We sent several photos to her, including the one above of Willoughby as a puppy, which was obviously the photo which inspired her the most. Needless to say, we are thrilled with the piece, and pleased to support local artists of such talent.
About Dorothy Armstrong...
"A love of nature inspires Dorothy's work. Each piece being individually hand sculptured. "I try to put some of the character of the animal or bird into each piece that I make." Dorothy says.
Much of her recent work is Raku fired, but she also fire platters and sculptures to stoneware temperatures in her gas kiln. Dorothy's work varies in size from tiny porcelain fantails to large out door sculptures including birdbaths and fountains.
Dorothy sells her work at selected galleries and at exhibitions and also enjoys the challenge of being commissioned to make individual pieces for people.
Often Dorothy will also create sculptures of peoples favoured pets, immortilising them whilst giving them that special touch.Raku
The Raku firing is an ancient Japanese technique. The pottery piece is first bisque fired to 1000deg C in a gas kiln. Then it is painted with a low fired glaze and placed in a small gas fired kiln which is rapidly brought up to 1000deg C to melt the glaze. The piece is quickly removed with tongs to a drum of sawdust and paper which ignites with the heat. The drum is then covered tightly to cut off oxygen. This causes oxygen to be taken from the oxides in the glazes. Amazing blues, greens, golds and copper hues develop as the piece is taken from the sawdust and oxygen re-introduced a few minutes later. Cold water is poured over the piece to cool it and keep the colours from disappearing. Smoke from the sawdust gives a distinctive appearance to the crackle glazes. These unique pieces are built with a strong clay designed to resist the extreme thermal shock, but because they are low fired require gentle handling".
- Art Find.co.nz