Last week, before Christmas, we wrote a blog post and included a photo of a custom piece an artist of ours was creating as a gift for a relative. Time was dwindling down and we weren't sure if it could be finished in time! Luckily, it was finished on Christmas Eve, but we weren't able to update everyone, as it was too late into the evening. Today's blog post will be all about how the custom wolf plaque came to be!
On December 10th our artist started the wolf head. There was nothing laid out, no accompanying pieces, not even a frame.
You can see in the photo above the wolf head starting to take shape. It wasn't quite a profile view of a wolf howling, but not straight on either. It took a bit to get the angle correct. After a few hours of carving, shaping, and hoping for the best, the wolf head was complete.
All the details were carved and we felt comfortable enough to let it dry! We had a constant fire going and the wolf was placed as close as it could be to the wood stove because there wasn't a lot of time!
On Monday, December 21st, the wolf went into the kiln. The photo above is the wolf after coming out of the kiln on the 22nd. At this stage we could finally start laying out the rest of the pieces because most of the shrinking had already been done.
A frame from a previous project was chosen, as well as what pieces from our collections would be used including the glazes for them. Everything was laid out in the frame to make sure it would fit correctly. At this point every other piece was glued down to the frame.
On December 23rd glaze was put on the wolf. This is the hardest process because a wolf has never been done and glazes look completely different after being fired in the kiln! In the photo above you can see what it looked like going into the kiln. We popped it in and hoped for the best...
On December 24th (Christmas Eve) we came in early to check if the kiln had completed the firing. Once we saw that it had, we carefully opened the kiln lid to see this! We could not be any happier. At this point it was more or less a race to finish before the night was up.
The wolf was set in place and glued with the rest of the pieces. Once we let the glue set for a bit we could finally grout it.
We hoped to get a better shot of the final piece but we had only minutes left so we took this photo from a phone. We plan to get a better photo in the next few days! Both we, and the relatives who received it, are very happy with how it turned out! Though it was very stressful it was well worth it.
Want to see more of the name plaques we've created? Head on over to our website for more photos!