Ceramic bird sculptures

These two ceramic bird sculptures flew off to Somerset today…

They are about 5 – 6” tall and almost the same in circumference…and they are made from smoke fired clay.
To see more Fat Birds, please visit my website.

Thank you for your visit.

Anna
www.annakeiller.com

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The beauty of dissolving

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This is how you can re-use old clay. Allow the water to dissolve and break down old structures.
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then, you dry the clay slurry on plaster bats and start again.

www.annakeiller.com

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Hen parties and clay

DSCN1098_editedClare is getting married in the morning…
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Her sister Lucy arranged for the hen party to come for a ceramic workshop to make some celebratory  hens. And pheasants. The plan is that the bird sculptures will be ready for the wedding and displayed during the celebrations.
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After a few glasses of prosecco, it all went swimmingly.
Have you got something to celebrate? Or some ideas you’d like to turn into clay?
I’d love to hear from you!
You can find me here

www.annakeiller.com

 

 

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Smoke firing One on One Workshop

Alexis Mary has just returned from Austin, Texas, with a load of ceramic sculptures she wants to smoke fire.
She booked a One on One smoke firing workshop in my studio in Hastings.  I really like her work, and I think smoke firing might suit it very well. And once you know the basics, you can experiment on your own to achieve the effects you want.

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She daubs some red iron oxide on one of her stunning vases with Mousie Tung, the nosy cockatiel, on her shoulder.

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some amazing work goes into the bin…

And once the oxides are applied to everything, the work can be loaded into the smoke bin outside on the patio.

Alexis Mary adds sawdust, soot, salt and some other magic ingredients and sets fire to the lot. (Love that bit!)
The sawdust will smolder all through the night. And.

The next day, at about 4 pm, the bin was cool enough to remove some absolutely magnificent sculptures.
To inquire about, or book, a workshop, please go to my website .

www.annakeiller.com

 

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Sold, ceramic torso

So I got an email from an art collector in Sydney who wanted to buy  a ceramic torso he had seen online. My favourite, as it happens. Swift, a male ceramic torso with a bronze effect finish…which took me two days to apply.
So all that was great, except I did scratch my head a bit about how to get it safely from my studio in Hastings, England, to Australia.
And once you start looking for couriers/shipping options on places like uShip, Shiply and other auction sites, you come across so many dodgy outfits, it is unreal. I must have spent a full day online, searching. And the more obvious couriers, such as Parcelforce or DHL, offer no insurance and I have seen the size of their lorries…
Finally Joe, the client, came up with a firm that’ll  undertake to ship it.  They’re called Pack & Send and they’ll insure the parcel as well as pack it professionally. And they offer a door to door service. Happy days.

To see more of my ceramic torsos for sale, please go to my website.

Thanks for looking!

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Never Not Broken

I have found a new Goddess I like the sound of. Her name is Akhilandeshvari, which translates as ‘ The Goddess never not broken’.
She is an aspect of Parvati, the Hindu Goddess of fertility, love and devotion as well as divine strength and power.
Here she is, riding her vehicle, the Crocodile.

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The crocodile is a symbol of fear, and she is riding it.
Akhilandeshvari  symbolises a female power that is always changing, always broken apart in order to create something new. When we are torn apart, lying in a heap on our beds thinking we may as well just die, this is where we are at our strongest (according to her teaching). Because now we can find a new way to be. If only we realized it. Because nothing ever stays the same. There is no ‘happy ever after’, just atrophy. Akhilandeshvari will teach us how to use our fear as a creative tool.
Riding our fear, holding on to the crocodile that may grab us and spin us around and around in order to disorientate us and gobble us up, is all we can do in order to grow up and become the Mistress of our own destiny.
These old Hindu philosophers knew a thing or two about the human psyche. Here is a link to some more info about her

www.annakeiller.com

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Summer Art Show

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I put some torsos and plaques into St Michael’s Hospice Summer Art Show
Really cheap, actually, hoping they’ll sell and help with the ongoing fund raising.

The private view is tonite; Get down there and grab yourselves a bargain!
http://stmichaelshospice.com/events/summer-art-exhibition

www.annakeiller.com

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Ceramic workshops – birds are optional

I am considering training up my parrots to become pottery teachers…Carolyn came to Hastings to stay at my Airbnb and do a pottery session. I am not sure she realized what she had let herself in for.

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Here Mousie Tung is inspecting a coiled pot under construction while Goldie is preening Carolyn’s hair.
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Mouse and Goldie usually stay in their cage while I run my workshops, but Carolyn decided she wanted to meet them – and they loved the attention.
If you would like to try your hands at pottery without a wheel, then I would love to hear from you.
This link will take you to my website where you can find out more.

www.annakeiller.com

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Ceramic smoke firing workshop

So Janet arrived from Newcastle with a crate full of bisque fired ceramic work which she wanted to smoke fire here at my studios in HastingsDSCN0963_edited

All these vessels are made from grogged crank, except the piece to the far right, which is white stone ware. Janet’s local pottery bisque fired them to about 1000 C, but they couldn’t help her with the smoke firing.
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Janet used manganese, copper, red and violet iron oxide and copper carbonate to decorate the pots before they were placed in a galvanised dustbin. We made some salt bombs (pour some salt into some newspaper, scrunch up and place next to your object), added coffee grinds, soot and hydrangea heads and then we filled the dustbin with sawdust…and

 

set fire to it!
Once the sawdust catches fire, you can replace the lid. The whole idea is to starve the atmosphere of oxygen. This will add fabulous effects to the ceramics inside the smoke chamber.
The picture to the right shows what we found the next morning!
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Here they all are, lined up on the patio in the early morning drizzle.
And after a good wash we start to see their true beauty;
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I really adore this one.
The orange and yellow markings are manganese oxide and the black is from the fire. The white sparky bits that look like the night sky are the effects of the salt bombs exploding inside the bin.
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This piece is dominated by red iron oxide; I think the brown bits are manganese and copper oxide. I love the markings the fire left behind.
If you want to come to Hastings to play with clay, then please contact me here.
And if you need somewhere to stay, I run an Airbnb, which you can find here

www.annakeiller.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Sold, Ceramic plaque

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This is a smoke fired ceramic plaque appx 25 x 20 cm, showing the view from my studio window in Hastings.
I have been lucky with my last few Airbnb guests in that they have all liked my work and decided to buy a sculpture or plaque. Yesterday, a German lady decided to bring this piece back home with her as she left after having stayed here for a few days.

This plaque was first fired in the normal way (biscuit and glaze fired) in an electric kiln. I then smoke fired it in a metal dustbin filled with sawdust, dry leaves and other organic materials I found lying about in the garden.Smoke firing involves starving a fire of oxygen, so that it draws oxygen out of the fired clay piece. This will alter the colours of the oxides and the clay, and the markings made by the smoldering fire are drawn into the piece, rather than sitting on the surface like a glaze.I particularly liked the way the manganese and copper oxide turned orange/brown and green in the smoke firing.
Unfortunately, many times the piece will crack and break by the fluctuating temperatures inside the smoke chamber. This piece actually had a hairline crack running through parts of the surface, so as much as I liked it, it was still only sold as a second.
To see more of my ceramic tiles, please go here.

www.annakeiller.com

 

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