Wednesday, August 15, 2012

~Creative Magic Series~ Duane Collins- "Elements Pottery"

~Creative Magic Series~
Duane Collins

I first saw Duane's work by chance on face book and just loved the beautiful Raku beads and pendants that he created! I even purchased a beautiful pendant for myself!! During my visits to Sedona Arizona I saw so much beautiful artwork and one thing that caught my eye was the amazing Raku work that people created and from that day on.. It has become a favorite of mine! 
You are in for a treat with Duane's beautiful Raku pieces! Enjoy~

My name is Duane Collins and I am a ceramic bead-maker. Beads, buttons, and pendants are  miniature canvasses with endless possibilities emerging from a small ball of clay: a canvas that entails form, texture, and color.
   One constant in my work has been my fascination for how glaze responds to texture. I love the way glaze changes mood as it breaks over a ridge, or impressed marks in the clay. Glaze naturally thins over high spots creating a shift in hue or tone. Some glazes have a greater tendency than others to change dramatically over texture. I also love the way some glazes look when pooling in deep spots. Glaze is an important way to emphasize texture. I often choose glazes that have these properties much like painting with watercolor. Rough watercolor paper has a prominent tooth, or textured surface. This creates a grainy effect as colored pools of water collect in the indentations in the paper. It is a way of adding expression, mood, and feeling.
   To further this expression, I use a variety of tools such as metal kidney-shaped tools with serrated edges, and bamboo tools for their ability to smooth as well as indent the clay. Differently shaped wooden strips, the tines of a fork, fingertips, cheesecloth, lace, and burlap are all a part of my vocabulary. Fired clay stamps and natural items such as rocks, fossils, and bark are also important to me.

   Raku is my specialty. Raku is a firing process derived from 16th century Japan. 
.When the kiln reaches 1850 degrees, the red hot pieces are removed from the kiln with metal tongs and placed into a barrel of paper, straw, sawdust which instantly ignites. The barrel is then tightly covered and the work is allowed to smoke for a duration. When the pieces are removed, the glaze is metallic with areas of copper, blue, rose, green, and violet although there are many possible colors are achieved.

   My main themes are flora, fauna, and fantasy, as well as cultural and historical influences. Combining these themes resonates with me since I have always maintained a sense of wonder of the magic of the natural world.....

. It is an endless source of inspiration and one I will doubtless always be compelled to draw upon.

I am a member of the Beads Of Clay Professional Artists Team,
  and the Creative Bead Artists group,

My work is used in two projects by Erin Siegel in the summer issue of Stringing magazine.
 Also, my beads are used in a project in Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbon and Cords co-authored by Erin Siegel and Lorelei Eurto.

~Thank you so much Duane for sharing your passion and love for art through your beautiful Raku pieces!!~
~In Love & Light~

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