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Deae Lunae by bigponymac Deae Lunae by bigponymac
Latin title because I could. :P

I took a HUGE gamble and decided to glaze Luna instead of simply painting her. Why did I glaze instead of paint? Because I knew this piece would be 10x more beautiful if I nailed the glazing versus if I painted it. Now the results were...not what I expected, to say the least, but I'm still excited with how she turned out.

All of the imperfections, cracks, and discoloration make it seem like this sculpture has been sitting around for hundreds of years. Maybe it looks like a piece that came straight out of the Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters? Who knows?

I know I'm going to get some flak about the colors not being right. I tried my best to pick glazes close to the original colors. I didn't have much to choose from. I also messed up and used the wrong white when I made my mix for her hair. I was supposed to use a 2:1 of Leech White and Royal Blue but used Frosty White instead. It doesn't have a very glossy finish like the Leech. It's finish is somewhere between glossy and matte. I'm making a note of that for next time.

All of the cracks formed during the hard fire. They really couldn't be prevented. Cracks come from the clay shrinking during the firing process. I wasn't expecting that big one to happen in the back of her mane. It's fixable, but it wouldn't look right because it be very hard to mix paint up to match the glaze. I'm going to leave it as is because I feel it gives the piece some character and uniqueness.

I hope everyone can look past all the imperfections and look at this with an open mind. No she's not perfect, but that's what makes her interesting and charming in my eyes.


And here's some glazing pros and cons from my own experience for those of you into sculpting/ceramics. (I know there's a couple of you out there)

-Makes pieces stronger
-Most glazes are safe to eat off/drink from (pottery/ceramics)
-adds interesting textures, patterns, and colorations to the piece

-A lot of detail is lost
-It's hard to know exactly how the glazes are going to turn out in the fire
-Glazes are hard to control. Some have the tendency to run and mix with other glazes when fired leaving unexpected results.
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BespectacledSloth Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I both loved and hated working with glaze when I had my ceramics class this past year. I was typically very good about getting the colours spot-on, but I always had issues when it came to layer colours. For instance, I made an octopus stand holding a coral bowl and the coral [bowl] and the purple [octopus] came out perfect, just like I wanted, but then i tried to get fancy and add some brushstrokes of lighter or brighter colours from those same areas of the colour spectrum to each, and they just faded into the main colours and killed it BC
bigponymac Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Man, that must have been disheartening. That's how I felt when this one didn't turn out exactly how I wanted.

From my experience I've found that glazing isn't the greatest idea for detailed sculptures. It's good for simpler things like cups, bowls, plates, etc. and simple, more abstract sculptures.

Out of all the sculptures I've glazed, only three have come out exactly how I had imagined. Glazing is a very hit or miss process. Though I wonder if low-fire glazes are more predictable than their high-fire counterparts. I've only had experience with the high-fire ones.
MadameLeFl0ur Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2012
Love it. That hollowed pupil works really well to give the eyes life. The glaze seems to have stayed where it should be because the contours are sharp and fine.

As a ceramist I understand that "to glaze or not to glaze"-problem all to well. When I do (rarely) glaze my stuff I often stow the things away for some time and return to them later with an open mind and then I can see the whole picture instead of nag about details. I wish I was a little more experimental and had more patient with glaze though.
bigponymac Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, I was really surprised that the glazes didn't run on me. I've had problems with that in the past but these specific colors seem to stay where I put them.

I'm still not exactly sure why I made the decision to glaze this one. I kinda wish I didn't but then again I love how it gave the piece a little character.

I'm currently doing another Luna bust and I'm going to do some things differently with it. For example, I'm actually not going to hollow out the pupils this time. Instead I'm going to paint them normally and hit them with a clearcoat to try to emulate natural eye highlights.

Thanks for the comment!
L-D-Sayo Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012
That's definitely the first word that comes to mind!
And actually, the coloring looks more like the 'Luna' from the opening story!
Amazing work!
gear9242 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
To be honest, I kind of miss the old Luna mane. But! New Luna is awesome.
Haissan Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2011
she looks wunderbar
xT-Robx Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
it looks great. So what do you so with all of these? Do you just have sculptures everywhere?
bigponymac Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Pretty much. lol
Fairy-Slayer Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2011
I'm sorry things didn't go right with the glazing, and especially with all the cracking. On the bright side, in this case I think the hollowed out pupil works beautifully, and I still love the carefully crafted eyelashes for extra cuteness. But like you say, it looks ancient and weathered.

Did you use the IO wash on her? Perhaps Orangestone's grain size is simply too much for getting subtle and smooth effects...?
bigponymac Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Eh I'm not worried about it too much anymore. I knew I was taking a risk with the glazing. The cracks couldn't be helped though. Now if I wouldn't have glazed it I would have been able to use some plaster to fill them in and then paint over it.

All the IO I've been using was red iron oxide. My teacher showed me some black iron oxide when I was asking him about some different glazing techniques. What I found out was that the black IO didn't run as much and didn't oxidize as much as its red counterpart. I used the black iron oxide on her hair to hopefully bring out some of the details but the glaze still covered most of it up.

You can still get subtle effects with orangestone. It's just that glazes are very hard to control and it's hard to know exactly how they're going to turn out.
Pinkiederp Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
As a big fan of Luna, as you know, I love it!
I think it gives an old time look to her and that fits perfectly with the 1000 years story.

I can't wait to see the finished product!!!
bigponymac Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks and this is the finished product, PD.
Pinkiederp Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
I am talking about the body with the head. I thought you haven't finished the body yet?
bigponymac Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a completely separate piece from the giant Luna statue. I've got the body done for it and the head attached to the body.

This piece was going to be nothing more than a bust.
Pinkiederp Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Nyrocu Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2011  Student General Artist
as a ceramics student as well i can testify on what you said above! glazing is very unpredictable and its hard trying to envision the colors before the final firing. but I must say i really like the chose of glaze you did use! it looks weathered with age and old. what type of firing did you use? cause i found that oxidation firing sometimes looks alot like the color you want. anyways great job! I for one am a fan of this piece
bigponymac Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I believe it was an oxidation fire. I remember talking to my teacher about the difference between oxidation and reduction firing and how it was easier to do an oxidation fire with the kiln we have at school.

Another reason the glaze may have turned that way (which I failed to mention in the description) was because I only used two coats of glaze instead of three.

Thanks! :)
Nyrocu Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2011  Student General Artist
well that the fun with ceramics! its a mystery util it comes out of the kiln! just a thought, have you ever considered doing a raku firing? most of my pieces i used that type of firing and i think on some bust ( like this one) they would look stunning in!
bigponymac Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't think we have the space or the equipment to do a raku firing. I'd love to try that out someday though. I think I could come up with some sculpture ideas that would look amazing after that kind of fire.
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December 19, 2011
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