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Explosion of Joy

Ceramic Sculpture

Created by Frank Nemick
This ceramic sculpture is composed of three separate elements with intriguing surface effects. The top and bottom elements have crackled surfaces created using naked raku techniques. The middle element is created from three glazed, raku-fired clay disks in vibrant red, orange, and yellow. The distinctive patterning on the cones is indicative of the naked raku process. The naked raku elements have several layers of terra sigilata which are all hand polished, giving them a nice sheen.

The artist's naked raku uses a slip applied to the pot, then a layer of glaze. It is fired in the kiln and, when taken out at a red-hot temperature, is put into a bin of pine needles which burst into flame. The smoke seeps into cracks in the slip/glaze layer. After about an hour of being smoked, it is taken out of the bin and hit with water. This turns to steam and causes the "clothing" to fall away, leaving the "naked" clay surface. There are no waxes or lacquers used as these can obscure the clay surface. The clay surface should be handled with clean dry hands to avoid staining it. It may be placed outdoors in temperatures above 40F. Also it may naturally change color if repeatedly wetted with water. Raku is not suitable for liquids.

Each element is filled with a structural rigid foam that is not visible once assembled. This strengthens the individual elements, and allows threaded steel rods to be embedded within for easy assembly/disassembly. Elements screw together by hand without tools. The correct placement is clearly marked.

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