Saturday, July 11, 2020

Sugar Skull Jacks

The making cycle continues! I threw these guys (plus a few others) last weekend so I could continue my experiments with sugar skull jack-o'-lanterns. I left them under plastic overnight so they wouldn't dry out too much; I'm in L.A. and it has been hot and dry for a while. (People forget that before Mr. Mulholland came along and stole water from up north, we were a desert!)

They were still too wet to work with the next morning when I took my Grace out for her morning constitutional, so I left them uncovered in the morning sun for a while so they could firm up a bit. 
I get my wooden potter's knife out so I can sculpt the leaves and outline the lid. Yes, I am fully aware this is horticulturally inaccurate, but it looks good and I have decided to take artistic license!
I'm a bit of a clay tool fanatic, so I'm playing with different tools to draw the patterns on the clay. So far, I like the clay shapers best. I can use them like pencils and they don't seem to leave behind a lot of clay debris like carvers do.
This week before work, I laid down three coats of white underglaze on each of the sugar skull jacks.
It's nice to get back into the work flow. Back when I was still in Folsom, I used to be up and at my wheel at 4:30 AM, go to work at 8:00 or so, come back around 3:00 PM, carve or throw more, then do some household chores - or mix them in through the day. Somewhere in there was taking care of the dogs and the ex, doing a little grocery shopping, sometimes making dinner.

I'm not quite to the stage of getting up that early any more. Part of it is that I'm working outside and I just don't have the lighting I had in my old studio. The other part is I'm older and need my sleep!
I ordered some new colors for these guys, and they should be here early next week. I am so looking forward to using the turquoise I bought! It's one of my favorite colors and it's one used in the more traditional Mexican arts.
Shown sans lid.
These guys are destined for the Raku kiln. I can't wait to see if the crackle works the way I hope it will!


  1. I don’t think I have ever posted here, shellhawke, but have followed yo for many years. It’s wonderful to see you getting back into the groove of making. Unlike you I am nota huge fan of Halloween, but I love the imagery.
    Toes crossed you like heat. Carry on!

    1. Thank you so much!
      I'll get back to the fine art at some point (I have a series in mind), but for now, Halloween is it!
      Happy making to you, too!


In order to protect my readers, I screen all comments. Spammers will immediately have their comments deleted, so please, if you are a spammer, just go away. I will promote your blog or site if I know you, but if not, please accept my invitation to the world.