October 2008: Jean Henry Clay Relief

Jeanne Henry, a potter for 30 years, creates these clay reliefs to mirror her own photographs.  Each unique piece takes many days to unfold. After building up multiple thin layers of clay, she carves into them using very small, precise hand tools. For color, Jeanne selects from containers of oxides, clays she has gathered on her travels and commercial stains, each mixture put into a clay slip. These colors are painted on the dry clay, then waxed over before painting the next to prevent contamination and to allow a precise edge. After glazing, the piece goes through a single slow high firing in her reduction gas kiln, reproducing the warm earth tones of the images.  The final result is an illusion of depth, emphasizing perspective, detail and a sense of space.