“Figure with Guarded Vision”, wood fired clay sculpture by William Schwob.
Life size female figure with shifting shoulders and distant gaze. A cityscape with Roman columns and windowed buildings merges with mountainous layers, a landscape within the familiarity of a human form.
My most recent work involves wood fired clay, one of the most basic of all materials, combined with a process that matches the medium perfectly and resonates with the subject material of the human form. In my exploration of the human form I expose the anatomy and combine invented architectural structure in a way that suggests both the fragility and strength of the human condition. My interest in wood firing began with my travels to Japan in the early 90’s to the ceramic centers of Bizen and Shigaraki where I first encountered their beautiful ceramic works with their amazing surfaces and patinas of earth colors created by wood firing in large anagama kilns. The process is a collaboration between conscious intent and the unpredictable nature of wood firing. Initially, I model the clay directly, working with its specific characteristics and limitations. Once a form is completed, the clay is allowed to dry and is then bisque fired. The wood firing takes anywhere from 8 to 12 days and reaches temperatures of 2500 degrees. During this extended firing process the wood ash, minerals and salts, which are not combustible, begin to adhere to the red hot sticky surface of the clay and builds up into an amazing natural patina and finish that is usually more than I could have hoped for and in the process transforms them.
Mounted on steel base.
Age: Contemporary 2015 Signed William Schwob
Dimension: 68″ H x 15″ W x 17 1/2″ D