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Inspired by a terra cotta frieze on the historic.. Nortown Theater... Chicago, Illinois,
Art Deco Nortown Spandrel Panel Nr D5 Modelled by Randall
Randall is an art scholarship recipient of Iowa Central Community College.
Hand-pressed kiln fired, red terracotta.
Each hand pressed cast must be carefully dried over about two-three weeks, and hand detailed just as they did in the 1890s-1930s. Each of theses terracotta sculptures are personally signed, numbered and dated works of art. Please note that hand pressed is NOT the same as the much cheaper, paper-thin ceramic "slip castings" used to produce teapots, china plates, bowls and ceramic pieces! The two processes are similar only in that both use a complicated plaster mold, the difference between slip casting ceramics and hand-pressing clay is- the slip is simply poured into the mold like a plaster cast, let set a while, drained and removed just like a plaster cast. Slip casting is a condensation process, with the clay particles condensing by gravity, slip castings are usually very weak, very thin, and easy to break, this process is used for mass production.
Hand-pressed clay sculpture involves real work, physically taking the moist clay and both pressing and ramming small amounts of it into the plaster mold, pressing and working it in to remove air and squeeze the clay into all of the fine details. As the sculpture is built up to the top surface of the mold it is then levelled off on the back and hollowed out by hand, leaving the clay walls about 5/8"- 3/4" thick.
Once the pressed-clay has remained in the plaster mold used to form it for a few hours, it is carefully removed and laid on a wire rack to begin drying. Here is another difference- the pressed-clay sculptures are completely gone over by hand with sculpture tools to add back any fine details, accent others, and generally clean up the whole surfaces, this is exactly the same processes used to create all of the architectural terracotta found on old buildings my work is based upon. These sculptures are fired in the kiln @ 2,070 degrees for about 36 hours.
This configuration is designed to be embedded into a wall, or used in the garden.
SIZE: Nominal 12-1/8" high by 19-3/4" wide, 2" deep.
WEIGHT: Nominal 29#.
While the Nortown theater is gone, you will be able to enjoy the lovely design in your home.
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