In the Making of the Heirloom Raspberry
In the Making of the Summer Blossom Platter
In the Making of the Reflection Lantern
In the Making of the Creative Spirit
“We lose a great deal when we lose the sense and feeling for the sun. When all has been said, the adventure of the sun is the great natural drama by which we live, and not to have joy in it and awe of it, not to share in it, is to close a dull door on nature’s sustaining and poetic spirit.” -Henry Beston
As the artists in the studio develop new pieces, there sometimes exists a very subtle element that we work to achieve. In the case of our new River Koi Vase, we wanted to convey the illusion of filtered, directional sunlight cast on the koi fish. To achieve this effect sculptor, Laura Klein, and glazer, Jennifer Grelk, coordinated their efforts.
Many, many experimental versions of the River Koi Vase worked their way through the studio as these two artists refined the luminosity. In the realm of sculpting, some very specific elements enhance a feeling of light. The arcing cutout under the fish’s tail provides a view into the dark interior, visually forming a deep value that contrasts with the surrounding tones. Also, the raised areas of sculpted decoration above the koi’s eye, along the edge of its fin and the ridge of its back, make the glaze naturally pool and recede. Finally, Laura worked to imbue a strong sense of movement in the fish and the grass. The rigid rim of the vase contrasts with the flowing sculpture. Movement and light work hand-in-hand to convey to the viewer the perception of catching a fleeting glimpse of a beautiful koi in a sunny river.
Jennifer’s glaze design on this piece brings the subtle aspects of sunlight to life. Through many trials, she worked with various glaze applications. In this final version, tones of orange, pumpkin, olive and amber blend on the koi to make it appear both realistic and illuminated. Jennifer contrasts opaque, cool-toned and deep-value glaze on the background with semi-transparent, warm-tone, and light-value on the koi. The interplay between opacity and transparency especially imbues the fish with a strong luminosity. The areas of brighter yellow that break more intensely along the higher relief on the fish’s tail and more delicately on the head and fin features further enhance the illusion of warm sunlight.
We hope you enjoy this wonderful piece as much as we do at the studio. The River Koi Vase represents one of our most sublime uses of artistic elements to pay homage to sunlight, “nature’s sustaining and poetic spirit.”