Fairy House Tree Lantern


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I made Fairy House Tree Lantern as a conical form on the potter’s wheel using an iron bearing stoneware clay.  When the form is still quite malleable, I put my hand inside and alter the form from the inside out channeling a tree of sorts. I really pushed the limits on this series!  And I twisted the top of the form to bring it together, which also added twist to the body.  Then, I attach a slab floor.  In this series, I was visualizing the trunk of the tree coming right through the “roof” or what would be the tree canopy I suppose.

To do this, I took an irregularly formed pancake of clay, textured it with a meat tenderizing hammer, and then cut a small hole in the middle.  Next I gently pushed it down over the twisted top of the tree and closed up the edges. This results in a natural extension of the tree through a canopy roof, I think.

I pierced the lantern intuitively, working from the personality of the piece.  There is no stencil.  I cut shapes across the surface imagining how they will look when lit.  A door is cut to follow the form.

After bisque firing Tree House Lantern, I then create the surface.  Because I am not firing this in a wood kiln, which would do all the surface treatment for me, I need to work more creatively.  I rubbed the entire form in a red iron oxide with some black iron oxide mixed in.  Then I daubed powdered oxides of green and yellow on the top.  To give it some modulation, I sprayed some clear glaze over the top and also daubed it hear and there on the body of the lantern.  Finally, it’s into the electric kiln to 2200 degrees F.

Set Fairy House Tree Lantern on a patio table.  Set it in a flower bed, or use on a table or spa top, indoors or out.  Wired door accommodates tealight and votive candles.

Enjoy the duality of the lantern. By day, it is all about the form and surface.  By night the form recedes and it is the light from within that captures the imagination.

9″ High to top of handle by 7″ by 7″