To create her beautiful pieces, Marga goes through a multi-step process that combines a pre-Renaissance technique of oil painting and hand-built environments in stoneware.

First, I choose my subject and create a painting. Oil paint is applied on hand-cut, shaped, sanded and prepared Masonite. At first, they are done only in Burnt Umber to achieve all the tonalities of the work. Then slowly, I glaze in thin layers of paint (and linseed oil) for the various colors in the painting. Thicker layers of paint are applied over time, allowing each layer to dry completely.

Once the painting is finished, I build the surrounding environment for it, which is conceived at the time the painting is done; and usually sketched out on paper. The clay is rolled out into one-quarter inch thick slabs and cut into various shapes.

Next intricate patterns are applied using old linotype machine “dingbats” of diamonds, Maltese crosses, squares or triangles. I hand mold or sculpt the surrounding details.

The shapes are put together by scoring the joining areas, wetting them with water or slip, pressing them firmly together, and pressing a rolled coil of clay into each joint. The clay pieces are allowed to dry at least one week. They are fired once, glazed with my own hand-mixed glazes, and fired again for about 15 hours.

At this point, the painting is glued into place. Some of the clay pieces are painted with acrylic paints to give them a weathered appearance, or to add some detailing after the firing. “I use no assistants in my work, only the moral support from loved ones.”



The Artist

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Copyright 2004, Marga Hayes-Ingram, All rights reserved