We’re Told That We’re All Buddhas, but

but, we are a captive audience of standardized icons and story lines!  What to do?  Tell it new.  Show it fresh.  What else could we ever authentically do?  Tricky parts: trusting that, trusting that, trusting that.

I’m reminded of drawings that my daughters did in their early childhood.  Such conviction and surety (and purity!) in those portraits.

I’m reminded of a few of the earliest raku Buddhas I made and realize now, that it might be a good idea to revisit that squishy, likeness-free realm!

some early work
Early Abstract Buddhas

The Complexion Blue

I love using the “naked raku” technique of firing.  The surface of the raw clay is coated with a thin layer of slip (known as terra sigillatta), which is then burnished smooth with a soft cloth.  The surface is glowing but not shiny; truly reminiscent of a skin-like quality that I love.  Lately I’ve been experimenting with colorations added to the terra sig.  And I especially love this blue.  Though light in shade , it’s no baby blue, but rather something smoked and crackled and lined just as any aged face ought to reveal.

Before…and After

I always have to hold my opinions in check after a piece has been glazed and before it’s fired.  It’s raw, monochromatic, somehow very flat-looking.

And the reward (hopefully) comes after the raku firing when all the painterly impressions of fire, wind and weather play over the surface.  A human face appears….