Thursday, 3 April 2014

In the studio: Salt of the Earth ceramics

Following weeks in the studio in which all my ceramic experiments seemed to disintegrate I decided to change direction and work with a more substantial and solid approach to my work, aiming to create bowls that appear to be carved from rock hewn from the earth.

Working with porcelain and oxides, my intention was to create bowls that represented layered strata of rock.

Salt of the Earth #1
Due to the extreme thickness of the slabs (about 20 x 20 x 30 cm) the slabs would require a couple of weeks to completely dry before the firing process could take place. 

Of course, I chose to rush this process and subsequently had a disaster where an entire kiln load of my work exploded because I tried to fire it too quickly.

A subsequent firing where the kiln was programmed to dry the clay for 24 hours before the firing process begun was much more successful and the results can be seen in Salt of the Earth #1 and #2.

Although there was some cracking in these pieces (probably due to the porcelain clay body rather than the firing process), I think it adds to the work and the idea of erosion. The pieces were fired once, skipping the bisque firing, in a reduction atmosphere. I really like how carbon has been trapped in the clay, turning it from pure white to a delicious grey. 

Salt of the Earth #2

Displayed with the ceramic landscape bowls are my Basket rings.

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