Since Hurricane Odile ravished Cabo San Lucas there are thousands of people living there with no fresh water and no electricity. Their homes were wiped out. My friends at the Solmar V have set up a fundraiser to support the delivery of donated water purification systems to the area. You can donate here: http://www.wavesforwater.org/fundraiser/hurricane-odile-baja-relief
I have decided to put three of my stoneware plaques on ebay for the cause. 100% of the proceeds of these auctions will go toward the Hurricane Odile Baja Relief fundraiser.
About the plaques
Each plaque is hand-made by me and each piece is one-of-a- kind.
The process starts with a chunk of clay. I like working with Black Mountain, because it has a lot of iron in it and fires really dark. I’ve also been playing with porcelain, which fires white.
I roll it into a slab and let it sit for about a day. When the slab is leather-hard I start decorating. Most of the shapes are from photos I’ve taken, but some of my older designs are from stock images or just freehand drawings.
The patterns are created using small shells that I have collected from the tropical beaches I’ve visited around the world. I look for texture and have a nice collection of favorites. I roll the shells into the clay until it is completely decorated. Then I cut the outline and let the piece dry. After smoothing down the rough edges the dry clay (greenware) is fired the first time.
The Black Mountain clay is now a warm brown color. In most cases I’ll immediately put the piece into the kiln for the second firing. I don’t glaze these pieces, because I want to keep the detail the small shells create. The second firing is done at around 2700 degrees for a couple of days. The finished piece is very hard and dark brown.
Then I apply a colored underglaze to the surface and rub away the top layer leaving color in the deeper areas of the texture. The next firing is low fire in an electric kiln. This fixes the underglaze so it is permanent.
For a porcelain piece I sometimes will use oxides, underglazes, and glass frit on the top surface texture to get a colored glass finish.
On a porcelain base I applied two layers of underglaze and a top layer of glass frit.