Due to major back issues, I was forced to leave my twenty-five year retail management career and have had a very difficult time finding work. So, I decided to return to school and obtain a bachelor's degree. For the fine art credit course, I had enrolled in my first ceramics class and immediately fell in love working with clay and set up my home studio soon after.
I always had a fascination with the paranormal, ghosts, zombies, and all other horror themes. I even married my husband in a haunted house on Friday the 13th! So, it was natural for me to create my Krampus mugs. My Krampus mugs are not only functional and food safe - they are very unique sculptures, with each one wheel thrown and hand sculpted individually. So, collect them, use them and display them proudly! No one will ever own one just like yours!
In addition to Krampus, I create subjects that pique my interest and 'speak' to me: wall art, dinosaurs, skulls, etc... some of these are borne as a result of commission projects. My skull mugs are a direct result from a friend's request for me to make them a skull mug. Please inquire if you would like me to create that special piece for you.
It starts with a lump of unformed clay.
Either I use a wheel thrown vessel to sculpt an attachment to or sculpt a project on its own. To begin my sculpture, I have to connect with what I am creating. A little hard to explain - I am unable to sculpt an object that I do not connect with.
After getting an idea of what I want to do, I begin the process. When it's 'right', it is almost as if it just appears in the clay. When it's wrong, it doesn't work and I end up scrapping it all together. one the sculpture is completely dry, I bisque fire it at cone 04. Then, once cooled to room temperature, I dip it in my Mason Stain slip mixture. After rinsing and wire brushing off the high points (the low points and crevices retain the stain to emphasize the texture), the sculpture is dipped in a cone 04 clear glaze. I fire the final piece at cone 02.
A variation I use is when the scupture calls for color. On these pieces, I underpaint colored underglazes on the greenware. Then, I proceed exactly as I would an unpainted sculpture (above).
Thank you for reading!
Susan Marquardt (Pottery Marq)