Each piece of my ceramic artwork is unique. I hand make each one myself, kneading and slabbing the clay (slabbing being where the clay is cut into strips and forced back together to expel air from the clay), rolling the clay out to assemble the towers or throw the clay on a potter’s wheel to create chargers and vases.
Decorating on green-ware (green-ware is unfired clay) is a difficult process because the clay is still fragile and extreme care needs to be taken in handling the delicate forms. Slip trailing is using a clay slip (watered down clay mixed with some special ingredients) and applying it to the surface of the piece through a tubing bag with a fine nozzle. I also use the method of incising, which is the use of a sharp implement to scratch the surface of the clay, this is also carried out in the green-ware stage. Colours are applied after the piece has dried out naturally, but again this is not easy as some colours resist glaze or change significantly when they are fired. The final stages are a biscuit firing, glaze firing and for some designs the application of lustres.
Each piece has its own distinguishing characteristics, any slight bow, bend or blemish reminds me that I am fortunate enough to be working with raw materials in an individual way.
I wanted to continue these traditional methods of creating ceramic artwork because for me it is an important legacy that stretches back hundreds of years and needs to be continued otherwise, like so many of our ancient and traditional skills, they will die out.