Vasefinder International 2013
Exhibitor 79

Margaret Sumich

Forrest Hill, Auckland, New Zealand

Title: Slab Vase

Year of Creation: 2012

Glaze: Wood fired, soda/salt

Clay Body: White stoneware

Dimensions: Height 5.51 inches, Width 6.30 inches

Artist's Statement: I am a vessel maker: whether thrown and altered or handbuilt using slab, or pinch-and-coil, each form is based on a vessel.

My interest in low-fired techniques began about 20 years ago with the raku process: the exposure to wood ash and then smoke from the reduction creates the random colours on the glazed surfaces, and in some cases natural lustres as well. Other chemicals in the glazes also affect the colour and produce the texture.

I mostly like to achieve the freedom of the flame on the pot rather than the rigidity of applied decoration, hence my chosen methods of firing using mainly wood as fuel.

The making of functional pieces is still very satisfying, and currently I am salt/and/or soda - glazing most of these and firing in the "Phoenix" kiln at the Potter's Centre as I am not able to use this process at home.

As well as functional pieces I am making larger outdoor sculptural work. These pieces are made using a pinch-and-coil method over a period of several days, and, after bisquing, fired in a small wood kiln which is taken to cone 6 - or around 1220 degrees centigrade. Both slips and glazes are used in the decoration.

Raku still plays a small part in my work, with the making of small decorative pieces, but I no longer fire them in the wood kiln.

I am a tutor at Auckland Studio Potters, Captain Springs Rd, Onehunga, where I have taught a class for many years.

To review detail photograph, click here.
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