A traditional alkaline glaze is made from limestone and or ashes (which contains alkaline salts including calcium), clay, and sand or crushed glass. Clay is an Alumina silicate, Al2O3 2SiO2 2H2O. The green color comes from iron in an oxygen starved, or reduction atmosphere during the firing process. I thought it might be interesting to look at an example of this in the context of a quote from Steiner from his Agricultural lectures:
“Lime is Generalized Outer desire. Silica is Generalized outer Perception. Clay mediates between them. Clay is closer to silica but mediates towards lime.”
The Abduction of Sophia/ Subduing of Ahriman,
Cone 6 Gas Fired Stoneware, 15” X 24” 2014
The Abduction of Sophia
Subduing of Ahriman
This is a piece I did a few years ago. The Title image, The Abduction of Sophia, was a recycling of some drawings I did in the 1990’s in preparation for a painting that I never started. The idea arose from reading translations of original Gnostic texts detailing some of the Gnostic myths. I opted to do a semi literal rendering since it is told in this way. When I started to add the images to the ceramic vessel, I decided to contrast the abduction with the subduing of Ahriman by Michael. Then I thought to contrast the images of the crucifixion of Christ and the crucifixion of the black magician, in the Americas at the time of Christ, on each side. This comes from Steiner’s lectures on the Mexican mysteries and the Knights Templar. The contrasting scriptures are as follows: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…”(Psalm 23:4”, and “The wicked are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.” (Psalm 1:4). Oddly enough, I remember the second verse not from Sunday school but from an Emlyn Williams play entitled Night must Fall.
As you can see, the colors did not quite come out as bright as in the work in progress. There was too much reduction in the gas kiln and it bled the oxides in the slips and stains. Sometimes I will fire again in oxidation with more color, but I decided to leave it as it is. It is a dark piece. For better or worse, I will let it speak for itself without explaining too much.