Art Elements Monthly Theme: Petroglyphs

Welcome to my post for the October Art Elements Blog Theme Reveal: Petroglyphs.

Karen discusses what Petroglyphs are in her theme intro post from Oct. 2, 2018, and I do not really delve into carving stone to create, but rather into earth clay, which is then hardened into ceramic material by the heat and temperatures of my kiln. The particles that make up my ceramic clay are from the earth and to me the carving of earth clay in ways that tell my story of what I see and want to express in my work do fall into line with ancient and new petroglyphs. I hope you enjoy a little insight into my process and have fun hopping around to the other artists participating in this months blog hop.

Marsha Neal Studio Original Carved Clay Texture Plates (circa 2002).

Above are some of my very first carvings into clay to make texture plates. I roll out slabs of clay and let them set up to leather hard. I then use stylus embossing tools, pencils, dental tools or anything else at hand to make my mark in the clay. I always refine the edges of my lines with a damp sponge as I work and as the clay dries out, often going over the designs multiple times.

Marsha Neal Studio Larger Carved Texture Plate: Buggy Vibrations (inspired by my brain wanting to create, but not knowing exactly where to put the energy).

As I started to make beads on a full time basis, I decided that I needed to make some larger texture plates so I could roll out larger slabs and cut out my bead shapes from that. The above “Buggy Vibrations” texture plate was one of my more quirky plates. It touches on how my creative brain was at the time. I had carved a lot of other plates and wanted to go into more directions, but like when I get scared – I just run in place and scream a bit. So this is what came out. A bunch of lines with buggy things and lines like wallpaper that they are scurrying up or down or just in place moving.

Marsha Neal Studio Carved texture rollers and round texture plate. I enjoy using the reverse printing that happens with this type of carved tool.

I also moved to carving some rolling texture coils and then as I wanted to just try out some new textures, smaller round plates as above. I tend to work smaller to test out ideas to see how they will work in reverse, then make larger plates if it is something I really like.

Marsha Neal Studio Carved Texture Roller and some Chocolate Stoneware Clay earring sized pendants with the reverse print in some areas. Gnarly Spiral design cabochon too.

Because of the small size of this textured clay coil, I decided to just roll it across some clay and cut it out utilizing the rolled edge to create a variation in some pendants. Pushing boundaries not making things all perfect – Watch out! lol

Marsha Neal Studio Spiral Carved Press Molds used to make lentil beads. Top shows three of my carved molds. Middle two are my bisque fired chocolate clay beads. Bottom four are the finished rustic glazed lentil beads.

In the last couple of years I have liked the idea of making beads instead of just pendants, and so I rolled out thick slabs of clay and made these press molds. Below is a time lapse video I shared through my Marsha Neal Studio Facebook page a bit ago.

I plan on photographing some of these rustic lentil beads for my Handmade Component Bazaar Show (Facebook Group) on 11/1/18. And one day I will be updating my Marsha Neal Studio Etsy shop too. Usually that happens after my online shows.

Thank You for stopping by and spending your time reading about my process a bit more. I hope this theme inspires your artistic work and you will share some of your work through social media with #AEThemePetroglyphs.

Here are the blog hop participants:

Our Guest Artists:
Jill Egan:
Tammy Adams:
Alison Herrington:
Sarajo Wentling:
Jenny Kyriach:
Kathy Lindemer:

Art Elements Team:
Lesley Watt:
Jenny Davies-Reazor:
Cathy Spivey Mendola:
Sue Kennedy:
Caroline Dewison:
Laney Mead:
Marsha Neal Minutella:
Claire Fabian:

19 Responses to “Art Elements Monthly Theme: Petroglyphs”
  1. Jill Egan says:

    Thank you for sharing some of your process with us, I love your spiral beads. Good luck with your bazaar

  2. Love seeing your process, Marsha! Great beads – love them all! The texture plates from the first photo – wow!

  3. Laney Mead says:

    I do love seeing how artists use clay. I really like the texture on that buggy board too. Good luck with your bazaar 😉

  4. Cat says:

    So beautiful. Seeing something like this always makes me want to try new things!

  5. CraftyHope says:

    Your usual process fits in line with the petroglyph theme so perfectly. I really love getting to see how your beautiful pieces are made and hear a little about your thought process. Thank you for sharing it!

  6. claire says:

    I so love seeing your process! And I have to admit that my first thought for this month’s theme was your work, especially the spiral designs! I would love to be able to go through your workshop (and try out every single texture you have)! 🙂

  7. Thanks for the insight! This challenge was definitely made for your style! All your designs are fabulous!

  8. Caroline says:

    I love reading about your process Marsha, and your clay and glaze choices work perfectly for the challenge!

  9. I love seeing your process. Thanks for sharing. I think your texture plates are pieces of art all by themselves. I love the various textures and designs you have created. I am really drawn to the spirals though!! Love those.

  10. kathy Lindemer says:

    Thank you for sharing your process. Your texture plates are wonderful–real treasures.

  11. I adore your chocolate stoneware in every color glaze you use. And i really enjoyed reading a bit about your process for creating your own textures. The spirals are always my favorites, but I really love that buggy vibration pattern and the explanation for how it happened.

  12. artelem2016 says:

    Always fun to see how other ceramic artists work. Really enjoyed your post and the results of your techniques. 🙂

  13. Jenny says:

    Your textures and glaze combos work well with this theme – you were already on it! Fun to see your pieces in the hop from others too! Love it!

  14. Alysen says:

    Love all of these and seeing your process. Like Tammy above, I have to say my fave is the buggy vibration pattern. Good luck on your facebook bazaar show, will stop in and see how that works.

  15. Lesley Watt says:

    Great to see your process Marsha and your style of beads are just perfect for this challenge – love all that earthy goodness!

  16. Sarajo Wentling says:

    So cool to see your process, Marsha! Yours were some of the very first art beads in my (then) tiny collection. 🙂 Sorry to be hopping so darn late!

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