Marsha Hedrick is our BOC Spotlight artist for June. Marsha has several registered names. She uses Porcelain Fantasies for her dollhouse miniatures. She uses Amazing Porcelain for beads and jewelry, and for her Native American pieces she uses Natika's Porcelain Art .
Marsha lives in Tonopah, Arizona about 30 miles west of Phoenix.
Marsha has been working with clay pretty much non stop since 1986, but she did some ceramics before that in 1975. Marsha uses many types of clay, although she mostly works in in porcelain and prefers it for its texture, beauty and translucence. She has a beautiful dark red stoneware that she likes and has used both white and terracotta earthenware. Marsha has dabbled in Egyptian paste and most recently she has been digging some of her own clay and refining it. Some of the Native American competitions require that the potter dig their own clay.
Marsha fires mostly in a kiln but she also does some outdoor firing and will probably do more of that for the Native American work. Many of the competitions in addition to requiring that you dig your own clay require that you fire it traditionally which means in a hole or fire on the ground.
1. Slip cast or hand build the piece.
2. Clean off seam lines on cast pieces or sand hand built pieces if necessary or hand burnish in some cases.
3. If piece is to be decorated with slip trailing or underglazed -it is done now.
4. Fire to bisque. (Marsha usually fires porcelain to cone 4 if it is going to be glazed or cone 6 if it isn't )
5. If the piece is to be glazed it is glazed and fired to maturity at this point. Otherwise it is either sanded or tumbled to smooth it down.
6. If the piece is to be decorated with china paints, it will be painted and fired at a much lower temperature -an average of 3 more times.
7. Gold, mother of pearl or other luster accents and finishes are added as a final firing.
Marsha's favorite glazes include clear, a glaze called sierra gold that I really like but it is
a very picky glaze. Also fire opal, a pink glaze which Marsha is quite fond. But for the most part she really like overglazes and china paint techniques much better than glazes which is why clear glaze is her favorite. There is so much more variety and opportunities with those techniques.
Marsha sells her work on the internet through her various web pages:
http://www.blogger.com/%20%20http://porcelainfantasies.com%20for the miniatures,
http://porcelainfantasies.com%20/for the jewelry and beads,
http://choctawart.com for the Native American pieces.
She also sells on Etsy: http://porcelainfantasies.com%20/and at various shows including The Best Bead Show in Tucson.
Marsha's advice to newbies is to try to do things that you don't think you will succeed at at least sometimes to push yourself to improve your skills. Remember you can't please all the people all the time and you should first and foremost please yourself. If you work at pleasing everyone else to the exclusion of yourself it will become work and lose its fun and interest and your creativity will go away.
I thank Marsha for this great interview and lots of information. Joan Tucker