In this work, Jennifers ephemeral looking Keraflex Porcelain spiral seems to float above the smooth hewn base which acts as a grounding force creating a harmonious and compelling yet fragile, textural contrast which both invites and discourages tactile exploration simultaneously.
"u·ni·ty- The oneness of a complex or organic whole or of an interconnected series; a whole or totality as combining all its parts into one.
The sculptures that I create are inspired by the unity I see in the world around me. I am interested in the way seemingly unrelated elements interact and intersect to form harmonic relationships. My sculptures accentuate the connections, visual patterns, and the contradictions that I experience in daily life. I juxtapose the macro and the micro to highlight visual parallels and to remind us that we are structurally connate with the world around us. I use abstractions of forms that are found in the many layers of our lives, be it industrial cogs or the shape of red blood cells flowing in our veins.
I purchased my first test packet of Keraflex at NCECA in 2009. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it, but I have always been fascinated by the translucent quality of porcelain. The thinness and flexibility of the material excited me. I couldn’t wait to try it!
I started experimenting with glazes and decals on the flat sheets. This was fun but I wanted a 3-D surface. I worked with Keraflex on and off for several years, always looking for a way to integrate it into my sculpture.
In 2011 I started testing a new idea. I began tearing the large 0.5mm sheets into small strips, soaked them in water, and then rolled them into spirals. The Keraflex Slurry worked best for holding them together. I fired these unglazed spirals to cone 10 in oxidation. These tests lead me to the featured work Unraveling. Ironically I hadn’t planned for the spiral to open up like it did, but it worked well with the concept so I went with it. When working in experimental ways with new materials I do my best to remain open to the unexpected results of the process. Sometimes with more success than others!
In my new series Cartograms, I have successfully embedded torn pieces of the 0.5mm Keraflex in Sculpture Mix 412. I look forward to seeing where my experiments with mixing Keraflex with other clays leads me." Jennifer Brazelton
More examples of Jennifer's work can be viewed in our Keraflex gallery and at Jennifer's WEBSITE(So you can continue browsing our site, this link will open in a separate window)
Chris Torrez is using Keraflex Porcelain and a craft punch, in conjunction with another cone ten clay to create highly detailed and incredibly delicate sculptural pieces that would be virtually unachievable without the use of Keraflex.
"In regards to the construction of the piece, I add the Keraflex leaves while the sculpture is wet and green using the slurry. I form the leaves by using a water drop shaped hole punch, then I wet the individual leaves to make them more pliable and then indent them with the vein lines. I use a dull small cutting tool to create the vein lines and this also causes the leaf to curve and have a more 3D, realistic appearance. For the taller grass on the ground, I cut the Keraflex into a long strip and then cut thin strips, but not all the way through so they were still attached. I then wet it, applied slurry to the intact base and rolled it together. I then made a hole in the ground of the sculpture and used the slurry to attach it.
The piece was fired to cone 10, once fired. I preheated the piece in the kiln for about 10hrs to ensure it was completely dry before firing. The red separate parts were refired to cone 06 with a red glaze.
This material has been very helpful in that it allows me more detail and diversity of form at this miniature scale. It also allows me the use tweezers to pick up and place the small parts in assembly and to make the leaves ahead of time and store them until I am ready to use them. It also seems to work well in bonding and shrinking with my plastic clay body, which is Chris Staley's porcelain body.
I definitely plan to continue to use Keraflex for future work. It makes it much easier to assemble work at this scale. I have found a company online that makes custom hole punches of different shapes that will be useful. I have experimented with using different types of dies, including cake decorating tips to cut out shapes. This awesome material has greatly impacted my artwork." Chris Torrez