Why Encaustic and Ceramic?
After years of creating clay vessels and sculpture I was looking for ways to expand the possibilities of my medium. I asked myself two questions:
First, I carve intricate forms in white earthenware. Sometimes they are so delicate I need a template for support to hold the clay as I carve. After the ceramic sculptures are fired in the kiln, they are mounted on board. I usually spend several months immersed in the process of sculpting, glazing and firing before I move onto the process of painting and gilding.
Encaustic paint is wax, pigment and damar resin mixed together. It must be heated on a griddle and brushed onto the clay and board while still hot. Then each layer of wax is fused to the previous layer with a hot air gun. There are often 10-20 layers of wax on a finished piece. Finally, I embellish the pieces with 22-karat gold leaf.
My sculptures are sometimes multi-layered with one sculptural form opening to another form inside it. These relief forms change the architecture of the surface. I use encaustic to visually and physically join the sculptural components to each other and the background. I aim for a sense of unity and dimensionality.