It has been a difficult summer, little rain, all-pervasive smoke, fire on every hand. The Green River has dwindled in some places to puddles among the Utah red rocks. The desert waits, in suspended animation, for the return of rain. Many people know 2 Chronicles 7:14, but the verse preceding it (13) says “if I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people –” and that is a warning. But God goes on to tell Solomon, in verse 14, “If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and I will heal their land.” Do we see? Are we listening?
Green River Drought is hand-built with my favorite Laramie Formation pure white native clay, which I dig and refine myself. My favorite firing method, fumed saggar firing, actually requires 2 firings – one to 1830ᵒF to harden the clay, with nothing more than a super-refined white slip air brushed on the bone-dry piece, and perhaps a little additional color, in this case some more of that white slip tinted with copper carbonate, blotted onto the surface. The second, more dramatic firing creates the rest of the color. Tightly wrapped in crumpled aluminum foil, the piece fumes after being immersed in ferric chloride (a liquid iron source) and is sealed up to smoke with various other combustible elements until it reaches 1300ᵒF when I shut down the fire.