Clay is an incredibly versatile medium. From translucent porcelain teacups to larger than life sculptures, there is a range of clays available to create almost anything you can imagine.
Here is a little bit more about how I use clay...
This work is thrown on the wheel, trimmed and painted with coloured slip. Each piece is then hand carved while it is "leather hard". The work is once fired, very slowly. This results in pieces which are fully functional yet remain unglazed and have a textural, matte finish.
Raku and Barrel firing
Most of my Raku and barrel fired work is also thrown on the wheel and some is then altered. The pieces are burnished and then fired in an electric kiln.
These firing techniques are dynamic and unpredictable, never producing the same effect twice.
The style of Raku I explore is known as "naked". The fired pieces are coated with slip and a crackle glaze before going into the Raku kiln. The work is subject to extreme thermal shock as it is removed from the kiln at about 950 degrees and placed into a bin with sawdust and paper. The glaze cracks and the burning sawdust creates carbon markings upon the pot. The fine shell of slip and glaze then peels off leaving a smooth, matte finish with unique markings from the smoke.
After the initial firing, work for a barrel firing takes a different journey. The work can be treated with a selection of oxides and sulphates and wrapped in a range of combustible materials. The pieces are placed in a barrel and a fire is lit on top of the work. They are delivered from the ashes marked and coloured by the experience.
The work is then cleaned, waxed and polished.