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ADVANCING THE ARTS ACROSS MARYLAND

JOYCE MICHAUD

JOYCE MICHAUD

Artist Work

Crown Impression
2000
Porcelain and Stoneware, hand-formed; shino woodfire, two days in catenary arch woodfired kiln
4" x 5" x 3"
Shino Pinch Pot
2000
Pocelain, hand-formed; fired in reduction atmosphere in a gas kiln
7" x 3" diameter

Artist Information

County
Frederick County
Artistic Category

Visual Arts

Artist Bio

The work is representative of the explorations in form and finish in porcelain. The pure white color and translucency of porcelain provide a canvas for the interplay of glaze and surface created by the lick of the flame in the firing process. Each pinch pot and impression was formed by hand from a lump of clay, pinched and worked until the desired form emerged. The still wet clay of the impression is then drawn into with a textured object, resulting in thick and thin lines that create a translucent and opaque play of light in the finished form. The work is then stacked and fired in a wood fired, anagama or catenary arch kiln or a gas fired, sprung arch, reduction kiln. The length of the firing is dependent on the size of the kiln. The anagama fires for three days, five days, or up to twelve days. The catenary arch wood kiln fires for two full days. The gas fired reduction kiln requires 16-18 hours. The wood kiln is stoked with wood every 3- 10 minutes during the course of the firing. The movements of the flame through the kiln carries ash and fumes, which are deposited on the ware as temperatures reach 2,400 degrees fahrenheit. Stoking methods and the type of wood used becomes critical to the results of firing. The ash flowing through the kiln is deposited on the ware, interacts with the clay and/or melts and forms a glaze. The ware is placed in a wood kiln on wads of clay to prevent the work from sticking to the shelves. Joyce created crowns out of wadding clay to hold the impressions and to lift them from the shelf to enhance the color during the firing, as well as present the gem as part of the sculptural statement after the firing is finished. Shino glazes can be fired in a wood-fired or gas-fired reduction kiln. Firing shino glazes requires an understanding of the chemistry involved in the formulation of the glaze and the interaction of the clay and glaze during the firing process. The fire finishes the form and embellishes the surface. Skilled handling of the porcelain and the fire facilitates the beauty only nature can provide.