing ceramic and plaster dust, I've finally emerged with something I'm relatively happy with.
When I first began making jewelry, I enjoyed the challenge, then enjoyed the extra income and the distraction it provided, but nothing I made ever touched me as deeply as, say, singing Mahler does. I missed that.
I began learning to sculpt because my love for the expressiveness of the human body pushed me toward something figurative. I found porcelain because I wanted a medium with a texture I enjoyed handling, and with a potential that would continue challenging me to new creative ends. I spent quite a bit of time with my hands, clothes, and living room floor covered in plaster, learning to make molds for slip casting. From all that trial, error, frustration, hair pulling, and occasional success came my experiments in cast porcelain beads.
I love the texture of these beads, both the white and colored beads are unglazed, and they have a soft, almost velvet texture that just invites me to handle them.
Beyond jewelry, I'm now able to sculpt other pieces to cast in porcelain. So, along came Grace, a jointed marionette originally sculpted in paper clay. Grace took about 100 hours of sculpting, stringing, testing, and fitting to get to this stage. I can't wait to see what the molding and slip casting process will bring me with something so much more complicated than faceted beads.