The faces are sculpted individually from earthenware clay slabs. Liz works from behind the slab, delineating the features with her fingers before supporting the clay with bunched up scraps of plastic. The features are then enhanced by adding and removing bits of wet clay. The face takes form and a personality emerges. Each face begins an emotional dialogue with the artist and plays a part in its own creation. No two faces are exactly alike. As the clay dries, more definition and detail are added. When the clay has completely dried, underglaze color is applied. The pieces are fired in an electric kiln to approximately 1750 degrees. When the work has cooled, an acrylic is applied in layers and the masks are ready fo Bill and Liz to decorate.
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4 in. x 6 in. | $85 each
preserved real leaves
Long Nose Crone
7 in. x 7 in. | $150
lichen, pheasant feathers, angora wool
Small Green Stump
12 in. including sticks | $150
lichen, fungi, laurel branches
Where do you get your natural materials?
Many of our mosses, branches, and fungi are found on our own property on the Shenandoah River in Virginia. Often our friends and customers will bring us interesting natural objects. Some botanical material is purchased from wholesale suppliers.
Where do you get your feathers?
Feathers are purchased from angler suppliers.
How do I clean them?
The masks can be dusted with a feather duster, a soft cloth or a small make-up brush. Some of our customers suggest a blast from a cool hair dryer.
Will the color of the mosses and lichens fade?
Over time some of the mosses and lichens will fade or change color somewhat. I take that natural process into consideration when I apply the underglaze on each piece. I use a range of colors splattered on the faces so that, as the colors change, the overall effect remains harmonious.
How did you come to be doing this?
In the early 1990's I started exploring mask making in a primitive pottery class I was teaching. During the same period I was spending a lot of reflective time walking in the woods and photographing fungi, mosses, and leaves. The two came together and took over my life.