I work in ceramics, glass and metal, assembling the elements after they are fired,usually with a sculptable epoxy. It takes me a month or more to complete each of the larger works, depending on the media used and the number of times the ceramic body is glazed. Sometimes I add stones and bones from nature to the pieces.
I work primarily in stoneware. First I hand build the clay form, leaving holes for the glass elements. After the clay has dried slowly to the greenware stage, it is bisque fired to 1900 degrees F. After the first firing, I apply underglazes and glazes to it. The work is then fired to maturity ( 2232 degrees F), where it vitrifies (becoming very strong). At this point I assess the surface finish. I often retire with additional low fire glazes. In this way I achieve perceptual depth in the finish.
The glass elements are either hollow or solid and fired in a kiln. This process involves a number of steps. First a clay model of the element is made. A plaster/silica mold is then formed around the clay model. This mold material is able to withstand the heat of the kiln and will crack easily for removal. of the glass following firing. After the mold has set, the clay is removed, and the mold is cleaned. At this point, for the hollow pieces, 4 layers of glass powders and small crushed glass, mixed with a binder, is packed around the inside of the mold. The inside of the mold with glass in it is filled with sand and talc to keep the glass from melting down the mold. The solid pieces are simply filled with crushed or broken sheet glass. These are fired slowly to maintain the integrity of the mold up to 1475 degrees F and then annealed for an hour at 910 degrees F to prevent cracking. For my cast bones, the lost wax method is used. In this case a silicon rubber mold is made of an actual bone. Molten wax is poured into this mold. Then a plaster/silica mold is constructed around the wax which is steamed out when the mold hardens. The mold is filled with glass and fired as above. All glass requires cold working with a saw, sander, and polisher prior to being attached to the ceramic sculpture.
I use steel, perhaps forged to an interesting texture or distressed with a grinder. I weld joints together. Ceramic elements are attached using sculptable epoxy.