ARTIST: DeAnn Engvall
From: Hastings, Mn
Medium: Ceramic

I am a part-time potter/scultpture, full-time Graphic Design teacher with an Art Education degree with a concentration in ceramics. I was throwing bowls and vases and firing them with raku glazes when I was inspired to try a sculpted dragon. It was the perfect blend of the firing technique, whimsical form and magic. I grew up reading about dragons and have always felt connected to them, creatures born of fire and magically alive. They are the essence of all things we know aren’t real but seem so close to being truth. They make us reach a little farther and keep us open to possibility. My part in making them real brings me to place of hope and joy, the magic in my life.

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Process: Using a raku clay body which is very tolerant of dramatic temperature change, I make a coil for the base and work my way up with more coils to form the body. I then sculpt the tail, arms, and legs and put detail in the head and face. The spines are added from tip of the tail to the head with each one ending up different. Head, hand and tail position are adjusted as the personality forms. Some lean forward, some sit back, eager or patient as they show their true selves. The form is hollow all the way up. Wings are created flat then folded and attatched at the shoulder. I can pick them up by their necks when they are done.
I love the transformation of clay and glaze in the fire. In raku firing, it is a dramatic and unpredictable birth that makes each creation unique and magical. Every dragon has it own personality as it evolves. No two are alike. They can be incredible listeners or just a face to make you smile.  Adopt one and make him or her part of your family today.
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