Large sculpted torso with hand crocheted metal skirt
Estella Fransbergen uses RAKU clay because it’s rich with grog, a substance that allows the clay to shrink and expand with temperature fluctuations in the kiln and fire. Raku clay is malleable and forgiving. She vividly describes the creative process, "A specific moment comes. I move to take the piece out. I have to wear fire protective gear: a head and face shield, boots, a large apron and huge asbestos mittens with a couple of fingers. Tongs don’t work with the larger pieces. It's almost as if I have to move into the fire, cradle the piece and gently usher it out. I put the piece in a large trash can full of combustibles, fan and then smother the fire. It’s nearly over. I take the piece out of the can and flush it with cool water. Over time, I have learned to simply accept and thank nature for what is. From clay, dust, water, wood, air and fire, a piece has been BORN."