Welcome to
Larry Boyer,  Artist
'Sage' - abstract ceramic sculpture 'Caldera' - abstract ceramic sculpture 'Red Cedar - abstract ceramic sculpture
'Medicine Smoke' - abstract ceramic sculpture 'Wild Flower' - abstract ceramic sculpture 'Dark Eagle Rising' - abstract ceramic sculpture 'Basalt' -  abstract ceramic sculpture
'New Rope' - realistic charcoal drawing 'Sunday Silver' - realistic charcoal drawing 'Autumn's Edge' - realistic charcoal drawing 'Waiting for Angels' - realistic charcoal drawing
7810 ROLLING HILLS DR.,   BOZEMAN, MONTANA,   59715    |    e-mail:   larry@brokenskyarts.com


'Morningglory' - abstract ceramic sculpture 'Red Bird' - abstract ceramic sculpture CLAYS

What kind of clays are used in making the sculptures?
I mainly use either a red terra cotta clay or a white talc-based clay, both being low-fire clays up to cone 2.

Do you use higher firing clays, such as stoneware or porcelain?
Occasionally, I use these higher firing clays. There is no reason not to use these clays, other than there is a wider selection of bright glossy glazes at lower temps than with these higher firing clays. It's just my choice to do so.


Do you use multiple glazes on the pieces?
Yes. I will sometimes use as many as four different glazes and glaze types for my pieces.

What kind of glazes are used for the sculptures?
I use commercially prepared, low-fire glazes, cone 07 - 03.

Do any of your glazes contain lead?
Yes. A few of the glazes I use contain lead in their chemical makeup.

Are the pieces that have lead-based glazes on them safe for display and handling?
Yes they are. Lead-based glazes pose no danger for works that are not intended for use in prolonged and repeated food contact, such as are dishes and liquid containers, for example. It is the acids in foods that pose the risk of absorption, since it is the acidic compounds that can potentially leach the lead from the glaze in prolonged circumstances. These ceramic sculptures are for display purposes only and, as such, are safe. These sculptures are obviously not for food contact or for ingesting

Why do you use some lead-bases glazes?
Some lead-containing glazes have certain properties which, at high temperatures, cause different visual and textural characteristics to be manifested. Lead-based glazes often tend to be brighter, higher fluxing and more flaw-correcting than other types of glazes. As a result, lead glazes can be artistically very valuable and useful.

How are the glazes applied to the pieces?
I mainly use brushes in the application of the glazes.

How do you come up with the glazes that you use?
I do extensive testing of the glazes I use to find the combination of glazes that shows both character and stability. To date, I've done over 15,000 tests to get a relatively small collection of glazes and firing techniques which are useful for my design purposes.


How are the sculptures fired?
The pieces are fired twice. In bisque firing (the first firing), I take the piece to cone 03 (approximately 2,000 degrees F.). This first firing takes about 50 hours. Next, I apply the glazes to the now hardened piece and fire a second time to the appropriate temperature for the glazes, usually around cone 05, (approximately 1,900 degrees F.). This second firing takes about 12 hours.

What type of kiln is used?
I use an electric kiln for both bisque and glazing. It's an oxidation type of firing.


Do the sculptures have an art base?
Yes. A dark walnut base with a brass art tag is attached to the bottom of each piece. The art tag has both the name of the piece and the artist on it.

Do the bases come with a turntable? Is there an extra charge for the turntable?
Most of the sculptures come with a turntable, depending on the piece. When the piece has a turntable, it is provided at no extra cost. The turntables are not attached to the bases so as to provide for optional use by the owner and for lubrication purposes.


How heavy are the finished pieces?
The finished pieces will usually weigh 35 - 50 lbs., depending on the size of the piece.

Why do the pieces weigh as much as they do?
For two reasons. First is because clay is the result of ancient granites being worn down to very fine particles over eons of time. When the clay is taken and fired to high temperatures, it is essentially turned back into stone; and of course, stones this size are heavy.

Secondly, when constructing the piece, the sculpture has to be of a certain size and thickness to be able to support the weight of the wet clay when parts are added on.

What is the total shipping weight of the sculptures?
The total shipping weight usually ranges between 65 - 80 lbs., depending on the piece and its crate.


How are the pieces moved or handled safely?
Hand holds are normally provided in the neck of the piece, which allow for both hands to be inserted into the piece for a firm grasp so that moving can be done safely and easily.


Are the pieces as fragile as they look?
The pieces are very sturdy. They are constructed in a unique way so that breaking one of the "wings" is very unlikely during normal use, that is for example, by turning the piece on its turntable.

Of course, you cannot lift the sculptures by any of the appendages due to the heavy weight of the overall piece. Two hand holds are designed and provided in the neck of most pieces for the lifting of the work. Handling instructions are provided with each piece. It should go without saying that you cannot throw things at the piece or drop it without the possibility of major damage.

How permanent are the pieces?
If handled and treated with respect, the pieces will last thousands of years. The glaze that covers the piece is essentially glass and, as such, will last as long as the underlying fired clay. The strength and permanence of the piece is greater than any fine china you may own.

Can the piece be knocked over easily?
No. The sculptures are heavy and are firmly attached to their walnut bases, making them very stable and very difficult to knock over either by accident or on purpose.

If someone accidentally bumps into the piece, will the piece likely break?
No. If someone bumps into the piece while it is on its turntable, what will almost certainly happen is the piece will swivel away from the bumping action. The turning action of the well-lubricated turntable is quite adequate to absorb most traumas to the piece.

Please NOTE: For best protection place the piece on the turntable provided.


How do you clean the piece?
Usually, using a feather duster will adequately remove accumulated dust. There is usually no need to touch the piece with a cloth to remove dust. However, if after years of display you wish to do a deep cleaning, you may apply a Windex type of cleaner to the piece and shower the piece off with water, while at the same time protecting the walnut base with a plastic covering.

How do you care for the walnut base?
The walnut base is protected with a coat of tung oil and a couple of coats of wax (Bri-wax) that may occasionally (after a few years) need re-waxing and rebuffing to bring back its original shine. To do so, lightly apply a coat of the paste wax and buff carefully with a soft, lint-free cotton cloth.


How are the pieces packaged for shipment?
The pieces are secured in a plywood shipping crate specially designed to minimize and protect from shocks occurring during shipping. Packing and repackaging instructions are included with each piece.

What keeps the piece from moving inside the crate during transit?
The piece is securely bolted down inside the crate with nothing touching it.

What is the total shipping weight of the sculpture and crate together?
The total shipping weight ranges between 65 - 80 lbs., depending on the piece and its crate.

What carrier do you use to ship the pieces?
I ship using both FedEx Ground and FedEx Express (air), depending on the client's needs.

Does the price of the piece include the shipping and handling costs?
No. The price of the piece excludes handling, shipping and insurance.

Does the price of the piece include the specially built crate?
Yes. The specially built crate is included in the price.


Are there editions of your sculptures?
No. Each piece is unique - one of a kind.


What if the piece doesn't "work" for me when I get it home?
We have a five day trial period after you have received the piece for you to have peace of mind with your purchase. If on the fifth day you feel that you need to return the sculpture, call or e-mail me that you would like to return the piece.

What sort of refund do I get if I feel that I must send the piece back?
We will refund your purchase price, minus any shipping and transaction fees incurred from the sale.

Please NOTE:   If there is any damage to the piece while it is in your care, no refund will be made. However, the sculptures are sturdily made and will be fine during normal handling and use. See FRAGILITY & PERMANENCE and MOVING & HANDLING above for more information as to care and handling of the piece.


What is the time frame from start to finish to do a sculpture?
It takes about 2 months from start to finish.

Why does it take so long to do a piece?
First of all, it takes about 1 month to air-dry the green piece before it can be bisqued (first hardening firing about 2000 deg.). The reason this drying takes so long is that parts of the piece are quite thick and must be allowed plenty of time to slowly release the water in the clay. If you are too quick to fire the piece, the water in the "green" sculpture will turn into critical quantities of steam and explode the piece, ruining all the effort to this point.

After the air-drying process is complete, it takes approximately 50 hours to slowly bisque fire the sculpture (with an additional 24 hours to cool down) so that no structural cracks develop that would weaken the piece. You have to do this first firing before you apply the glaze, because the sculpture is much too fragile at this point to accept glaze application.

When the piece is fired successfully this first time, the glazing application starts, which takes about 8 - 10 hours to do properly. After the glaze is applied, then the second firing takes place (taking approximately 20 hours to fire, with a cool-down of 24 hours) so as to turn the raw applied glaze into its final glassy appearance that you see.

Now, because each piece is unique, a customized walnut base must be made and "fitted" to the sculpture. This takes about two weeks. With the piece in finished condition, it is placed in its shipping crate and is ready to send out.

Again, this whole process takes about 2 months to have a piece of average size (about 19"h x 17"w x 17"w) ready to ship.


Do you accept commissions?

What is involved should I want you to do a commission for me?
There are many things to discuss before we could settle on doing a commission. Things to discuss would include subject matter, size of the piece, glazing, when you would require the commission to be finished, and price, just to name a few points to consider.

What sort of funding do you require to have a sculptural commission done?
A deposit of 50% of the estimated final price of the piece (excluding crating and shipping) would be required. When the piece is done, the remainder of the cost of actual time and materials will be required.

Please NOTE:The "remainder" of the price will reflect how much actual time and materials were required to finish the piece because the initial "50%" was just an educated estimate.

If the remaining time and materials needed to finish the work is actually more than the first (original) "50%" estimate, the final payment will not be more than the remainder 50% plus 10% of the original total estimate.

For example:   If the original total was estimated to be $2,000 the first deposit would be $1,000 (50% of total estimate). If, say, the time and materials cost to actually finish the piece came to more than $1,000 the final payment would not be more than $1,200, i.e.,$1,000 plus 10% of the $2,000 original total cost estimate. However, as noted above, shipping and crating is an extra cost above the total example of $2,200.

Please NOTE:   Any monies deposited are not refundable because time and materials are considerable.


What sort of payment do you accept?
We prefer that Pay-Pal be used. However, money orders, cashier checks and personal checks are also accepted. When using these alternatives, bank clearance will be necessary before any artwork can be shipped.

Can I use Pay-Pal as payment for commissioned work?
Yes. Although special web arrangements must be made, that is something easily done without any special involvement by the patron.

Would you accept an installment payment plan?
Yes. Of course, special arrangements would have to be made.


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