This blog describes the process and inspirations for the creation of Kanika Marshall's mixed media sculptures.


| 24 January, 2016 20:59


My ex-husband and I bought a comprehensive set of medium blue Mikasa ceramic plates, probably in the 1980s. Since then, I have found out that blue is the worst color that you can have for plates for it makes food look less appetizing (this is according to the foodie experts).I have so many cool bowls and plates that I really don't want to give them away. So I've decided to reglaze them using my new paint sprayer system, in the hope that I will be able to use them for wild parties in the future. (For those of you who know me, you know that I don't really throw wild parties...)

Here are some pictures of an afternoon experimenting with a small new compressor and new spray gun. The first shows the original blue color and my paint spraying booth; I practiced spraying on the cardboard.




This shows the project fully underway, with 2-3 coats of cranberry, then orange glaze sprayed on the old plates and bowls. The fan is drying the sprayed on glaze between coats.



OK, everything is sprayed, but I wanted to fool around with additional designs and slip trailing (glaze in squeeze bottles) with additional colors. On some I scraped the glaze, revealing the blue underneath.


This is what some of the fired plates and bowls look like. Which ones do you think I should reglaze? 




| 31 July, 2015 22:15

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It was time to think about making another five small wall artworks for the 2015 Small Treasures show in Elk Grove. I loved making the Wisdom of Trees series last year and decided to do something similar this year. The welded steel Spirit of Trees series came together so beautifully!


This year, I wanted to maintain some of the semi-rusted character of the recycled steel.



I used white, yellow, red, green, violet, and blue green solvents dyes to make these colors.



Layers of solvent dyes and acrylic paints were sprayed with a clear gloss sealant:



All artists would use five 5x7" pine boards as a backing for their choice of media. I chose those with knots and striated growth lines the add character for this Tree series.


I consulted with an elder to help me choose five of the 14 metal slabs I had welded and painted to be mounted on the wood. He also helped me choose names for each piece.



What do you think should be done with the other 9 welded slabs that I made? Drill a hole in the top center so they can be hung on a wall, or spin from a tree? Should they become a tabletop? Any other ideas???







| 04 May, 2015 11:51

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| 11 March, 2015 05:41


Written by Kanika Marshall, March 2015


The Truth: Every person we encounter has the potential to change the quality of our lives. Leland Stanford Roberts Jr. is one of those people for me. In fact, he is one of the most interesting people I have had the privilege to know. I met Lee in about 2000 at an Elk Grove Artists meeting. He was often the only man in a room of about 40 women artists. He certainly stood out, not only because he was always dressed in the art he made, or that he often brought in unusual artwork he created, but also because he always had a joke to tell, or something smart or salacious to say to the ladies. Lee Roberts is a character!  I always looked forward to seeing him at those periodic meetings, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I allowed myself to spend more time with him. Now I feel compelled to share a few of my observations about Lee on the following pages (click More). 




| 30 August, 2014 10:41

Four spirited artists joined me on August 14th and 21st for my first Goddess Art workshop of 2014 at the Elk Grove Fine Arts Center (EGFAC). Two of ladies had taken previous clay classes from me, and one purchased the class for herself and her girlfriend as a birthday present.


| 07 July, 2014 23:20

I am so fortunate to be around highly creative people. When I assumed the identity of "Kanika" in 1993 - lover of African fabric, clay, metal and chocolate - I entered a world of fascinating artistic folk. Growing up, I was so shy that I could literally go all day (outside of my home) without speaking to anyone. But Kanika is a more typical talkative Gemini. Kanika knows that asking questions and learning about other people paves the way for not only finding people with common interests, but also becoming the welcome recipient of serendipity and other collateral benefits.  Being around creative people makes ME more creative, excited, and willing to try new techniques. Every day, I wake up with new ideas for my art, as well as lots of potential solutions to all sorts of problem situations. 



I now have many friends whom I can call on, count on, and enjoy everyday. I am no longer lonely. This world of art keeps me optimisitic, excited, and a little manic (which is OK, I think). Artists think it's cool if you're a little kooky, so I fit in a little better with that crowd.  The feeling of acceptance is more than wonderful - it feeds me everyday. So what better way to show appreciation to the people who have become such an integral part of my life? Yes, purchase their art and have a little piece of them with me always. 


I started collecting art in the early 1980s. The professional framing cost was more than the three 24x30 Kathleen Wilson limited edition prints, which were my first art acquisitions.



| 17 June, 2014 01:05

Turning sunshine into art

Courtesy Photo. Elk Grove artist Kanika Marshall recently won a Concept Award for and her sculpture, “Energy Meridians,” which shows the relationship between energy from the sun and everyday life.

EG artist wins in SMUD’s first solar power focused art exhibition

By Raina LeGarreta - Lifestyle & Arts Editor

Published: Friday, June 13, 2014 10:40 AM PDT

“SMUD is on the cutting edge of solar power; they’re all about ‘reuse, recycle, renew,’” said Elk Grove artist Kanika Marshall. “I applaud them for spearheading the idea in our area.”



| 14 June, 2014 13:13


Here's an excerpt from "Strong Art" submitted by Photographer Larry Dalton to the News and Review Magazine in 2010:



Kanika Marshall describes her art as “the infusing of tribal colors with exotic clay sculptures, textiles, glass, leather, stone and metal.”



| 28 January, 2014 04:18


2014 is a new year and a new course of action: teaching clay and mixed media classes.

If you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE TO CREATE ART!  Whether it be clay masks or steel totems or quilts, my brain is always thinking of beautiful new things to make. I have had the good fortune to sell my art in galleries, stores, at art shows, at my studio, and from my website. But carrying around often big and heavy art pieces does take a toll on my aging body. After all, I've got 40 years to go to catch up to my 107 year-old Aunt Reba, so I need to take it easier on the body in the future.
At the AARP convention in Atlanta, Georgia, in October 2013, I learned about their "Life Reimagined" concept - their online surveys help the over-50 set to identify new goals and dreams. After much thought, I came to the conclusion that teaching my art techniques to others might be another way to share my love of creating art. But my tiny studio can only comfortably accommodate two other people (four can fit, but it's real cozy!).



| 04 December, 2013 17:21

Well it's been a whirlwind fall for me traveling to Georgia for genealogy work and the AARP convention and then visiting my darling grandchildren in Japan. So my blog has suffered a bit from disuse, but I'm back now! Having to prepare for my largest indoor show of the year, the three-day Crocker Holiday Art and Gift show right after Thanksgiving, forced me to get ready real fast! This is the 20th time I've done this venerable show, and each year I try to bring different sculptures for people to buy.
So I made more Kwanzaa ornaments because everybody loves how bright and interesting the African fabrics are, with the principles of Kwanzaa written on each ball. I sold so many last year that I needed to make more (Note: There are some gifts on my website for purchase: ). 
And everyone likes tile trivets (hot pots) that are beautiful to look at and protect the table or counter from hot pots. I also packed hearts, masks, platters, long mosaic pieces, a few African figurines and pottery.  But was that enough?
Maybe it was time to make some of my tile tables for other people to enjoy. Over the years, I've painted on floor tiles and smaller tiles to create, in essence, large murals. Those are then glued to OSB wood with glass and metal and beads to make my tile mosaic sculptures. For example, small 2x2 tiles were used on my custom kitchen and mixed-size tiles were installed in my bathroom.
Large 16x16 tiles were used to make this "Journey" coffee table. 
That's it! Tables! Furniture with clay tiles. I had already made several 22"x22" tables for myself to use on my covered patio, but maybe it was time to share them with you. I found a source for easy-to-put-together tables and had already painted many dozens of 4"x4" tiles with various moifs, such as: trees, women, flowers, and abstracts. They were fired in a kiln and stored in boxes for later use.
The fun part was being able to create different layouts of tiles and glass and stone, with the help of my Facebook friends. Here are some examples of layouts hat I asked FB friends to comment on:
Once the layouts were decided, I used industrial strength adhesives to adhere the tiles to the table top. Applying tape was important to ensure the tiles did not shift/move while they were drying. On some tables, I pour several layers of resin on the top to create a smooth surface. I use these tables on my patio outside as a breakfast/computer/reading table. And several tables are inside as coffee tables, puzzle tables and pedestals for sculptures. Since the table legs do not like moisture, I bring the tables inside during inclement weather.
In 2014, I will conduct a class on how to make a tile tabletop at the Elk Grove Fine Arts Center, in Elk Grove , California. More information on my clay and mosaic classes is contained on my website: 


| 27 August, 2013 00:40

Adinkra Totem
I have always admired the beauty and symbology of the totemic structures of Native American and African tribes. A totem is defined as a being, object, or symbol representing an animal or plant that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, group, lineage, or tribe, reminding them of their ancestry or mythic past. Click on (More) to see the rest of the article.


| 27 June, 2013 10:08


Time to start another garden art project: transforming my little pond "Dragon-House Style" into a FAERY pond.

Dragon House Video


What does that mean? For years in the 1980s, when I worked near the DMV building at 24th and Broadway, I would walk to the Dragon House at 4th Avenue and 22nd Street in Sacramento, California, to admire the incredible mosaics on the house AND the grounds. The artists were precariously building and creating their masterpieces on two-story scaffolds. Each day I looked forward to seeing their progress. I've always wanted to mosaic the side of my grey house with something FAB, but I think I'll start small with my pond area. Click (MORE) to read the rest of this blog.

Click on (More) to see the rest of the article. 



| 07 May, 2013 03:42

Queen CharlotteSo far, 2013 has been an amazing year for my art business! I had an opportunity to show at the Crocker Art Museum, got my Queen Charlotte True True sculpture into the America's ClayFest (formerly called the Feats of Clay), and showed my artwork in a dozen galleries and stores this year. 


I have also been madly getting more sculptures ready for a featured artist show at the Blue Moon Gallery in May 2013. It has been three years since I had a featured artist show at BMG, even though I regularly show my outdoor art there. Now that was the difficult thing ...  While I have literally hundreds of sculptures available to show "inside" the gallery, I really wanted to only include unique sculptures which hadn't been seen at BMG before. So do I create new pieces or renovate older ones? 

Click on (More) to see the rest of the article.




| 01 January, 2013 14:52

So you purchased one of my outdoor art pieces and have been enjoying it all summer long. Now that it's autumn and starting to rain, there are some recommended actions you might want to take to keep the sculpture looking great for years and years to come. Here are some helpful hints you might want to follow for different types of Kanika sculptures.


Garden NymphMetal artwork

I use recycled steel and sometimes aluminum and copper in my kinetic sculptures.


The surface of the metal is often smoothed or textured using an angle iron grinder and different pads/heads. Then I use a MIG welder to essentially fuse different pieces of metal together.


Sometimes I adhere glass and clay to the metal structure and have the piece powder coated to help resist rusting.


Sometimes I will spray the piece with a protective sealant like Rustoleum Clear Gloss to retard rusting. However, it is important to understand that steel will most likely eventually rust a bit if left in the elements, whether it is powder-coated or sealed.


To minimize potentially rusting, spray the entire sculpture with a product like Rustoleum Clear Gloss to retard rusting.


Often the sculpture is welded to a concave disk to form a really strong base that does not tip during strong winds.


NOTE: I often leave the base to rust naturally, so if the base is to be placed on a nice surface like a wood floor or carpet, you might want to first lay down a mat/towel on the surface under the rusty base.


| 01 January, 2013 12:34

So you purchased one of my outdoor art pieces and have been enjoying it all summer long. Now that it's getting cold and rainy, there are some recommended actions you might want to take to keep the sculpture looking great for years and years to come. Here are some helpful hints you might want to follow for different types of Kanika sculptures.

Metal and ClayTile Pieces Mounted on Wood

Tile is made from clay and clay comes from the earth. The glaze color on the tile is really a layer of molten glass that has fused onto the clay. Therefore, glazed tile will theoretically last for milennia outside in the elements.  However, in the colder regions where there are freezing and thawing cycles, such as in areas where there is snow, the clay "may" crack over time, so tile sculptures should be kept in a covered area during the particularly cold or wet months.

Sanded grout is often used between the tile and glass pieces in my work and I often paint the grout and spray it with a clear sealer; over time, the sealer may wear off and should be periodically sprayed with a product like Rustoleum Clear Gloss spray paint.

Additionally, the tile and glass pieces are adhered to a sheet of Oriented Strand Board (OSB) wood, which is not normally rated for outdoor use.  Although I cover the wood with a couple layers of wood preservative or exterior paint to minimize damage from weather, you should spray the front and back of the sculptures with a clear sealant like Rustoleum Clear Gloss spray paint at least once per year.