Thursday, 21 July 2016

Wabi Sabi and the Art of Imperfection

Last week I touched upon the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi that is the world view based on the idea of transience and imperfection.

Wabi Sabi
Shino glaze Cone 6

I find the nation ofWabi Sabi and the ways in which to achieve it incredibly exciting. It is the idea of letting go and letting the materials talk for themselves. There is an element of chance and the unexpected. When my ceramic pieces are fired in a reduction atmosphere kiln, I can control the results to a certain extent, however it is always difficult to predict exactly how a piece will be fired. Opening the doors of a kiln after firing is always an exciting event to see what has happened.

Wabi Sabi
Shino glaze. I love the pinhole effect
A reduction firing requires the use of a gas kiln, which depletes the oxygen atmosphere which means that the glaze and clay body will trap carbon which can affect the colouring of the glaze and clay. I enjoy working with Shino, a Japanese glaze which can be white although due to the carbon trapping process can also become darker and sometimes metallic.

Detail of the shino glaze

These are some of the results of my most recent Cone 6 reduction firing.

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