July Open Studios
Primarily a self taught artist, I have been a hobby potter for nearly 50 years. Having finally realised that shops and regular outlets require the same product to be produced time and time again, and finally admitting to myself that I am much more interested in producing one off-pots. These pots have a life of their own and so cannot be easily restrained into a general style and ceramics is such a vital and variable art form that being constrained to one style would drive me to distraction.
I work in RAKU (almost exclusively). But modern RAKU is a myriad of techniques requiring glaze, non glaze and various decorating techniques that are often more at the hands of serendipity than a prescribed path.
At present I am exploring the idea of 2D ceramics. Using flat pieces of clay often with textured surfaces. These are dried very slowly under weight in order to get them as flat as possible. However I am not displeased when the clay decides to warp and bend in the two firings that I employ. I simply break them flat and then repair the breaks (post glaze firing) with tile cement, and gild the scar loosely following the Japanese technique (Kintsugi) of repair using 24K gold leaf.
Recently I have begun to learn the techniques of burnishing, which is more complicated than I first thought. This I use for black on black pots as well as horse hair and pit fire work. To maintain a good shine the pots need to be buscuited very low @ 780oC. The polishing and carving then can take hours a pot but is very therapeutic and if it goes right can be a delight.