Haunted House and Love for Architecture

by anna on January 27, 2012

in Anna's Blog

Today it was like something nudged me, so I went on the IPCA website and learned that I have won Judges Third Place in the 2011 Progress and Possibilities contest with one of my entries, the “Haunted House” clock and storage box (left). Well, that certainly was good news! πŸ™‚ I’m very glad as I have worked very hard on my entries. I want to thank everyone who helped me to get there. First of all, Ken, my wonderful husband, who conditioned all this Kato clay for me. Yes, the entry is made out of 2.5 lb of Kato Polyclay! Nuts, no? πŸ™‚ I wouldn’t have any hands to type this with, if Ken hasn’t conditioned all this clay for me. Even our hammer got slightly damaged after so much Kato, I don’t even talk about Ken’s hands. Second, I want to thank the contest’s judges for choosing me. Knowing their level of expertise, it is a big honor to be chosen by them. Third, but not the last, I want to thank all people who supported me and said so many kind wonderful words about my entry. Thank you all very much, I’m really touched by that!

Another good news is that now I can show you my entries!! πŸ™‚ Before I couldn’t as contest rules prohibit publishing pictures of the work submitted anywhere. But I really wanted to :).

They all (there were 3 of them) are united by the theme of architecture. Well, there is nothing surprising about it if you know about that deep, sometimes unhealthy πŸ™‚ passion I have for it. The words “real estate” bring me to an ecstatic state close to an orgasm :D. To me architecture is an amazing analog to nature, created by our own hands, our talent, and dedication.


In the big window you can see Larry, the Merry Ghost. He’s an original character developed by me, a member of my alternative Universe.

Larry lives in the house which used to belong to mean Rampskin, the former owner and abuser of Nuri, the Magic Fox. Nuri could sense the hidden treasuries, however, when Rampskin took Nuri with him into the Underwater Castle to look for sunken treasures, he ran right into Senkel, the Ghost of the Underwater Castle. Being not only an abuser, but also a coward, Rampskin died of fear while being chased by Senkel. Senkel and Nuri became dear friends. Nuri wanted to show Senkel the world, but Senkel was attached to the castle, as all ghosts do, and couldn’t leave it. Then Nuri broke off a piece of the castle wall and carried it (and Senkel) with him. They had many adventures together.

When they returned from their journey, Senkel, who knew that his friend Larry didn’t have any house to haunt, offered him to move into the house which used to belong to Ramskin. Since Rampskin never really cared for his house, it looked rather sad and deteriorating. Larry fixed the house and added quite a few cheerful decorations to it. Maybe they were a bit kitsch, but after all Larry is a merry ghost :).

The house became a major tourist attraction of the town, through which the town greatly benefited. After that, the town’s Mayor and Larry became good friends. The Mayor never forgets Larry’s deathday and always brings him a nice ghost cake. Larry is always glad to see visitors and gladly poses for them in the big window of his living (if that term is at all applicable) room.

You can see Larry’s other adventures here. Larry was practicing his Halloween β€œBoo” trick, when the Mean Pumpkin came flying and landed on his head. However conked, Larry didn’t lose his spirit (especially since it’s all he’s got), seized the Pumpkin and turned it into his paint bucket to leave funny Halloween writings.


I guess I got a bit carried away :). The “Haunted House” required 7 bakings to be completed. The big window and the cobweb were made out of liquid clay. It was quite funny with the cobweb. I wanted it to look semi-transparent and somewhat dirty, as very old and really thick cobwebs tend to look. So, I made a cobweb drawing and was pouring liquid clay along the lines at a mad speed standing right next to the preheated oven, so the lines could be clear :). After baking, I peeled it off the paper and soaked in bleach for couple hours to get rid of the ink. That seemed to do the trick :).Β 

Larry glows in the dark, of course; he’s got such a glowing personality :). The “bricks” and the “shingles” are planned pattern mokume gane created using a ruler and a square cookie cutter. All color inclusions are backfilling. Not a drop of paint or varnish were used. The walls and the roof are hand-polished for a deep gloss.


By looking at the other winning entries (and they are really wonderful, it is just a joy to look at them), I realized an important thing. I maybe mastered the color, but now I have to master the shape, to “move into the air”, if you know what I mean. I’ve always been a rather practical person, and I think that affects my designs, them being traditionally square, round, and triangular. Seems like I need to move onto more funky shapes :).

On the left and the right you can see my other entries to the contest. It is “Adobe House” desktop organizer, made by me for Ken – how’s that – to have a house with the pool right on your desk :). Another one is “Windows” vase, made out of a recycled beer bottle :). The little windows are mini glass mosaic tiles.

Sorry if it has been a long post; I just wanted to share so many things with you! πŸ™‚ Thank you for reading it!

Bye till tomorrow or Saturday! You’re welcome to leave a comment, as always, you know that ;).

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gayla C January 27, 2012 at 8:54 am

Anna, these are awesome projects! I love the little bottle building!


anna January 28, 2012 at 12:21 am

Thank you, Gayla! I did enjoy making them.


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