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Friday 21 July 2017

Confirmation mask for a young lady - commission 4

She is my second confirmation mask to create. It was commissioned by the family friend for a teenage girl in Norway. My first confirmation mask was for a gentleman. I made his mask from his life story, so far. This time my focus is current and future. I made the mask for her to look back when she reaches her important points in her life. And I hope she would show it to next generation.

After discussion, the client sent me several photos. I also checked the place on Google. From there I imagine what kind of life she has. I also check the types of trees and plants growing there.

This time, I made a face slightly similar to the girl. 

Until the mask is finished, I needed to concentrate. I also have to work quickly. All parts are thin and small, so they dry quickly. Drying was difficult when the thickness of clay varies so much.  I usually dry masks very slowly in a cool storage room. 

The first bisque firing. As it was a secret gift. I made sure that it was not on the images I shared on social network. 

Bisque firing was done. There was subsidence around the building. After sanding, she went to another bisque-firing. Buildings are not easy to add as the surface of the mask is curve, but the bottom of the building is not.

The second bisque firing. 

Colours were added. She is ready for glaze-firing. Her expression changes in different lights. 

Glaze-firing went successfully. 

Now the last process. I added porcelain paint. After firing she was completed. 

It took me four months to complete her. I had to stop working on her for a month while I had prepared for CAL. The client was often somewhere exotic, but despite that, we had good communication over emails.

Thursday 13 July 2017

Freedom of speech - commission 3

The client visited CAL. After discussion a smaller version of Freedom of Speech was commissioned.  
Freedom of speech

The client requested a black wood base mask stand. This type of masks would look great on black stands. 

Here is the large Freedom of speech at CAL. 

I am careful when I scale up/down the work in size. I make sure that the essence of work will not be diluted in the new work. 

As it has more depth than my female masks, profile is important. 

After the client was happy with it, it was bisque-fired up to 950C. Then, colours were added. 

Then it went to glaze-firing up to 1240C.

I use crank clay for this type of masks. Materials often inspire me. Other two masks were born with the commissioned mask.

Now the mask lives in the house with stylish intetior, London. Thank you so much.

Saturday 8 July 2017

Girl with quince flowers - commission 2

Another commission for the first half 2017 was a Girl with red shoes. You have seen them before, but this time she is large, larger than my usual big masks.

The lovely client has spotted smaller Girl with red shoes at PikaPika, organised by Creative Clerkenwell, last year.  Then she visited me at CAL, and and we discussed her commission.

Here is the comparison of shoes. The red pair is ordinary one


Retail shows like CAL and Hatfield are great occasions for visitors to see all ranges of artists' work. Especially if you are interested in a special piece to be made just for you. You could see the size, colours and other details in person. 3D work looks bigger in person than on the photos.

Ready for glaze-firing

She also requested the girl will either have quince flowers or a ribbon. I thought the flowers would suit her best.

Ready for glaze-firing on a different background

These two images were sent to the client. Different backgrounds give different impressions.


As I had several commissions at the same time, I was able to do frequent firings.  After the mask and shoes were fired, I got a mask stand made for them. The larger the mask, the taller the stand.

Girl with quince flowers

She was packed carefully and posted to the lovely client. Thank you so much! 

Saturday 1 July 2017

Red riding hood for a lovely family in Germany - commission 1

I have spent creating special work on commissions for the most part of the first half of 2017. One of them is Red riding hood. A lady contacted me earlier this year after seeing the photo of CAL website. She told me it would be a birthday present for her husband. How lovely!

As I have made a similar mask before, I would be ale to guess how long it would take me to make one. First, I made the mask.

Second I added a story on her head. The wolf is difficult to attach. The first one was too large, so I had to make another one.

After the lady's approval, the mask was ready for bisque-firing.

Then I add colours. The colours before firing are not what you see after firing. That is the most difficult point. It is often a guess work.

She is ready for glaze-firing.  

I usually take a few days to pack intricate works. Then the packet was sent with tracking. This mask quickly and safely arrived at the family home, Germany. I have received a lovely message from the lady. That was, of course, the best part. Thank you so much.