Looking to north.

Posted on Apr 25, 2014

Things in the studio are looking up and I’m pretty darn pleased. Deadlines are a blessing. Stressful blessings.

Hank Dreams of Espresso (But He Knows He is a Bison) Sarah Regan Snavely

First there was the sculpture of the bison with pigeon on his back. Look there, all finished. With finished walnut base and everything!

Hank Dreams of Espresso... Sarah Regan Snavely

This is where we last saw Hank the Bison on this blog – in his unfired clay state. He rested comfortably on his side, spending his days slowing drying.

The finishing process was uneventful – save for my minor meltdown questioning my design choices. Well just the one design choice: What was I thinking when I decide to make a standing Bison with all that weight on those little legs? I had no plan for how I was going to fire this guy.

I figured it out.

So this is Hank dreams of Espresso (But Knows He is a Bison). Hank is on his way to an exhibit at the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Primitive bison Sarah Regan Snavely

The next deadline is the raku firing at Dickinson State University. This time I made a series of little bison. Two and a half inches long. Roughly.

The first firing – the bisque firing – will reach a different temperature than what I usually fire work. Will this make a difference?

I have big dreams for this herd to expand. More on that later.

Bison Sarah Regan Snavely

And then the possibility of an exhibit with other North Dakota artists arose. Short deadline, but I’m motivated by deadlines, right?

I can enter three works for the jurying process. The committee with pick one or two or all or none. Since it is a North Dakota show, I wanted work that had some connection to North Dakota. Sure there is that Custer-owned-Greyhounds thing, but I wanted something a little more specific.

I started a jackalope piece earlier this year. So I finished the antlers and rocks that make up the base. The jackalope piece is drying comfortably.

Also in the studio is a Pronghorn/Greyhound piece I began ages ago. It is both weird and requires hanging in a somewhat complex way. This might make display in the exhibition space impossible.

Then I started this big Bison. Big is relative. This time I thought about how I was going to fire him before I started construction. I wanted this piece to be as large as possible and still be fired in one piece in my kiln. The kiln shelf this work is sitting on in the photo above is 23″ in diameter.

Bison - Sarah Regan Snavely

I should buy a bigger kiln. To get the one I want I would have to spend around $7500. Or I could build one. Can only muse about this now. Must stay on task. Deadlines!

Now I wait for big bison to dry so he can be fired. Will that happen before the deadline for entry?


  1. Louise Gagné
    April 25, 2014

    I love your bisons, especially the bison with the pigeon. Very potent combination!

    Thank you!

  2. genjiscorner
    April 26, 2014

    Your bison look great. At first, when I saw the last picture, I thought you were going to leave Big Bison open, like a flower pot holder or something 🙂 If I didn’t have deadlines, nothing would get done.

    • Sarah Regan Snavely
      April 26, 2014

      While hollowing out the big bison I did think about making is a soup tureen! (Do people use soup tureens anymore?) 🙂

  3. Randi
    April 26, 2014

    Your bison are perfect!!!

  4. Yes I Know My Dogs Look Funny
    April 26, 2014

    Loving the bison! Of course greyhounds are best, but those are pretty darned cool bison to!


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