Prehistoric Skull Mugs

A few weeks ago I showed you a bowl I had decorated with an animal skull, with a little help from some wax resist. I became really excited with the visual possibilities, and started perusing my sketch books for more skulls to use. I eventually encountered some prehistoric skulls from a sketching trip I'd done at the Field Museum a few years ago, and decided to put them to use.

You may remember this first one here, as I'd also used it for an acid etching back in 2013. It's a prehistoric relative of the modern-day giraffe. Curiously enough, the sketch I did in the clay here is more accurate to the original sketch rather than the etching. Artistic license I guess.

This one, if I remember rightly, is an ancestor of the rhinoceros. 

As I had done with the previous bowl, I first watered down some black underglaze, rubbed it into the carved lines of the skulls, and wiped off the excess, leaving a black outline. Once that had dried, I covered the whole skull with wax resist. 

After the wax resist was applied, it was time to dip them in the glaze. The largest piece was dipped in floating blue, while the other three were dipped in a light green and dark brown.

Once the pieces were glaze-fired, they emerged looking like this:

The handles were a little sloppy on these pieces, but now that I can see how well the process works, I'll be more careful in the future so that I can make some quality pieces. I've also got plenty of new sketching fodder. I was on vacation northern New Mexico recently, and sketched some dinosaur skulls at a paleontology site while I was there. Naturally, I'm eager to get back to the studio to make some more mugs so that I can try out these new designs.