My life as a professional potter began some fifteen years ago after being a furniture designer/manufacturer. My design aesthetic is that of a modernist and this is evident in my work. I use mostly stoneware clay and bright earthenware glazes.
Currently, I have been making pieces that are much ‘looser’ and have been firing them either in a pit or raku kiln. Raku and pit firing have great appeal because of the spontaneity of the techniques. The raku work is withdrawn from the kiln at 1000° and placed in a container full of combustible material. The contents ignite and are immediately sealed until the fire has exhausted the oxygen and the flames are extinguished. Carbon is thereby produced and penetrates the unglazed clay leaving a silky surface. After scrubbing the final unique effect is revealed.
Equally random results are achieved during the pit firing process where pots are subjected to intense heat in a ‘bonfire’ of wood, natural substances (eg. seaweed) and chemicals (eg. copper sulphate). Unlike raku, pit firing requires the pots to cool naturally although the final distinctive result is only visible after careful cleaning.
These latest pieces are a departure from my previous ceramics and, as such, provide a break from the more controlled requirements of my larger works.