Christine Lush-Rodriguez || Contrasts in Clay
Over the past 18 years my sculptures have evolved, although they remain based in parts of nature. Many of the ideas have evolved from dreams. I have always enjoyed placing contrasts next to one another. Textures next to smooth, shiny next to mat, white clay next to terra cotta clay.
One of the pieces, is my take on an ancient totem pole. Using repeated elements of my sculptures, I have separated those parts and then layered them back together vertically creating a three foot high sculpture. This work was constructed with high fire clay, enabling the work to remain outside in a sculpture garden, in the winter.
While I normally work in one or the other exclusively, for this show I decided to use both brown and white clay in the same piece for most of the sculptures. They will have smooth and textured parts. The white pieces will have glazes fired on to their surfaces; the brown (terra cotta) pieces will have an alternate firing technique used, smoke firing, to finish their surfaces. The brown clay has a layer of brown clay slip painted on the surface and then a smooth rock is rubbed, or burnished, across the entire surface. Burnishing the clay before it dries, gives it a beautiful shine. Native Americans used this technique to fire their pottery in pits in the ground, as they did not have modern day kilns. If the work was glazed, pottery stacked together in a pit would stick together.
Thank you for viewing my show.
-- Christine Lush-Rodriguez