I had the happy & fortuitous experience this past summer of selling one of my masks – Full Buck Moon (Buckmoonster Fuller) https://clayandbone.com/2022/03/23/full-buck-moon/ – to a good friend on Mayne Island who allowed me to display it at Shavasana Gallery throughout my busy season before I removed it from the wall, and helped her to install it at her home in October.
Sometime in late July/early August a lovely couple, Ania & James, were visiting Mayne from Vancouver, and popped into the Gallery to have a look around. Ania spotted Full Buck Moon and fell in love with it and asked if it were possible for me to recreate it for her. Like most artists/creatives, it’s wonderful to have your work genuinely appreciated and I was flattered by her enthusiasm for Full Buck Moon….also, like most artists, it’s great to sell your work when the opportunity arises, so of course I accepted her offer.
This was my first fully-commissioned work, but the request was made right at the height of my busy season running Shavasana Gallery/Café, so, I explained my delight in receiving her offer but that the actual work on the mask likely wouldn’t commence until I closed down for the season in late September, when Shavasana Gallery reverts to Clay and Bone Studio. As this didn’t pose any problems for Ania, and she was just happy knowing that I was willing and able to recreate the object of her affection, I agreed to start work on Full Buck Moon # 2 in early Autumn.
I began preparing the clay in September, kneading, slamming, rolling, adding small amounts of moisture and initially produced a heart…it just seemed to happen that way…then, after a month of prep work (and general too-busyness) I began forming the mask mid-October
I love making these ceramic masks, and have enjoyed the process with each of the 13 or 14 I have created. I discovered – in October – that it’s still immensely enjoyable for me to do commission work…working the clay, shaping the mask, adding features & details, and ensuring that the antlers are “a fit”…however, it does come with a slight element of stress knowing that you are working towards someone else’s expectation. One wants to please the client, of course, and after a month* of creative focus on Full Buck Moon # 2, I was able to show the finished vision to Ania in mid-November, and, she was “over the moon”😆 …and I was relieved!
Always a relief when the masks survive the firing process, then a layer of undercoat, final facial details, painting & shadowing, and attaching the antlers via copper wires & ceramic glue – et voila! a very happy Ania, and an ever-smiling Full Buck Moon happily ensconced on the front-room wall of his new home
*just to note that this is not 9 – 5, 7 days per week…there are always a few stops and starts, and fussing & fixing, plus the clay has to cure for a week or so before it enters the kiln…which also takes a little time