Loring Cheney’s fabulous sculptures are whimsical and expressive. She makes her work with raku. Traditionally this was a Japanese technique in which a potter would take a pot from a red hot kiln with tongs and allow it to cool quickly, producing a fine crackle in the glaze that would darken with use and age. The more contemporary, Americanized version of raku is to remove the piece from the hot kiln, but then drop it into a barrel of a combustible material like sawdust, straw, or shredded newspaper, which immediately ignites and smokes. A lid is placed on the barrel and the work is allowed to smolder as the carbon from the combustion infuses into the clay. Many glazes are formulated for this purpose, often creating colorful flashing and iridescent qualities, or crackling and allowing the carbon to penetrate the exposed clay, creating a web of dark crackle lines. Clay that goes into the kiln white, comes out of the raku process black. With its big eyes and long lashes, this Raku Dino-Creature is a sophisticated piece of contemporary art, that will also make you smile.
17″ long and 9″ tall