I created this pair of candle holders by disassembling an actual hibiscus flower. I then used the pieces to make impressions into my china-grade clay. When I had cut out all the elements I then modeled the flower to match a photo I had taken before the disassembling process began.
When the clay is rolled out as thin as a petal should be, it is very floppy. As I was styling each petal I used wads of tissue paper to support each of them until they became leather hard.
I then created the stamen as a separate piece.
The leaf base was made by impressing 4 hibiscus leaves, stem to stem, to form the star shaped platform for the flower to rest upon.
A ring of clay was formed as a forth separate piece to eventually hold a candle.
Once all pieces were dried I very carefully cleaned up all the delicate edges with a small wet sponge.
A bisque firing was done to turn the clay into ceramic.
All pieces were then brush glazed in various colors.
The tricky part comes when these glazed pieces are arranged together on a shelf in the kiln and fired for the second time. The goal is to have all of the pieces stay put and fuse into one piece.
I have only made 4 sets of this design. The first set I gave to my Aunt Barbara as a 50th wedding anniversary gift. She is the second generation artist of our studio's history and the person who taught me as her apprentice for the better part of a year before she turned the operation of the studio over to me in 1996.
As a note of interest this photograph was taken outside with a glossy sheet of poster board as a background. The sky and clouds in the photo is actually a reflection of the sky on the poster board. My eye did not see this image but the 35 mm "film" camera did.
Dimensions: 7.5" x 7.5" x 4.5