Mary Fischer

The focus of my work is architecture. The buildings started as boxes. Lids became roofs, feet and chimneys appeared and things go on from there, changing from season to season. I build pieces from slabs and extruded pieces of clay, at times combining both techniques. When working with slabs of clay, I frequently make paper patterns to work out design problems. The model is then taken apart and used to cut out pieces from clay slabs. Extruded pieces of clay are cut apart and reassembled, with small slabs used to close the ends. This process is akin to playing with legos. The more pieces there are to play with, the more ideas there are to explore. Sometimes, finished pieces consist of separate parts that can be arranged in different ways, as whims dictate. Firing is done in an electric kiln to cone five. Some pieces get a layer of white slip before bisque firing. After the first firing, a copper wash is applied followed by another layer of slip. Underglaze pencil and black mason stain are used to accent the edges. Color is added in the form of stains, glaze, or colored slip, but used sparingly. Images also come and go in my work, using photos I've taken and transferred to clay using different techniques.