|Vasefinder International 2014|
Rhayader, Powys, United Kingdom
Title: Wood Fired Bottle
Year of Creation: 2012
Glaze: Pine ash glaze, fired to cone 12 over 36 hours
Clay Body: My own based on Shigaraki clays and constructed with local English ball clays
Dimensions: Height 18 inches
Artist's Statement: The pieces that I make are inspired by other pots from various different cultures and periods. Some potters are influenced by objects, artifacts, ephemera that are not necessarily made of ceramic. I have always tended to look toward other ceramic traditions for creative sustenance. Korean pottery of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries have played an important role in my development as has German medieval salt glaze and English medieval earthenware. Certain Chinese pots, the magnificent wood fired jars from Shigaraki and Bizen in Japan and the early settler pottery from the east coast of the United States. Latterly, the works of both Bernard Leach and Hamada Shoji have played their part.
I have three kilns. A large oil fired downdraught kiln that is now twenty five years old. A salt kiln of 55 cu ft. and a relatively new three chambered wood fired climbing kiln. It is the wood kiln that currently demands my attention.
My over riding concern in making my pots is form. I am not a decorator in the painterly sense. My pots rely upon correct form to succeed although I find it difficult to allow a pot to pass through without some decorative treatment. I use the soft surface of the clay to provide my canvas and I will draw, cut, comb, facet, stamp, impress or incise the surface. My glazes are designed to take advantage of marks in the clay. Ash glazes rely upon ridges and hollows where they pool and change colour and texture. The flame and vapour of the wood kiln has provided the opportunity to minimize even further decorative treatments and allow the fire to marry with the form in ways that only a long, wood burning flame can do.
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